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By what I think is coincidence, I came across many examples of design that have as part of their missions to help users either develop a stronger self-identity or display and reinforce the identity they have. I am a huge proponent of using identity resonance as a design tool, so I really enjoyed selecting a few good examples for this article.
That’s why the Lottie Doll looks, well, just like a typical nine-year-old girl. She doesn’t wear makeup, high heels or jewellery, she’s ethnically diverse with tactile hair and clothes, and she can stand on her own two feet. Lottie is feisty. She occasionally makes mistakes. She loves adventure and the outdoors. She has a wild imagination – just like a real child. Even her clothes are made to get dirty.
So here is the set up. Too many parents have a phobia when they talk about math with their kids. They get visibly anxious and uncomfortable. They describe their interest in and ability with math negatively. “Math is hard.” “I am not good at math.” This leads their kids to think about math the same way. Plus, it reduces the child’s willingness to ask their parents for help with homework. They don’t share their interest in math with their parents over the dinner table. In the long run, it reduces our societal capabilities in math by slowing it down right from the start.
Even children who used the app with their parents as little as once a week saw gains in math achievement by the end of the school year. The app’s effect was especially strong for children whose parents tend to be anxious or uncomfortable with math.
The minimum age at which kids can legally be held to a Terms of Service agreement might be raised from 13 to 16 in Europe. Currently, companies have to ask parents’ permission for children under the 13. My Take This is an interesting policy question. Businesses want the age of consent to be as low as possible because that expands their market (on the assumption that children are more likely to accept the agreement than their parents are). This explains why Google, Facebook and Twitter…
The amount of screen time we are giving our kids has become a controversial topic. In part, this is because both sides have very good arguments. On one hand, it seems that we are better preparing our kids for the digital world that they will face in their professional future if we get them accustomed to and skilled with the use of digital devices early on, when learning is natural and intrinsic. But on the other hand, there are some consequences of this screen time. We worry that our youngest kids are not socializing effectively. And then as they grow older, they encounter new and often more serious consequences.
Excessive use of computer games among young people in China appears to be taking an alarming turn and may have particular relevance for American parents whose children spend many hours a day focused on electronic screens. The documentary “Web Junkie,” to be shown next Monday on PBS, highlights the tragic effects on teenagers who become hooked on video games, playing for dozens of hours at a time often without breaks to eat, sleep or even use the bathroom. Many come to view the real world as fake.
This was just too cool not to share.
When Carlos Torres started designing his IKO Creative Prosthetic System, he hoped to do more than create just another artificial limb. He wanted something that would excite kids and help combat the social isolation the disabled often suffer alongside their physical injuries. To that end, he created a functional prosthetic arm that doubles as a Lego toy-set.
Kristin van Ogtrop poses a very serious question in her recent column in Time Magazine. There is a large movement to give kids more freedom of action, partially in response to the enormous societal trend to overprotect our kids and to become helicopter parents. I pontificated on this very subject recently here on EID.
Free-rangers are quick to point out that although our society is actually safer than it has ever been (child abductions are incredibly rare, and violent crime has declined nearly 15% in the past decade, according to the FBI), the number of kids suffering from anxiety is skyrocketing