Last week, the Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against two developers of apps for young children, Fisher-Price and Open Solutions. The complaints allege that both developers’ marketing claims about the educational benefits of their apps are unsupported, unethical, and illegal.
Needless to say, this formal complaint has spurred lots of conversation in libraryland about apps and babies. We here at Little eLit believe that this issues of apps and babies is not a clear-cut issue, and we’re seeking to read as much as we can about this particular topic so that we can have informed, thoughtful, and–hopefully–productive discussions. Here’s our current reading list:
Some news coverage of the CCFC complaints:
- “Children’s Advocacy Group Faults Learning Apps for Babies” by Natasha Singer on the New York Times Bits Blog, Aug. 7
- “Do Apps That Advertise Learning Make Your Baby Smarter? Advocacy Group Says No” by Jeffrey Brown on PBS NewsHour, Aug. 8
Responses to the CCFC complaints:
- “This App Will Not Harm Your Baby” by Hanna Rosin on Slate.com, Aug. 8
- “CCFC Says Apps are Bad for Young Children. Here’s Our Response” by Warren Buckleitner on Children’s Technology Review, Aug. 9
- “Are Learning Apps Good for Babies?” by Rachel G. Payne on School Library Journal, Aug. 9
You may also be interested in checking out librarian Emily Lloyd’s response to the CCFC complaints, which we posted here yesterday.
Do you know of additional articles or research studies you think should be included in this list? Please share in the comments.
I’ve been wanting to address the media coverage and reaction to the news this week that the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has urged the Federal Exchange Commission to look into the marketing practices of two makers of apps targeted to babies, Fisher-Price and Open Solutions. In particular, I feel the need to respond to Rachel G. Payne’s August 9th post on the School Library Journal website, “Are Learning Apps Good For Babies?” Since the form my blogging most commonly takes these days is a slide deck, I offer the below: