Sep 2012 14

Recently I am in the middle of thoughts, debates and considerations about the different purposes that apps for kids have. Certainly, most of them aim to be fun since they need to invoke kids’ interest to play. At the same time quite a lot of apps and games boast their educational value and content. Can this be combined or not? Should it be combined in the end?

Every app wants to be fun

Certainly even if your app is strictly educational you don’t want it to be dull! I could even believe that people looking for the “best educational apps” actually assume that it will be at the very least engaging to play.

Ask your kid – what did he or she do in the kindergarten? The answer will more often than not be “I just played…”. But ask the teacher! They have been reading, dancing, drawing, sorting, telling, singing and learning all day long. That is quite an extensive “just played”!

A similar challenge is ahead of every developer of educational app. Ask what happens with the apps that do not deliver engagement? They are not being played and not even purchased in the first place!

You need to pick just one option

But what happens to the apps claiming to be fun? Usually they are given kids while the parents are busy themselves. Sort of a virtual babysitter that you can also pass to the back-seat while driving. That is great for the apps intended to be just a pure entertainment. But it is certainly not the faith that you want your Great Educational app to have!

Therefore I have a feeling that apps boasting to have lots of fun automatically make parents think it is a back-seat app. At the same time if I want the app to convey the educational value it needs to be played in a different way. Perhaps at certain times of the day or week, perhaps together with parents. Only then it may actually be useful. This rises a challenge even to the greatest educational apps – how to convince parents and kids without playing the “fun” card? Oh my, the app needs to be really great.

We are choosing

The reason I brought this up is that we at often need to choose between the different ways of presenting our apps as well. It is definitely a fun challenge, however it is not always easy.¬†Especially with the upcoming app that I would bring more towards the educational category. But hey, it will of course be fun too – I believe that your kids will definitely “just play” with it!

Stay tuned and let us know if you have any thoughts in the comments!

 

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