Kids, Technology, and The YouTube Kids Launch Party

14 Mar

It’s common to see a toddler sitting in his/her high chair at dinner or in the stroller fiddling with his/her parents mobile device or tablet.  I know I’ve done my fair share of passing off my phone to my kids.  It’s a great way to keep them entertained.  And when I have to get things done at home, it’s easy to tell my daughter to go grab her iPad and watch a show or play a game.  It’s no wonder that this younger generation excels at using Technology.  They are learning to use devices earlier and earlier.

20150310-085105-31865788.jpg

For the past couple of months, I have been taking classes to keep my teaching license current.  The most recent class I took was about Technology in the Classroom.  The use off devices and Apps are being used more and more in the classroom, as early as pre-school, so kids can acquire skills to use technology safely and effectively.  I see my own girls intrigued by the Internet and the wealth of information that is out there.  My oldest daughter LOVES to search for topics of interest, most recently wildlife. Since she is still learning to read and spell, many google searches bring up inappropriate videos for her age.   I usually have to sit with her to see which videos are ok for her to watch.

20150310-085104-31864188.jpg

The other week, my youngest daughter and I went to the YouTube Kids launch party at Milk Studios.  The afternoon was filled with Mary Mary Quite Contrary cupcakes, photos with Oscar the Grouch, coloring with Thomas and Friends, playing in a ball pit and exploring the new and wonderful YouTube Kids App.  The App is geared towards younger children showcasing Sesame Street and Thomas.  However, I was very excited about the search option for my six-year-old. I am now able to let my daughter search for topics freely because it will only pull up material appropriate material.  It’s a safe, family friendly place to explore.  As soon as I downloaded it, she started exploring and searching for animals in the rainforest.  Her search brought her to a video giving her a “virtual” tour of the amazon and teaching her about the many types of species that live there.  So COOL! Another feature for searching is the Voice Search, perfect for younger toddlers or children who might not be comfortable typing in a search.

20150312-133011-48611966.jpg

In addition to being safe for kids to use, parents can control certain settings.  A timer can be set, up to 30 minutes, so kids don’t overload on videos.  At the end of the time limit, the YouTube Mascot gets sleepy and shuts down so parents don’t have to fight with kids to put it down or turn it off.  Or you can set it to block the search feature.

Learning about the App from our favorite characters!

Learning about the App from our favorite characters!

YouTube Kids is an exciting new App that would be great to use in the classroom as well as at home. Download the FREE App on Google Play or iTunes to use on mobile devices (click links).

*I will be keeping my fingers crossed that YouTube creates an App for older students, since YouTube is blocked in most schools.  A safe app to use in schools would provide great educational value for students.

More photos from our fun afternoon:

20150312-132644-48404926.jpg 20150312-132646-48406864.jpg 20150312-132643-48403156.jpg

 

Disclaimer: I received a gift bag for attending the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: