In Episode 29 of The Mommy Gamers podcast, Jason Smith asked us a question about the types of educational software we would like to see developed for early childhood education. The new apps from the Disney Connected Learning Platform are the perfect answer to that question.
It’s no big secret that kids love video games. It’s also no secret that games have a lot of potential when it comes to helping kids learn in a fun an engaging way. When we were kids our educational games were Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and The Oregon Trail. Unfortunately, nowadays most educational video games relegate the parents to the sidelines without any involvement short of starting up and closing the software, clueless as to how much their children might actually be taking from the experience. That’s all changing, thanks to Disney Interactive’s new connected line of educational games and apps.
Here are the games currently supported by Disney Connected Learning:
- Cinderella: Shapes and Patterns (iPhone/iPad)
- Cars: Numbers and Counting (iPhone/iPad)
- Club Penguin (web-based PC/Mac)
- Ariel: Numbers and Counting (iPhone/iPad)
- Disney Fairies: Art (iPhone/iPad)
- Toy Story: Letters and Sounds (iPhone/iPad)
With the new Disney Connected Learning platform, parents are finally given an active role in their kids’ gaming education. Designed by Disney Interactive with the help of educators from two of the nation’s leading universities in the areas of Pre-K through 5th grade curriculum and educational technology development, Disney Connected Learning includes educational curriculum in Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, Music, Social Studies, Art, Digital Play, and Preschool.
After signing into the Disney Parent App on Facebook and creating an account, parents receive detailed assessments of their child’s progression through the supported educational games and apps. When children reach certain milestones in the games, parents can reward them by unlocking new in-game features and secrets via the Disney Parent App, while also using the information and tips in the app to help identify “teachable moments” where the parents can get more involved with the subject.
We all have to face the fact that our kids are growing up in a time where technology is going to be a major part of our their lives. Too often I see parents just handing their kids their phone or tablet as a way to keep them occupied. It’s okay to try and buy yourself a few moments of sanity and silence, but put a little thought into what you’re handing them. Games and apps such as these are a great way to ensure that you are putting something educational and worthwhile in their hands.