Toddler-Centered Learning With Digital-Tech Skill Reports?

As a parent, I ask myself if educational assessments in apps are constructive for my preschooler?  You may ask yourself – as I do – if you’re ready to deal with barely-post-toddler learning reports?

As children, we learned to read and write using repeated effort.  Report cards gave parents a comparative understanding of our strengths and areas to improve. The purpose of early childhood development curriculum in apps, is to help children learn by repetition too. A parent can make the most of educational apps by understanding analytical measures they provide.

Why should a parent care?  High quality educational apps make a dramatic difference in how your child feels about learning.  Apps focused on learner-centered interactivity that adapts to a child’s learning style may make digital learning uniquely consistent in reinforcing learning. For one thing, games are one-on-one.  ‘Smart’ apps build encouragement into playtime; learning is flexible, and can vary in time and place thanks to technology becoming more mobile and versatile.

Making the Most of Skill Reports – Why should we care about digital learning?

A learning report provides parents, just as an educator might, with the results of practice. Here are three important reasons for looking at a child’s curriculum progress:

  • At-a-glance format lets you see your child’s progress with real time assessment results.  A more detailed report is available with information about what your child is working on.
  • Why does it matter?  Children take in various learning and play experiences with adaptive software.  Learning from digital technology, our children become attuned to evidence-based experiences during playtime.
  • Concrete milestones are measures of mastery.  When we take our children to the physician, developmental skills are assessed.  As your child learns to play with educational games, you can be informed, and can be proactively supportive, anticipating learning challenges.

Related Online Topics:

Globalpost:  Kid-friendly Facebook in the works, Wall Street Journal reports

Forbes:  Why Is There A Lack Of Innovation In Educational Technology For Children?

Why Follow Successful Game Design In Kids Apps?

It hasn’t taken me long to figure out that many apps available are not entirely suitable or understandable to their target audience.  Have you had this experience?  This problem is one reason it’s important to understand something about apps being marketed to our children, and to be able to determine how useful and constructive they will be for a child.

I often have a look at free educational apps, and read about their features.  I’ve also read their reviews, but I take that information with a grain of salt – especially if it is all positive without useful commenting on particular features.  When I look over what is available at the App Store, not much is (well) designed for little girls.  Most educational apps are either neutral (seems good) or are more appealing to little boys.  Because app developers are highly likely to be male, they may understand boys play interests more than they understand little girls, and gender formation and identity.

This may seem like a detail of little import, but there are functions in children’s apps that help us understand whether female teachers and mothers’ wisdom are represented in games.

Games and activities receiving considerable attention tend to be learn-by-playing apps on digital devices, that improve and hold all children’s attention.  Educators are taking note, establishing criteria and plans for integrating touch pad learning with traditional learning (“blended learning”).

Astonishingly enough, some developers seem to believe very young children can read questions generated by a game.  Who thought that through?  Or is it that, if you put two buttons there, interrupting the child’s activity, you have a 50/50 chance the child will tap one or the other?  This is all the more reason to have a good look at the apps your child is spending time with outside of structured learning environments.  You don’t want your child to be confused by poorly designed games, those not appropriately ranked for age.

As a parent, It’s natural to seek a product we can trust.  Such an app ranks age-range realistically.  An app likely to develop a loyal following will deliver what it promises, and not try every trick in the book to take advantage of curious kids, forcing innocents to become work-around artists.

Related Online Topics:

The Washington Post: Children at Play in Arlington – The Importance of Play in Childhood

For Educators:
The Emotional Development of Young Children: Building an Emotion-Centered Curriculum by Marilou Hyson, Ph.D.

New Update: Get our exciting new size comparison game
New size comparison game

Agnitus is excited to offer our new mathematical learning game in our latest update (1.2.2).

Go on a fun mathematical adventure in our new treasure hunting game. Your child will sort giant stepping stones as they learn about size and the basic principles of counting.

Skills Developed:

  • Recognizing Patterns
  • Comparing and Contrasting Based on Size
  • Strategies for Sorting
  • Recognizing the Value of Numbers for Measurement

Update your Agnitus app today!!

Learning fun in the kitchen: “morphing” healthy foods into shapes

If your home is like mine, looking around for shapes can easily become an unwieldy project that morphs into spring cleaning!  On the other hand, morphing is fun, and setting aside a little time, you can enjoy productive shape play with your child.

