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Obsession Over Kids’ Screen Time Misses the Point – London School of Economics

September 18, 2017

This Mom’s reaction to a school’s “1940s propaganda poster” about screen time goes to show how important it is to call out and understand extreme opinions about technology. Her points for how we should deal with kids and technology can help even the most tech-averse parents. Read the full article by The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Lipa Bites into Business at TechCrunch Disrupt

September 6, 2017

We’re on the road again and headed back to the Golden State: California. This time we’ll be in San Francisco to host a table at Disrupt SF 2017, a conference of developers, investors, and startups running from September 18 to 20.

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For tech startups, Disrupt is the most important conference in the world. Hosted by leading webzine TechCrunch, the three day meetup is filled with the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the industry. Disrupt brings together the top gamers, designers, and investors to talk about the hottest trends on the market today and how the tech and gaming world is changing.

Disrupt opens with a hackathon on September 16-17, where teams of developers work together to create a product in 24 hours. After which, they’ll present their project to a panel of judges before a crowd of thousands for their chance to win any number of valuable prizes.

On September 18, the conference officially begins when TechCrunch’s editor-in-chief, Matthew Panzarino, takes the stage to get things rolling. The event includes talks from such notables as Heather Adkins, a founding member of Google’s security team, top tech investor Yuri Milner, Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest, to even Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warrior’s MVP who will be discussing brand management. Talks are mostly focused on investment and the future of the tech industry.

The highlight of the conference though is the Startup Battlefield, which gives early stage startups a chance to compete in the Disrupt Cup for a prize of $50,000. And since this will be in a room full of eager investors looking for the next big thing, who knows what else these startups can bring. Past winners have included Mixer, SirenCare, and Mint, with each company going home with over millions of dollars in new investment capital.

Disrupt SF is held every year by technology webzine TechCrunch. This year the main conference is from September 18-20 at Pier 48 in San Francisco, CA, USA. If you’re going to be there, shoot us an email at Sumudu.Perera@lipalearning.com and we’ll be happy to share some coffee and fun!

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Reading on Screen is Fun

Ladislava Whitcroft, Educational Specialist for Lipa

September 04, 2017

Do your children love reading on screen? Do they look forward to this magic moment when you sit them on your lap and read them a story from your electronic device before they go to bed? No wonder – electronic books are becoming more popular among kids as well as adults. But you might be wondering if reading on screen is really good for us. This article will bring much needed answers to your concerns as well as useful information about some of our products. In Lipa, we use e-books, which are books that are published in electronic format and not printed on paper. We have also been developing interactive books that enable children to interact with the screen.

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Will Electronic Books Replace Paper Books?

How come that so many people love e-books? For starters, e-books are easy to get a hold of and store. You can take your mobile device everywhere, which means you have access to countless books – no matter if you’re on a plane or waiting for a doctor appointment. This is great for kids too, as you’ll always have a lightweight form of healthy entertainment on hand. E-books are eco-friendly and save the millions of trees harvested each year to make paper books, newspapers, and other reading materials.

Some are worried, though, that e-books will completely replace paper books. But we don’t think there needs to be a competition. There will always be people who love touching and feeling paper when turning the pages of a book. Some will still prefer reading on paper and others on screen; most will use both as it suits them. After all, the more people read quality books, be it on screen or on paper, the better.

We Want Motivated Readers

The most important part of reading is motivation and that is what e-books and interactive books are good at. A recently published study has come up with some interesting conclusions. Parents were reading to their toddlers aged 17 to 26 months from electronic and printed books with identical content, and asked them questions related to the content of the book. The researchers found out that the toddlers who were read the electronic books paid more attention, made themselves more available for story time, participated more in the process, and commented more about the content than the toddlers who were read the print versions of the books.

We believe that it’s this active participation and shared discussions about what we read that makes the time spent with a book most precious. Of course, it’s difficult to generalize because the study was conducted with quite a small number of 102 children. However, its results are not so surprising because electronic books are attractive for the generation of digital natives.

We believe that it’s this active participation and shared discussions about what we read that makes the time spent with a book most precious. Of course, it’s difficult to generalize because the study was conducted with quite a small number of 102 children. However, its results are not so surprising because electronic books are attractive for the generation of digital natives.

