In the Spotlight: Carolina Nugent of KinderTown

 
With so many educational apps on the market and not enough time (or money) to download them all –  organizations such as KinderTown provide a powerful resource for busy parents by reviewing educational apps.  Not all of the popular apps have quality content as Carolina Nugent mentions, and as her job of Director of Education, she hopes to help parent’s pick and choose which apps would be a good learning tool for their young children.  I had a chance to speak Ms. Nugent about KinderTown and things they look for in a quality app.
 
Tell us why you started KinderTown. I joined KinderTown as the Director of Education because of a strong desire to impact the educational start of our youngest learners, which happens in the home. KinderTown was started in response to a need to make it easier for parents to find educational apps that could really help their kids learn. In the classroom I saw first hand how meaningful and engaging technology (apps) was a powerful learning tool with young kids. Yet, no one was really out there doing a good job of looking at the educational potential of the emerging technology, specifically apps. Ultimately, popular apps were dominating the downloads, instead of content that was truly good.
 
What are the Top 3 things you look for in an app to determine if you will recommend it to your audience.
 
1. The app has to be engaging! If a child doesn’t want to use the app, it doesn’t matter how fantastic the educational content is. We review for ages 3 to 8. At these young ages, apps have to engage a child. Otherwise they will go do something else that is more fun to them (Angry Birds!) and the learning potential is lost.
 
2. Educational content is developmentally appropriate. First, the educational claims made in the app must be accurate. It’s also important that the content supports what is beneficial for a child to be exposed to or playing with at the targeted age range.
 
3. The experience on the app is valuable and can be extended into other areas of a child’s play. I don’t look for apps that are just good fun. I want to see how learning has been mixed into the playful experience that exists on the app. Done well and both parents and kids can take the app play and extend it off the app.

What do you hope parents gain from your site and resources?

Our mission is to help parents be their child’s best teacher. We support parents with the resources to know what their kids are playing, why it is a valuable experience and creative ways they can play with their kids. This is all driven by our deep desire to increase the playful learning experiences kids are getting alongside the adults in their lives. We’re focused on learning but we all know the best learning experiences are also the most fun.

Any news you want to share with Penelope’s mates?

Right now we are hosting an iPad Mini giveaway (http://www.kindertown.com/kindertown-giveaway-ipad-mini/) that ends at the end of November. In the KinderTown app we have also added a “Power Parent” membership. This membership includes access to the abundance of free apps that have been KinderTown approved – which means they’re actually good. This membership is expanding to include “Power Packs” designed to help parents really focus on teaching a specific learning concept. The Power Packs include detailed app recommendations, activities, videos, and other resources.

Thanks Carolina for sharing with us about KinderTown and for providing this great resource for busy parents!

To read more about KinderTown: www.kindertown.com

 

AND enter their iPad Mini Giveaway go here: http://www.kindertown.com/kindertown-giveaway-ipad-mini/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KinderTown

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the great write up Melissa!

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