ZillyDilly for iPad - Psychiatrist's Web Browser Promotes Kids' Growth

January 11, 2013 in Education (E)

[prMac.com] Wilmette, Illinois - MyDigitalFamily today is pleased to announce ZillyDilly 2.1 for iPad, an update to its web browser for kids, whose use promotes children's emotional and intellectual growth, while eliminating unhealthy influences and overconsumption of media. The app features flexible Media Plans that kids and parents create together, based on the recommendations and rankings of web sites by media expert and renowned child psychiatrist Dr. Eitan Schwarz. The iPad app helps kids ages 2 to 17 stick to a balanced, healthful, media diet.

Feature Highlights:
* World's first expert-curated browser for children
* Expert review and ranking of online games and websites for kids
* Media Plans that offer a balanced, healthful, media diet
* Fully customizable by the parent, teacher or other caregiver
* Kids love exploring all the iPad activities available through ZillyDilly

Key to the Media Plans created by ZillyDilly are GOs, Growth Opportunities, afforded by select games and web sites. The cartoon caricature of Dr. S introduces parents and kids to five different smiley-faced friends. These friends represent the five different categories of content in each kid's personal Media Plan. ZillyDilly provides recommendations regarding the amount of time the child should spend in each of the five categories weekly, tracks their usage, displays time remaining, and disables access when the goal is reached. The app allows users to follow the Media Plan that is automatically generated based on the sex and age of the child, or users can customize their Plan by substituting items from a list of approved web sites and games.

The Five Growth Opportunity Icons: Friends that Help Structure the Media Plan
* Family - these friends have websites to help families stay close
* Talking - these show how to behave with other kids, grownups and strangers
* Citizen - this one shows us about caring, doing good things, being kind to animals, and protecting the environment
* Student - this friend has websites to make your brain strong and body healthy
* Playing - and this one is just for having fun

Dr. Eitan Schwarz, recognized media expert and author of the critically acclaimed book, "Kids, Parents & Technology: A Guide for Young Families," has created the world's first expert-curated browser for children. The app provides a portal to more than 70 online video games and hundreds of fully functional, handpicked websites. Dr. Schwarz and his staff have devoted much effort refining their proprietary child- and family-centered rating system at the heart of ZillyDilly.

All websites are rated for safety and efficacy by age group. Sites are scored according to 30 weighted criteria in each of several categories that include safety, Growth Opportunities, esthetics, parent/teacher resources, and other information. For example, scores for sites with distracting ads and other ways to navigate or wander off-task are adjusted for intended age, with heavier penalties assessed sites intended for younger children. On the other hand, awards, favorable reviews, excellence in delivering distraction-free Growth Opportunities, favorable purchaser comments, and bilingual content enhance a site's total score. All sites are ranked by score, and only listed sites will come up in the browser.

Evidence continues to mount that interactive tablets do not pose the same health risks to toddlers and preschoolers as television does. Unlike television, which can damage psychological development, touchscreen devices - like tablets - have been found to promote learning. Recent research has shown that touchscreens can enhance learning and that calm, creative activities on the touchscreen, such as painting, were similar to their real world counterparts in that they "do not seem to adversely affect children's behavior or attention in the short term."

With its unprecedented ability to capture and hold the attention of kids, the iPad is potentially a tool for greatly enhancing learning and development at every stage of growth from age two onwards. Moreover, tablets are an essential part of preparing kids for a lifetime of responsible technology use, as these devices become increasingly a part of everyday life at school and at home.

Unfortunately, the iPad's immense potential as a positive influence in the lives of children is matched only by the challenge of realizing that potential, given the risk-filled, utterly chaotic universe of the World Wide Web. ZillyDilly is a revolutionary meta-app designed especially to harness the positive potential of the Internet for human growth. It is designed to empower parents with an easy and effective method of providing their child with all of the best the iPad has to offer.

"As a practicing physician specializing in child, family and adolescent psychiatry, I have listened to countless parents express their frustration over the lack of authoritative guidance regarding the many hours their children spend online," commented Eitan D. Schwarz MD, founder of MyDigitalFamily. "ZillyDilly offers a practical, well-tested solution. It will convince your child that the iPad is much more than a game delivery system and that exhilarating, fulfilling Growth Opportunities await online."

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 5.1 or later
* 0.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
ZillyDilly for iPad 2.1 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. With free updates, the app allows the user to create a Media Plan for one child. Additional Media Plans can be added through an in-app purchase of $4.99 (USD) per child. Review copies are available on request.

MyDigitalFamily, Ltd. in Wilmette, Illinois was founded in 2012 as a bootstrap startup by Eitan D. Schwarz MD, DLFAPA, FAACAP, aligning technology to benefit kids and families and empower and educate parents to teach children good media consumption habits. ZillyDilly is their first product in an area currently in chaos. Dr. S (R) continues in his 42nd year of practicing child, family and adolescent psychiatry. He is double-boarded, an author, a member of the faculty at Northwestern University Medical School, and an expert and researcher in kids' media consumption. Copyright (C) 2012-2013 MyDigitalFamily, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.


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