There are also studies that show that boys and reluctant readers respond especially well to e-books. This is quite important information as it’s boys who generally read less than girls. What they like is that e-books are easy to access, and you can enlarge and change the screen color to suit your needs. Not to mention all children love technology. We believe that the most important factor to watch is how e-books influence children’s reading habits. If they encourage reluctant readers to read more, then their effect is definitely positive.

The Magic of Reading

As reading experts say, when reading to kids, it’s important to engage children in the story. A good reader equals an engaged reader. The real magic happens when we enter into a dialogue with the book. Talk to your children about the stories you read, engage them with interesting questions and games, and you will be rewarded by many happy giggles.

Lipa e-books will help you enjoy quality time with your kids. They come with wonderful pictures that add to the meaning of the text. You can point to them while reading, let kids admire them, describe them, talk about them and generally have fun. We also include questions and activities that engage kids, make them think, develop their imagination and inspire rich discussions and fun games. Parents can ask questions about characters and their feelings, direct kids’ attention to funny and interesting words and situations, make predictions and appeal to kids’ imagination.

In Lipa books, you find ideas that are relatable to everyday life, such as friendship or respect for nature. We cover exciting topics like magical wizards or life in medieval castles, and adventurous kids can take a journey into space with our interactive book Lipa Planets. We strive to promote diverse perspectives by introducing characters from different parts of the world. Our priority is to offer stories with good educational value that are also exciting, fun, and engaging for all children.

Are Interactive Books Too Distracting?

Children find interactive books especially appealing. Among other things, they like that these books contain many features that they can interact with. Kids experience magic moments when they touch a picture and see how it moves or listen to the sounds that it makes.

However, some authors suggest that these features can be too distracting for kids as they overwhelm kids’ working memory. Simply put, children might concentrate more on the bells-and-whistles than on the story itself. But a healthy balance of interactive features can enhance comprehension. That happens if the interaction adds to or explains the meaning of the text. When we read about a girl who made a joke, there can be the sound of laughter; when we encounter an unknown bird we can see how it flaps its wings and hear the sound it makes.

In one part of Lipa Planets, children get a clear demonstration of the Solar System once they touch the screen. At this moment, the planets start to orbit around the Sun, which provides a clear visual image of the phenomena. Some interactions help explain the meaning of difficult words and expressions, or motivate kids to understand the text – for example, by asking kids to follow instructions, like tap the cat on the hat and see what happens. To sum up, interactive features can be not only engaging but also meaningful.

Children of the Digital Era

Another point we want to address is the fact that we live in digital era. In our daily life, we simply can’t avoid the many distractions offered by screens. Interactive books introduce children to the world of technology in a kid-friendly way, by experimenting and exploring. Children will learn the skills related to reading on a screen, which are skills they will need for their daily lives. For example, they will learn how to interpret interactive cues and determine which ones are relevant to the story.

How to Choose E-books and Interactive Books

When deciding which product to get, parents should choose wisely. Good e-books and interactive books are those that:

  1. Have rich language, which is appropriate for a child’s age;
  2. Have an engaging and well-structured story;
  3. Contain quality illustrations that add to and explain the meaning of the story;
  4. Deal with topics that interest and educate children and are relatable;
  5. Have content that provides for rich discussion;
  6. Bring non-stereotypical views of different groups and gender roles;  
  7. Contain more interactions that support comprehension and meaning and fewer distracting interactions;
  8. Contain interactions strategically distributed to enhance motivation.

Lipa books have been created with great care by a team of educational experts. We have all these principles in mind when creating great products for you and your kids.

 

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How to Explain Terrorism and Scary News to Your Kids – BBC

Our kids encounter news stories everywhere they go, whether on TV, on the internet, or simply from friends. That includes stories about terrorist attacks. As parents, how do we approach our kids’ questions and worries? Do we try to shield them completely from the news, or do we answer with honesty and reassurance? Consulting clinical psychologist Emma Citron gives us some advice on the best ways to talk to our kids about terrorism. Read the full article from the BBC here.

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The Future is Here for Kids’ Fashion – Fast Company

August 3, 2017

They’re gender-neutral. They’re waterproof. They grow with your child.

These amazing expandable clothes from Petit Pli not only encourage sustainable and cost-effective living, but they look super modern, too. Unlike other expanding clothes like “Bubble Shirts”, these are designed to keep their form during the growth spurt ages between 6 to 36 months.

Read the full article here!

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