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CTR August 2019
Vol. 27 No. 8 Issue 235
Download this issue as a PDF
CTREX 6.0 is live, plus Trends from Hong Kong, Tracking Virtual Worlds and a lesson in Slackleashing

“Once iPad popularity reach a tipping point in mid 2013 things in the online virtual world space started to change. Scott Traylor, Founder and CEO, 360KID

The most recent update of our review database (at http://www.ctrex.us ) is a big one. We've tried to incorporate as many suggestions as possible, and are happy with the result. Have a look and let us know what you think. Here are the headlines.
• Better searching. Besides more speed, we now offer a search algorithm that can be toggled on or off that places emphasis on keywords. You can also control logical operators as well as AND searches to combine search criteria to really drill down your search, with OR Searches to pull up all results for a tag.
• Award integration. One click access to the winners and mentions from CTR’s two juried award programs (KAPi and BolognaRagazzi Digital Award). This is part of our ongoing effort to bring you objective expert voices.
• Rubric evaluations. Products can now be rated with specific rubrics, and you can filter search results by rubric results. You can also see all products evaluated with a particular rubric or make your own rubric from the existing quality attributes.
• A reward for ethical products. We now have an ethical seal that is generated by high ratings on the Fred Rogers rubric.
• Article archive. You can view CTR Articles published on Medium.com.
• Improved navigation. We’ve rebuilt our search dashboard so that vital commands are included at top of search results and included more paths between related pages. You’ll also note a new logged in indicator and more polish throughout.
• Bookmarks! Subcribers can keep their own lists using a folder system and a bookmark organizer.

It’s always a thrill to see your own ideas in print, on real paper. It’s even more exciting when your words are bound for life in good company. Such is the case with a new book, out this month from Routledge with the title “Exploring Key Issues in Early Childhood and Technology.” The 17 chapter authors were selected in an online poll, and editor Chip Donohue worked tirelessly to mix all the parts into a cohesive volume. My chapter is the last, called “Childhood 2040 - A Wishlist” in which attempt to predict the future, after evaluating a prior prediction I made 20 years ago. Given content inside these covers, there’s no doubt this volume will become a must-read for anyone interested in the how technology can affect the lives of young children. Learn more at http://bitly.com/2GF058r

Imagine if Jean Piaget and BF Skinner met one day at a dog park to take their pups around the pond. BF’s border collie would be impressive, with his precise, crisp responses to the stimulous of his master’s leash. Piaget’s hound, on the other hand, would enjoy the new smells along the path, as his master followed his interests with plenty of give in the leash. This thought experiment led me to create the sport of slackleashing. As my daughter Sarah Buckleitner notes in her blog Feathery Thoughts, it has implications for raising a child. See at http://bitly.com/2GCdjD8

In the early virtual world days (2006), when Club Penguin and Webkinz were just beginning to be the biggest online destination for kids, Scott Traylor started collecting online data using a tool called Compete.com. Fortunately for us, he followed this obsession, tracking amost 600 virtual world, with names like NeoPets, Poptropica, WoozWorld, Jumpstart, Wizard101, Roblox, Fantage, Moshi Monsters, Minecraft, and Animal Jam to name a few. As you can see from his graphs, the iPad was a game changer, because it didn’t support Flash. See the full article, at

On page 3 of this issue, you'll find an article by Christopher Byrne on some trends from theHong Kong Toys and Games Fair in January remains one of the most exciting launch platforms for children’s tech in the toy industry. No other international toy show devotes as much space to showcasing new products, and the seminar program brings together experts from around the world to discuss technology and educational trends and how those are influencing product development.

The 45th version of the show, put on by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, continued to put special focus on STEM, STEAM, A/R, V/R in dedicated areas. The toy industry always reflects its culture, so the number and diversity of the products at the show reflects the emphasis the educational systems in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and most of Asia put on learning through play. Still, while learning is a paramount value, toys still have to be fun.

Beasts of Balance
Cosmic Cubs DressUp
Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzles
Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
*My City: Pajama Party
*Pango Musical March
*Pepi Wonder World
Phiro Pro