Parents' Choice Foundation to Evaluate Mobile Apps Marketed to Children

February 27, 2010 in iAnnouncements (F)

[] Timonium, Maryland - It's no secret that applications ("apps") for the iPhone have become a mainstream source of play, learning, resource, and assistance. Pose a question about where to find the best independent toy store, recipe for homemade meatloaf or the definition of a word and you're bound to hear "there's an app for that."

Whether designed to take advantage of every waking teachable moment, or created to postpone an impending meltdown, parents created the "pass back" phenomenon, handing over their cherished mobile devices loaded with child-friendly applications to the youngest back seat drivers. But with tens of thousands of apps for kids - on the iTunes store alone - how are parents managing their children's appetites for mobile content?

At the forefront of reviewing children's media and toys for more than thirty years, Parents' Choice Foundation wants to know which apps are worthwhile, which ones introduce new ideas, teach a skill, show something old in a new way or extend play value. What is the quality of user experience? Is the content age appropriate? Is the game play intuitive? These are among the questions Parents' Choice is raising. To that end, the foundation is launching "Mobile Applications" as the first new category in the Parents' Choice Awards(TM) program in more than a decade.

The Parents' Choice Awards(TM) program is now accepting applications for the Mobile Applications category until March 5, 2010. The winners will be announced on April 15, 2010. Categories include:

* Educational
* Books
* Photo & Video Tools
* Fun & Games
* Homework Helpers
* Entertainment
* Music Makers

"This is not about whether or not kids should have the smartest phone in the world. Cell phones have revolutionized game play, information gathering and dissemination and socializing. Parents' Choice is interested in the content of mobile applications
marketed to children, and how can we help guide parents to the best apps for fun-filled learning on the go," said Claire S. Green, President of Parents' Choice Foundation. "Our friends and colleagues at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center have called upon Parents' Choice as one of country's three watchdog groups that should test the claims of "apps" that market educational value for children. We're ready to take the challenge.

Parents' Choice Foundation is the nation's oldest and most respected nonprofit guide to quality children's media and toys. An independent testing and information organization since 1978, Parents' Choice is dedicated to providing trusted recommendations for books, toys, music,video games, digital media and more. Parents' Choice reviews, evaluates and recommends products that help kids grow- imaginatively, physically, morally and mentally - fairly priced products that are fun, safe and socially sound. The Parents' Choice website, a public service resource, serves as a clearinghouse for children's media and toys. For more than 30 years, parents, grandparents, educators, librarians and healthcare professionals have relied on Parents' Choice for suggestions to help foster an environment for kids to read more, play more and learn more.


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