Welcome to FableVision's Weekly Click for the week of May 31st, 2012. This week we're looking at how mobile apps affect children's brains, the art of apps, and one mother's in-depth look at Legos, play and gender. Lots to see, so let's get started! Featured Article
Parents -- do you ever have the feeling that your child is spaced-out while using a mobile device? Do you ever have trouble getting them to put it down at night and just go to sleep? Here's something to keep in mind: early studies are starting to show that interactive apps like those on the iPad actually increase interactivity and can engage children in ways traditional media cannot.
While research is still in its early stages, some studies are showing that moderate use of interactive apps actually improved a child's vocabulary up to 27%. Well-designed apps function much in the same way other thought-process oriented toys do. They create "flow experience", where a child becomes immersed in the activity at hand. Thankfully, this is a good sign; it means your child is concentrating.
However, these studies come with a caveat. iPad and iPhone use releases a small dose of dopamine into the child's brain, much like television and video games. While harmless, dopamine causes the brain to experience pleasure, which over time will make it difficult for the child to give up the device.
Here at FableVision Studios, we're encouraged by these studies. We believe that technology serves as a perfect compliment to traditional learning methods. Apps, websites and yes, videogames can all be effective and fun ways to engage students of all ages.
At FableVision we believe in helping everyone learn and reach their full potential, no matter their age or gender. We've talked about Lego's new series of "girls-only" toys. That said, we found this article especially thought provoking. Kate Bachus has written a great blog post about her personal experiences with her daughter, Legos, and the disturbing implications of Lego's "girls only" series. Required reading for parents with children of any gender.
Did you read the article about about the new "gendered" Legos? Were you as disappointed as we were? Well here's a fun Kickstarter that tries to bridge the gap between traditional "girl" toys and "boy" ones. From the creators:
Roominate is a different kind of toy. It is a first step in inspiring the next generation of female technology innovators. Because we believe that early exposure to STEM through toys will inspire change. Rominate is the toy that makes every young girl an artist, an engineer, an architect, and a visionary. Watch out world!
Roominate encourages girls to design, build and then -- get this -- wire up their own house! This is such a super-cool idea, especially for those girls who might not be interested in pirates or aliens but still want to play with toys that allow them to flex and develop their interest in STEM skills.
At the Art Of Apps gallery event in New York City, seven apps were chosen to be lauded for their exceptional design: Paper, Mixel, Tweetbot, Piictu, Path, and Cameo. Behind the link check out two videos from The Verge talk to the designers and creators of Paper, Mixel and Cameo. Good design is something everyone strives for, and is the difference between an okay app and a truly great one. We're always excited to pick the brains of other artists and creators to find ways to make our own apps and games even better. This has us geared up for our own Speed Apping event here in the Studio!