Feature Article: LEGO-like Toys Help Kids Build Electronics

Ayah Bdeir, the founder of littleBits, has created a system of electronic pieces that will encourage kids to learn from and engage with technology in new and innovative ways. With this system of modules, kids can create anything they can think of- from cowboy hats to cannonballs- and with extra sensors like temperature controlled movement and motion detectors. This system has a low entry level- children do not need to have any training or prior knowledge of technology to be able to engage with these materials and “get excited about learning.”

This small start-up company is jumping on the bandwagon of STEM education, creating resources and tools with which children can become excited about science and technology. Through games and toys like what littleBits has created, children are able to interact and connect with the materials, enabling them to learn in their own way, on their own time, rather than traditional instruction style learning. These tools fuel a collaborative learning process, which thus inspires a community. In the end, these materials engender extended interactivity, and ultimately, more excitement to continue learning.

Apps for Kids podcast 008: Mad Chef

This podcast from Boing Boing talks about the cool new apps for kids and parents. Highlighted here is “Mad Chef,” a really fun app for kids!

Game-Based Learning- Without Video Games

Game-based learning refers to when the learning goals are identical to the play objectives- the games intrinsically educate. Although this particular article discusses the topic at a higher education level, we can learn something from the notion that in today’s technological world, playtime and learning don’t have to be separated.

Kids' Film Festival: Fear, Astonishment and the Beatles

The New York International Children’s Film Festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary from March 2-25 with its biggest event yet! Their goal this year is to bring the children “game changing films,” which present themselves in films that weren’t necessarily made for children, but can communicate on different levels.

iPad Gives Boy a Voice at His Bar Mitzvah

This heartwarming story illustrates just how many different ways digital technology can infiltrate our lives. Through this new media, an autistic boy is able to make a truly important step in his life- socially, spiritually, and religiously.

The Story of Animation

This is a very cute and fun (animated) piece about the story of animation! Following the storyline of “you,” who needs to develop an animated advertisement for a new product, the video gives “you” a step-by-step guide on how to make an animated film.