The basic idea of complementing digital learning by using real life shapes is simple and surprisingly fun.  Though there are lots of ways to get busy with shapes, one of the sure-fire winning ways to accentuate educational app learning, is with food made into shapes.   For young children, here are shapes activities that use foods.

Some foods naturally lend themselves to shape recognition, especially spherically shaped foods such as oranges, grapes, or sliced cucumbers and carrots.  For special occasions, cookies can be nicely cut into various shapes either by hand or with a cookie cutter.  This is a delightful complement to learning shapes on an app, because now shapes take on a savory dimension!

For snacks, bread can be cut into triangles, many crackers have simple round, square or rectangular shapes.  And cheeses, meats, and even tofu can be cut creatively to complement the shapes of breads and crackers.  Don’t forget octagons and hexagons, easy to cut with thin-sliced cheese!  With a small compostable knife, your child can safely have fun creating squarish and odd shapes!   Remember, your child, in real world play with shape design, is reasoning, problem-solving, and practicing fine motor skills.  Be sure to go with the flow if that triangle is a tad off!  Cooking and shapes projects in the kitchen accomplish other interesting things: they teach our children about how things change when we prepare them to eat, and kids learn about gender roles in the kitchen.  You can have “shape fun” putting kabobs together too.

For a child-centered kitchen project, fruit leather, also called fruit rolls or fruit roll ups, can be wonderously cut into many shapes, and they come in colors, an added bonus!

Remember that while your child is learning to identify basic shapes, some have straight lines, and some have curves.  Keep it simple, and let your educational app inform you about how consistently your child is mastering each shape independent of your loving attention!

Related Online Topics:
Magnetic Play + Learn Shapes (With 21 Magnetic Pieces)  From Top That! Kids
Homemade and healthy fruit roll ups recipe

A fond farewell to half-baked multi-tasking! A dad’s quest for simplicity

This is not a corporate blog.  Plenty of companies are already blogging. This is a personal blog about everyday problems I face at home as I teach my kids about learning.  Human societies have taught kids what is meaningful for thousands of years.  When our ancestors lived in extended families and small communities, elders and neighbors helped educate children, everyone shared wisdom.  Knowledge is taught today mostly by teachers.  We Google information that comes to us, but it’s not real knowledge, it’s based on keyword optimization, paid for by ads.

This blog is first-hand, by a parent  who wants simple, straightforward information about helping kids learn.  That’s it!  How can I teach my children colors, numbers, counting, shapes, money, measurement, weight, size, elevation, health, food, energy, animals, fruits, plants, history, how a car works, how to braid hair, and seeing constellations?  I’m looking for one simple activity at any given time, that will help my child learn.

For instance, I want exactly ONE activity for teaching my kids to count.  Surely, there are umpteen ways to learn counting, but I want simplicity.  At parent-teacher conferences – honestly – I always leave scratching my head. The teacher rattled off a dozen things to help my child learn to count. I’ve forgotten what they were. Where do I start?

From time to time here, I’ll post something about the product we’ve built, and what’s interesting about it. Every now and then you might read about my great inventions and ideas!  Mostly, I’ll write about everyday issues with my children and keeping them engaged so they learn.  I say this because we know how easy it is to put children in front of a TV or a game on the iPad/iPhone.  If we use Baby Einstein, we convince ourselves that it’s making a kid smarter.  Did my child learn anything from it? Who knows?

I’ll keep posts short and focused on one thing and one thing only.  Which is pretty much who I am.  Not only am I not a good multi-tasker, I think it is an oxymoron.  Unless you plan to do everything half-baked, multitasking results are poor and reveal that you’re distracted.  I have difficulty holding my children’s attention for more than 10 minutes. After that, my kids lose interest and I lose patience.  You might say I search for meaningful simplicity with my children!

Short on time, I’ll write frequently, seeing if I can convince others to help me out with posts. Hopefully, when I’m done with this, it will be a simple collection of things to do with your child.  Something like those books that are (or were) available in bookstores…. 101 Ways to Relax, 101 Things to Say to Your Loved Ones, 101 Activities I Will Do This Year, etc.  I hope to brilliantly simplify things into one-liners and make your day a little better when you read them!

This post is written by Azhar Khan. CEO & Co-Founder of Agnitus