It can be difficult to make claims that a digital product actually teaches without proof. There are no barriers to developing educational content–anyone can do it. How do we effectively harness the mobile space as a way to inspire learning in children?
Former EVP of Product Innovation & Marketing at LeapFrog, Nancy MacIntyre has spent most of her career working in video games. As the digital space quickly evolved, she became enthralled by the possibilities touch screen devices presented for kids learning through play.
In 2010, she formed her current company, Fingerprint, a learning and play network filled with curated edutainment apps for kids ages 3-8 and a place for parents to track each of their children’s progress through specific learning goals.
From her extensive experience in mobile learning and play, MacIntyre listed three components she views as a starting point for developing quality mobile learning games:
- Engaging: kids need to be playing in order to actually benefit. If it’s not fun, they are less likely to play the game;
- Content delivery: content needs to be delivered in a way that the child can actually use, digest and enjoy.
- Usability: game mechanics need to be easily usable by the child
- Assessment: mobile learning games should offer a way to assess whether a child is actually learning.
“I think that mobile devices are a great learning tool in general because kids can access learning opportunities anytime and anywhere,” MacIntyre said. “It’s important to involve parents in the learning process as a well so that they can know what their child is getting out of a particular app and how they are progressing on their learning goals.”
Fingerprint places one of its focuses on language learning games. It recently released its “Kids Learn Mandarin” app and will soon be launching six additional learning apps. Developed in collaboration with Tiger Face Studios, this new collection of apps offers a collaborative learning experience. Parents and kids can learn a language together, and kids can even play games with each other cross-platform.
MacIntyre will be sharing her insights on emerging platforms and technologies being used as education tools on a panel at Digital Kids Edu. She will discuss the unique complexities including interactivity, immersion, scalability and intense user involvement that new technologies are now leveraging.
Register for the September 18th Digital Kids Edu in San Francisco here: http://digitalkidsedu.com/register/. Online registration ends September 13th. Register by then and save $100.
And don’t forget to register for Digital Kids Summit, taking place September 19th in San Francisco, the day following Digital Kids Edu: http:/www.digitalkidssummit.com/register
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