Slice Fractions1

Games Instead of Tests in American Schools

Posted by | News | No Comments

If you’re one of the many, many people who think high-stakes American testing needs some work…well, you might be surprised at some of the possible solutions we’re coming up with. Hint: It’s video games.

Some even say that games could eventually eliminate the need for testing.

But don’t jump the gun; testing is still important. We have to have some way of monitoring where kids are in the curriculum—whether they’re “getting” it or might need some extra help. Read More

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8 Great iPhone and iPad Apps for Kids

Posted by | Feature, Tips for Parents | 3 Comments

How did people parent before smartphones or mobile tablets? I received my first iPhone when my daughter was about 3 years old, and having that magical little box with us on long trips or in the doctor’s waiting room has been such a lifesaver. I use the iPhone or our recently purchased iPad Mini for everything, from getting directions to meal planning. I even use it as a white-noise machine (a great white-noise machine app, here) when we’re staying in a hotel. These devices make it easy to travel light, which is quite a feat with kids in tow! Read More

apples

Apple Offers Up Seeds of Reparation

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Apple Inc. recently agreed to provide full refunds to parents whose kids accidentally spent money on microtransactions. Sometimes families can rack up thousands of dollars in debt without even noticing. The Federal Trade Commission took notice after tens of thousands of consumers complained about Apple’s policies. 

How does this affect you? Apple’s billing practices will change. Items sold in mobile apps will now need parents’ express, informed consent in order for the purchase to go through. Prior to the ruling, if a password was entered in an app or game, kids would then be able to use that password to purchase items for the next 15 minutes, and it was unclear to some kids that the password was giving them access to real money. This is no longer the case.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said:

This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply. You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize.

Apple will pay its customers full refunds totaling at least $32.5 million.

For more on microtransactions, check out Pixelkin’s interview with US  News, and click the button below to learn more about how to manage kids’ spending.

Learn More

Ticket to Ride

Board Games are Alive and Well, Thanks in Part to Video Games

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It’s natural to assume that, with the advent of digital games, board games will soon be going the way of the tape cassette. Mobile games are convenient for anyone with a smartphone or tablet, taking up those spare minutes on the bus or at the doctor’s office, but board games are time-consuming and clunky. The average price of an iPhone app is just 19 cents; for Android that number is a measly 6 cents. Yet a board game can run you 50 bucks.

So why are board games still doing so well? Read More