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Educational and entertaining apps, playlists, videos for a child's iPod Touch

By Heather Clayton Staker

Innosight Institute

Published: Monday, Dec. 31 2012 2:37 p.m. MST

Standin Tall set. I love these 12 CDs about different values like courage, self-esteem, honesty, and work.

Their Safety Kids set is well done too. ($215.95 for the set; pricey, but tons of great content)

Im checking out several classic books-on-CD from the library and will rotate them through. (free)

iTunes also has dozens of read-aloud books, many of which are free. (free to $6.99)

Well also create a few playlists with the kids favorite songs. (The John Williams superhero anthems are always top requests.)

Videos

The younger kids are starting with a video like Meet the Sight Words, because a little straight up memorization has worked wonders to speed up their preK and kindergarten reading.

The older two are going to watch documentaries (theyre still young, so I wield this kind of power!). Im starting with Brooklyn Castle because it reinforces their current participation in their schools chess club. Ill also download the podcast of the filmmakers.

Other Ideas

Im planning to buy a few favorite digital books for each child, customized to their reading level. Im also going to download pictures of their cousins and relatives so they can practice with names before we arrive at the festivities. The older two will be able to take pictures along the way and create a slideshow of their trip.

So theres my plan.

Post script analytical spin

For those of you who enjoy disruptive innovation theory, heres the skinny on me through that lens. My kids are nonconsumers of digital learning during their travel time and commutes. They have books and DVD players, but they do not have access to the much broader set of content and instruction available digitally. My jobs-to-be-done are to entertain young kids so they can travel somewhat independently and to make traveling and commutes more educational. The iPods arent as good as being in school, but thats not the job Im hiring the iPods to do while were on a holiday.

Smartphone-sized devices are disruptive relative to personal computers. Theyre less expensive, simpler, and will delight my children even though they may not be as good as laptops and tablets available at higher prices for users with deeper expertise. The performance hurdle required to delight my new-to-the-market children is quite modest. Heres an infographic about Apple and how it is currently dominating the tech war in Americas classrooms. Watch out though Apple, because you are currently being disrupted by Android devices, which have a more open architecture and will make handheld ownership available to many new-market customers over the long term. But the performance of the Androids is not yet good enough for me, because I want an all-in-one device for MP3s, video, and education apps, and Apples ecosystem does that best . . . for now.

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