#256 – EdTech Toys for the Holiday Season
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What’s in this episode?
A Christmas/Seasonal Bonus Episode covering EdTech 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 the tools of play, and the educational toy market is booming. Below you can find not just our list of questions to ask of the technology, but details of the toys/models in question, to help you hunt down the best deals across the holiday season, but 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?
The EdTech toys under review
Take great photos and videos of you and your friends with this dual lens 5 megapixel camera by VTech®! The two lenses can be swapped between at the touch of a button, making photo and video taking of any occasion effortless. Add fun effects, stamps and frames to your photos and videos, or use the auto-portrait feature to take photos automatically. Record your voice and apply funny effects to it! Other features include; 4X digital zoom, fun learning games, wacky photo shaker, photo editor and more. All of this is easily seen on the large 2.4” colour LCD screen.
The red Toniebox is the musical storybox that brings magic to family life. Just pick a Tonie. Pop it on the box. And transform bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens into wondrous new worlds. Best of all, little hands control the action – meaning they’re free to play for as long as they like while you get on with something else. Screen-free magic, for every home. Each red Toniebox comes with a red Creative-Tonie that allows you to upload 90 minutes of songs, stories and more. To kick-start the adventure, their new friend comes pre-loaded with 1 hour of songs & stories.
This award-winning audio player fills your home with inspiring audio and lets kids lead the way. It’s the heartbeat of the family home. Kids from 3-12+ use physical cards to explore the best audiobooks, music, activities and educational audio. No microphone. No camera. No ads.
A new smartwatch for kids with a lot of functions such as video calls, GPS locating, SOS button, games and more! Smartwatch for Less brings the best possible quality for less. But when it comes to kids, they believe that quality is much more important than a lower price. That is why the SFL smartwatch is one of the most expensive models on the site. This smartwatch can be a game-changer when it comes to safety and entertainment for your child. You can check where your child is via GPS or you can make a video call to make sure they are doing okay!
The best-selling Code & Go® Robot Mouse Activity Set with Colby, the code and go robot mouse is perfect for STEM learning in the classroom. Developed with teachers in mind, this interactive robot mouse with STEM challenge activity set introduces early years coding concepts through fun, hands-on activities. It’s also great for use at home.
The Original digital pet you loved in 1997 is back with a galaxy shell! With original generation 2 programming, you feed it, clean up after it, take care of it and even discipline it if it’s bothering you when it doesn’t need you! Plus, you can play the Numbers game! How you take care of your Tamagotchi and how you do in the game, determines which Adult Tamagotchi you’ll get! Includes the CR2032 battery and attaches to your bag so it goes everywhere.
Rose Luckin – Professor of Learner Centred Design, UCL, Founder, EDUCATE Ventures Research
Rosemary (Rose) Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab. She was named one of the 20 most influential people in education in the Seldon List, 2017. Rose is Founder of EDUCATE Ventures Research Ltd., a London hub for start-ups, researchers and educators developing evidence-based educational technology. She is past president and current treasurer of the International Society for AI in Education and co-founder of the Institute for Ethical AI in Education.
Karine George – Former Headteacher, Chief Education Advisor, EDUCATE Ventures Research
An award-winning, future reimagining educationalist, Karine spent more than 20 years as headteacher in an ‘Outstanding’ Oftsed-rated school, She is an active research practitioner and ties research, business and education together to transform leadership and pedagogy. An advocate for technology’s support of 21st century teaching and learning, she has reported on its use to the DfE, penned numerous articles on educational issues and was a contributing author for ‘Sustainable School Transformation: an inside-out school-led approach’.
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