Monday, August 12, 2013

Learning Apps: Good for Baby Brains?

Earlier this week, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against Fisher Price and Open Solutions for marketing their apps as educational for babies.  The Campaign has filed complaints successfully in various other cases (notably Baby Einstein), calling companies to task for deceptive advertising that promises educational benefits that aren't there.  This effort has received a great deal of press, maybe you've heard about it.

Rachel Payne, the coordinator of early childhood has written a really excellent piece for the School Library Journal website about this development, and how to help parents who come in to the library hoping to find the right tools to help their babies learn to read.  Suspending judgement, but gently guiding parents to developmentally appropriate books, play and music, while also recommending some high quality apps to use as a supplement, can be an art.

All of us need to be thinking about this.  There is great work being done on all sides of the debate, and a good place to start your own exploration is by reading Rachel Payne's article!
A young patron in Rice Lake enjoys apps on an iPad

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