Tech with Kids: How to Assess Reviews, Find Quality Apps

June 19, 2015 One of the thorny questions I posed at the recent Tech with Kids Conference involved how to "review the reviewers."There are a wide array of reputable resources...Common Sense Media … [Read more...]

CCFC: A Positive Pick, Even When Calling Out Negative TOADY Toys

Dec. 4, 2012 No question I continue to land hard on watchdogs that aren’t woofin’ when it comes to media and marketing’s impact on kids, but nobody does it better than Campaign for a Commercial Free … [Read more...]

Blizzard’s Snow Job: Security About As Tight As Parental Controls

Nov. 14, 2012 Call it karma, payback, or just ‘got caught,’ the class action lawsuit against Blizzard Entertainment (makers of mega-hits like Diablo, World of Warcraft, Starcraft etc) is really about … [Read more...]

War Games Blitz the Homefront: Halo 4, Call of Duty Livestream

Nov. 12, 2012 There’s irony noting many who’ve never served in the armed forces are in a firestorm of shoot ‘em ups with newly hyped titles lobbed into the media mix like grenades bombarding the … [Read more...]

Life 360: Family Locator Apps-Mapping the Shades of Grey (Part 1)

Oct. 15, 2012  Teens call them ‘trackers,’ parents call them ‘tools,’ and the telecom industry refers to GPS and LBS (location based services) as sheer “growth” in a mobile market that’s booming with … [Read more...]

Mattel’s Manipulative Monster High Marketing Machine: Unkind.

June 15, 2012 Last year when I wrote about Mattel’s vampy campy Monster High dolls I purposely didn’t even name their brand, hoping it would quietly fizzle and bury itself in the outcry of parents … [Read more...]

Sexism in Video Games: Tropes, Trolls and Terrific Upstanders

Update YET AGAIN: Oct. 15, 2014 Reprising Anita Sarkeesian's important words, "The most radical thing you can do to support women online" given the cancellation of her Utah State University event … [Read more...]

Tilt World’s Nicole Lazzaro (Interview) Putting Emotion Into Game Play

Sept. 2, 2016 Update Adding a few recent finds along these lines of 'putting emotion into game play' like "Shelter, Paws" and other empathy based critter care games to edge towards seeding compassion … [Read more...]

Oscar Is Worthy! See Chimpanzee, Support Jane Goodall’s Work

April 18, 2012 No secret I’m a fan of all creatures great and small, wildly applauding every effort to impart nature’s magnificence to 21st century kids. Whether it’s the brand new launch of … [Read more...]

Kids, Media & Intimacy: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Update Feb. 13, 2015 With what many of us have deemed as 50 Shades of Abuse and disempowerment blitzing the media on Valentine's Day, glamorizing violence against women, the impact of media's … [Read more...]

Lego Friends: Please Build on Possibility, Brain Plasticity

April 28, 2016 "37 year old son of Lego billionaire takes the helm as Vice Chairman" Congrats, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, now that you've inherited the Lego legacy, and named your daughter and five … [Read more...]

How Can We Use Media To Gift Without Buying?

Dec. 16, 2015 Update For those who appreciated the post "Toy Joy vs Consumption Junction, or one of the original posts about stuffed animals with cellphones, "Can something be done about all this … [Read more...]

Sesame Street Takes On Bullying in Shows, Talking Points

Oct. 18, 2011 “Look at those feet!” Big Bird is told. “They’re ridiculous!” --“They are?”As he tries to get accepted into the “Good Bird Club,” he shifts from “happy to be me” to hanging his feathered … [Read more...]

Food Marketing to Kids: Occupy Wall Street Applies Here, Too

Oct. 16, 2011 It's Blog Action Day today which coincides with United Nations' World Food Day, so my contribution among 80 countries participating is about food policy, profiteering and public health. … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Spongebob, Pt2: A Preschool Parenting Lens

Sept. 20, 2011 In part one, the prelude to this post, I tried to frame the notion of critical thinking skills as a sphere to hold up to the light and rotate slowly instead of banging out opinions in … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Spongebob: Reasoning, Research, & Critical Thinking

Sept. 19, 2011 “So, Amy, whose side are you on with the pundits talking and the press reporting about the new University of Virginia Spongebob research?” Whaaaa? Sides? Really? That's cartoonish, … [Read more...]

Selling Reluctant Readers: 10 Marketing Tactics To Amp Up Fun

Feb. 14, 2017 Valentine's Day Update: More ways to encourage reading, with therapy dogs (via MindshiftKQED Learning)  and a few "Kidlit" picks for Valentine's Day that streamed across my desk, here … [Read more...]

The LAMP Shines Light on Media Literacy: NAMLE Recap

Aug. 5, 2011 In internet time, the couple of weeks that have passed since NAMLE  (the Nat'l Assoc of Media Literacy Educators' conference) may SEEM like a virtual eternity or 'old news' as digital … [Read more...]

Harry Potter Alliance: Using Pop Culture Pervasiveness Positively

July 17, 2011 No, I haven’t seen the Harry Potter grand finale yet.Yes, it’s been covered from every angle, dominating Twitter streams, Facebook status lines and yielding the largest weekend box … [Read more...]

Grab-n-Go Squeezable Pouch Foods: Ease or Eww?

Oct. 16, 2015 Update: Heads up on the voluntary recall of GoGoSqueez pouches with these summer 2016 pull dates, which have had mold discovered in them. I first found the mold in our own stash in … [Read more...]