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CTR March 2021
Free Apps That Can Steal a Childhood; Math Apps for the Pandemic Slide plus 21 New Reviews

“Dare mighty things.” The message coded in binary on a parachute by Ian Clark — a NASA Perseverance engineer.

MARS IS COOL
The easter egg style message printed in binary code on the Perseverance parachute (“Dare mighty things.” ) was excerpted from a larger quote by Teddy Roosevelt, who said "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure ... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." Have a look at the photograph at https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020. Can you dust off your binary and crack the code? 

MANY POPULAR CHILDREN’S APPS TRICK CHILDREN
Back here on earth, parents are starting to loath their children’s tablets, for good reason. “It creates an endless source of conflict in our house — all he wants to do is watch movies” said one mom with a 2 1/2 year-old-son (in full disclosure, we’re talking about my Grandson).  My advice remains the same. If movies are the only option on your iPad, expect trouble. You’ll bring all the linear media “glued passively to the screen’ issues into your home. If you hide the icons to YouTube, Disney+ and son on, and fill your iPad with “nutritious” developmentally appropriate options, like the math apps we’ve described on page 6 your child’s attraction to his or her iPad can become something you feel good about.

Another source of trouble comes when busy parents or children download “free” apps that are specifically engineered to tease children into spending lots of real money. On page 3 of this issue, I’ve started to publish my analysis of Apple’s top 100 kids’ apps. My working title of this work is called "Like Taking Candy from a Baby, Revisited" playing off the title of the 2008 paper I published on children’s Internet sites, at https://bit.ly/3v5EBsQ. As part of this work, I’ve created a set of seven ethical content descriptors. See page 3.

Finally, I’m happy to inform you that Dust or Magic has a date and location. It will be May 27-29, 2022 at Asilomar in Monterey CA. That’s plenty of time to get vaccinated. Stay safe; and enjoy the issue. Feedback always welcome.


Daniel Tiger's Storybooks (update)
Dave and Ava Learn and Play
Dino Fun Kids Dinosaur Games
Disney Story Realms
Exhibit Explorations
Family Feud
Fuser
I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and the Liar
Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
My Little Pony Color By Magic
*Nice Skating
OK Play
*PJ Masks Moonlight Heros
RaceCraft: Build & Race
Scooby Doo Mystery Cases
*Sesame Street Family Play
Toca Life World Build Stories
*Urban City Stories
We Read Too

Just because a child isn’t being educated doesn’t mean they are not learning. Make every day a learning experience by asking children to write, read and talk. The libraries are open; so get books to keep them reading.

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