children Stories July 23, 2018

One of the iOS 12 features to generate a lot of buzz has been Screen Time – a way to monitor app usage and set limits to reduce the amount of time spent staring at your phone.

You can use it yourself, of course, but parents can also use it to limit the time their kids spend using particular apps, like games or YouTube. One company, though, thinks it has an even better idea: require kids to exercise to earn app time …

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children Stories June 21, 2016

apple-camp

If you’re looking for something to entertain kids aged 8-12 over the summer, and the chance for them to learn some useful tech skills into the bargain, you may want to register them for this year’s Apple Camp. Apple holds annual workshops at its retail stores intended to help kids make creative use of technology. This year’s workshops are focused on coding & robotics, movie-making and story-telling.

Campers can work with visual blocks and solve puzzles while programming Sphero robots. They can learn filmmaking skills: storyboarding, shooting video, and editing soundtracks. Or they can create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. At Apple Camp, kids and their creativity are the heroes … 

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children Stories April 12, 2016

BBC launches iPlayer Kids, a child-friendly version of its popular iPad app

British parents have long known that handing your kids an iPad full of children’s TV shows is a good way to keep them quiet for a while appropriately entertained and informed. The BBC has made that job even easier today by launching a special iPlayer Kids app. The iPad app, which has a user-interface suitable for young children, features only age-appropriate TV shows.

The new child-friendly app is safe and easy to use. With over 10,000 episodes being made available this year alone, it has all of BBC Children’s world-class content in one place, allowing kids to discover and enjoy both new and old CBeebies and CBBC favourites including Wolfblood, Blue Peter, The Dumping Ground, Topsy & Tim and Go Jetters.

Each child in the family creates their own profile, complete with their age and a cartoon character to represent them, and the app them automatically filters the shows offered.

Pre-school children (under five) are only shown CBeebies content, while children over five are shown both CBBC and CBeebies content (customised to be suitable for their age).

The BBC says it created the app in recognition of the fact that children’s programs are the most popular genre watched through iPlayer.

children Stories October 14, 2015

Uber pushing AMBER Alerts to its drivers nationwide, after initial pilot in Colorado

Uber has announced that it will be sending location-based AMBER alerts to its drivers across all 180 U.S. cities in which it operates, following a successful trial in Colorado.

AMBER alerts provide information on missing children, including description and last known location, so that the public can be on the look out for them. Since the launch of the scheme in 1996, a total of 722 children have been safely found as a direct result of an AMBER alert.

Robert Hoever, director of special programs at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, described the Uber program as “an incredible asset.”

The AMBER Alert program’s success is built on the ability to reach the right people at the right time with these potentially life-saving messages. Uber’s presence in communities all across the country will be an incredible asset and we are proud to team up with Uber to increase the reach of the AMBER Alert program and help bring more missing children home safely.

Apps have proven a powerful addition to the AMBER alerts program, with mobile apps from Facebook and Waze already supporting them.

Via The Verge

children Stories October 6, 2015

Family relaxing in bed together
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Family relaxing in bed together

Updated parental guidelines are needed to help make informed decisions about the use of technology by children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, as it revealed that more than 30% of U.S. children first use a mobile device while still in diapers. The AAP says that “digital life begins at a young age, and so must parental guidance.”

The Academy says that its existing policy statement was actually drafted before the first iPad was launched. A two-day symposium held earlier this year generated twelve key messages, based not just on limiting screen time but also on distinguishing helpful from harmful use of technology …  expand full story

children Stories December 13, 2013

Stephen Hawking iPad app provides a fun way to teach kids about physics

Ssshh, don’t tell the kids they’re learning physics, just tell them it’s an iPad space gameStephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe is an iPad app containing a mix of mini-games, videos and text that allows children to discover some of the fundamental principles of physics and space.

Based on the work and writings of Stephen Hawking, this app teaches both adults and students the basic theories that govern our lives on Earth as well as the movement of the stars and planets. You can play and learn at the same time in each of the eight experiments included in Snapshots of the Universe: – Spin planets in orbit with your own solar system – Drop objects with Galileo to learn about gravity – Let Einstein feel some G-force in outer space – Search for black holes in the constellation of Leo – Discover Einstein’s warped worldview – Plus more…

Each section has an app allowing children to carry out virtual experiments, see further visual explanations in video clips and then read up on the topic in more detail. The app is described as suitable for children aged 9+.

Published by Random House, the app is available on iTunes for $4.99.

Via Engadget

children Stories September 26, 2013

ipads-education

The LA Times is reporting that the distribution of iPads to all 640,000 students in the LA school district may be temporarily halted after high school pupils worked out how to bypass the restrictions placed on the devices. Apple announced back in June that an initial start to the rollout was worth $30M.

While the school networks block apps such as facebook while at school, a personal profile was used to limit usage of the devices when taken home. Within a week, children at Theodore Roosevelt High School had worked out that deleting this profile removed the restrictions …  expand full story

children Stories August 15, 2013

apps

Apple has strengthened its App Review Guidelines to require greater protection of children under 13 years and to clamp down on gambling apps that involve real money.

Some of the changes were required in order to comply with tougher requirements in the newly-expanded Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prohibits apps from collecting personal data from children under 13 without ‘verifiable parental consent.’ Personal data initially meant name, address, phone numbers, email address and present location, but has now been expanded to include photos, video and audio. Apple has, however, gone further …  expand full story

children Stories February 16, 2012

Let’s take a quick break from the hordes of Mountain Lion OSX news to talk about privacy issues within apps…again. However, this time the spotlight is on children’s apps in both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Marketplace.

The Federal Trade Commission released a report today (PDF) based on a survey that found apps for children do not fully disclose the types of data collected nor do they adequately educate parents about data harvesting.

The consumer protection agency scrutinized privacy policies, recommended each developer give comprehensible disclosures on how data is accrued and shared, including whether children’s data is linked to social network apps, and it even mentioned conducting a six-month review on disclosures and using enforcement if needed. The report focused on the two main app stores themselves and requested more be done to tell children and their parents about privacy concerns…

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children Stories August 15, 2011

The FTC filed a lawsuit against W3 Innovations Friday, the parent company of Broken Thumbs Apps, for collecting the personal information of children in their apps. Broken Thumbs Apps have been downloaded more than 50,000 times in the iTunes App Store, and titles include  Zombie Duck HuntTruth or Dare, and Emily’s Dress Up. Monday, the company settled with the FTC for $50,000.

The FTC’s complaint includes W3 storing more than 30,000 children’s (probably parent’s) emails and personal information on their servers. In one game, the company asked for the child’s name. In the game Emily’s Girl World, it gave children the opportunities to make comments on a related blog, which were stored on a server.

The FTC says since these apps were directly marketed to children and transmitted information over the internet, the apps are in violation of the Children’s Online privacy Protection Pact (COPPA), and the FTC’s COPPA rules. Besides settling, the company agreed to delete all of the children’s personal information off of their servers. (via Ars Technica)

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