Early Childhood eLearning
It has long been known that how the child develops between the ages of one and five is critical to how the child continues to develop in the k-12 environment. How well the child develops relationships between adults and children during that time determines how secure that child will feel as he/she adjust to their advancing social environments. The curriculum that a pre-schooler is exposed to will jump start their cognitive development and rapidly developing language skills which will give them both a curiosity to learn and a desire for cooperative play (see: Early Childhood Education)
Pre-schoolers are attracted to the interactivity of eBooks. eBooks contain such cognitive developmental features such as audio reading, music, videos, animation and various sound effects. Early childhood development researchers believe that the multimedia nature of the eBook has been most effective in child literacy development, reading comprehension and language development.
They following two articles detail the some of the latest findings in early childhood development.
Online Child Protection
FTC Wants to Toughen Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
The Federal Trade Commission is proposing changes to the rules that protect children online. The new rules would update the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’s (COPPA) provision the requires website operators to obtain a parent’s consent before collecting personal details, like home addresses or email addresses from children younger than 13. The regulators say that advances like data mining to design ads to children’s online behavior and they want to include data collection types like persistent ID systems to require parental permission. The object is to keep companies from developing files on children containing information on health, wealth, race or romantic inclinations.
Major online operators such as television networks, app platforms, social networks and advertising trade groups don’t like the new rule changes. They argue, in the words of Alan L. Friel, chairman of the media and technology practice at the law firm of Edwards Wildman Palmer, “We risk losing a lot of really good educational and entertaining content if we make things too difficult for people to operate the sites or generate revenue from the sites.” They claim that using ID systems like customer code numbers to track children on line is neutral and that collecting information about children’s activities is necessary to deliver the ads that pay for free content.
Industry providers of social media such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and twitter are objecting. Also, large media companies like Viacom and Disney, cable operators, marketing associations, technology groups and trade groups representing toy makers say that the proposed rule changes are so harsh that they threaten to deter companies from offering children’s websites and services altogether. They fear that if the FTC were to include customer code numbers among the information that requires parental consent it might someday require companies to get similar consent for a practice that represents the backbone of digital marketing and advertising and advertising – using such code numbers to track the online activities of adults.
A FTC proposal to hold sites and apps liable for the data collection practices of third-party analytics or advertising partners has also met with fierce opposition. The Association for Competitive Technology, a trade group representing more than 5,000 app developers, has estimated that complying with such requirements could cost educational app developers $250 million in legal fees. It could also dissuade some mom-and-pop developers, who rely on free third-party software for features like animation and social networking, from designing products for children.
According to ACT’s executive director, “Children under 13 aren’t enough of a market, aren’t worthwhile to spend the money on compliance and tolerate the risk of getting it wrong.” But Kathryn Montgomery, a professor of communications at American University who helped get Congress to pass the original children’s online privacy law, urges caution. “Until there are some rules, marketers will continue to use what they have to penetrate children’s lives. Without constraints, it could easily get out of hand.”
“The concern for both the children applications industry and regulators is about the data mining and collection that supports digital app marketing and whether this data collection puts children at greater risk.”
Source Article: “Silicon Valley Fights Proposed Online Protection for Children,” Natasha Singer, NT Times, 11/8/12