Welcome to this Christmas/Seasonal bonus episode examining evidence-based EdTech in toys for children and young people.
Featuring two hosts from the EDUCATE Ventures Research team, founder Rose Luckin and former headteacher and Chief Education Advisor Karine George, this seasonal special looks at a number of EdTech must-have toys and the questions that should be asked of them by any parent and carer looking to spend their money wisely.
Toys are tools of play, and the educational toy market is booming. Below you can find our list of questions to ask of the technology. Head to our website for details of the toys/models in question to help you hunt down the best deals across the holiday season and whenever you are thinking about EdTech across the rest of the year.
- User Agency – one of the potential advantages technology brings is the potential for a child to gain some agency – to be in charge. What does this tech do to enable agency?
- Versatility – is the toy versatile to meet specific needs? For example, if the child has problems with fine motor skills then small controllers or keyboards may not be the best option? If they are visually impaired, they may need text to speech or a connected refreshable braille display. Ensure the games are age appropriate
- Value for Money – will you need to buy additional accessories? Are there subscription costs? How durable is the toy?
- Evidence – what evidence exists to say this toy works or has value, and are you convinced by it?
- Long-Term Engagement – will this toy or device live past a honeymoon period?
- Safety/Ethics – does this toy connect to the internet? If it can then two issues need to be addressed: what can the child access through this device, and what information about the child is being tracked or recorded and how is this being used?
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