Dr Bex Lewis highlights trends in children’s apps…
In a recent radio interview, it was noted that often the first thing that children do when they arrive at a new house is ask for the Wi-Fi passcode. Gaming is something that children love to engage in: apps, games and other digital media have now become an everyday part of their lives, alongside other forms of entertainment and learning.
At the beginning of 2015, The Guardian identified ten trends around children’s apps – these seem worth highlighting because these are recognisable in 2016:
- In digital storytelling, it has become less about trying to replicate the book, and more about using the unique possibilities of digital technology. (This is the goal of Guardians of Ancora.)
- There are more possibilities for children to create their own stories, rather than follow pre-determined storylines. (In Ancora, the Creative Hub gives this opportunity for players.)
- After all the scare stories about the costs of in-app purchases, there’s more responsible use of these, especially allowing parents to choose what their children have access to. (There are no in-app purchases in Guardians of Ancora.)
- There is increasing expectation that children will play games alongside their parents, and creations of parental dashboards. (Go to the Family Hub and set up an account.)
- There’s an increasing number of apps offering first steps in coding.
- First steps in 3D printing and robots encourage creativity.
- There are increasingly effective YouTube filters and child-focused video channels.
- Minecraft continues to be the most popular game with children, with millions of players, and increasing educational use as well as for play.
- There are opportunities for musical creativity through apps such as GarageBand.
- Most apps are made for Apple iPads, but more are expected for Android. (Guardians of Ancora is available for Apple, Android and Amazon devices.)
Dr Bex Lewis is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of Social Media Consultancy Digital Fingerprint. She is the author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst, published by Lion Hudson in 2014.