Archive for November 19, 2020

A webinar “What makes children’s apps educational” run by our lab

Last Thursday, on 12th November, Dr Gemma Taylor and Joanna Kolak from our lab ran an online webinar for parents and early years professionals entitled “What makes children’s apps educational?”

During the webinar we discussed app features and app design while showing participants videos including examples of activities from the most popular apps for preschool children. We discussed examples of activities in the apps that have high educational potential (based on the research that we conducted from a developmental perspective) and some that do not meet the criteria of being educational. We focused on app features such as learning goal, meaningful learning and problem solving. At the end of the session we had a great discussion with the participants of the webinar and we answered some interesting questions about children’s apps.

Thank you to everyone who joined our session. We will soon plan more webinars about selecting educational apps for children, including one for app developers – watch this space!

Child Development Podcast – episode 8

We’re pleased to present a new episode of our podcast in which Joanna Kolak talks to Dr Marina Bazhydai, lecturer in Psychology at Lancaster University. Marina is a developmental scientist interested in infant curiosity and its effect on successful learning outcomes, developmental precursors to creativity, active information seeking and information giving in early childhood. 

Marina was telling us about how young children learn new information through social means, how they decide who to trust in uncertain situations and what are the developmental precursors of creativity. She also gave some practical tips for parents on how to support their children’s active information seeking in social learning, play and exploration.

Our today’s guest, Dr Marina Bazhydai from Lancaster University

Here are the resources that Marina mentioned in the interview:

Marina’s paper “I don’t know but I know who to ask: 12-month-olds actively seek information from knowledgeable adults”

A video abstract of the above mentioned paper

Marina’s book chapter “From curiosity, to wonder, to creativity: a cognitive developmental psychology perspective” (starts on page 144)

Paper entitled “One‐year‐olds think creatively, just like their parents.”

Paper entitled “Two‐year‐olds can socially learn to think divergently.”

Child Development podcast – episode 7

In today’s episode of our lab’s podcast Joanna Kolak talks to Dr Priya Silverstein, Postdoctoral Researcher in the CoGDev Lab at the University of Surrey. Priya is currently studying the relationship between Lego construction ability, spatial thinking and numeracy achievement and she was telling us about the studies she’s running. Priya was also explaining why are spatial skills important in children’s lives, how do children develop them and how can parents help them train those skills, including the use of digital technologies.

Dr Priya Silverstein from the University of Surrey

Here are some resources that Priya mentioned during our conversation:

Block Construction Skills For Mathematics (BLOCKS) – Lego project that Priya is involved in

BLOCKS – online game for children