I love Toca Boca’s iPhone apps for kids. They aren't games; they are open-ended interactive toys. The art is beautiful. (So many other kids' apps have depressing 1970s Saturday morning cartoon style art.) Also, they have no in-app purchases! Jane and I have reviewed a bunch of Toca Boca apps on our podcast, Apps for Kids. Our favorites include Toca Doctor, Toca Hair Salon, Toca Train, and Toca Band.
Here's an interview with Jens Peter de Pedro, creative director for Toca Boca, about kids' education in Scandinvia:
We trust children with freedom to a larger extent. For instance, no grades are given until age 12, which I would say is proof that we trust children longer to learn without threats. School itself starts later, at age seven. There are little academics before then. The goal for a child at seven is to be able to write his or her name and to know that reading is done form left to right. Other than that, it’s all play, and some exercises are meant to foster students’ sense of trust and safety in each other.
We also hold a very romantic view of nature which relates to our view of children. We believe in our hearts that the forest is the ultimate backdrop for childhood. Nature is there for children to explore and develop independence. Scandinavia has many forest schools. These are preschools that have only a small indoor space that the children spend a minimal amount of time in, only really during extreme weather conditions. Other than that children are dropped off, picked up, eat, play and sleep outdoors. In Sweden, there are about 200 schools like this, which means every larger town has one or two.
Toca talks: Why freedom is best for kids and apps (Thanks, Bob!)
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]