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Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.

REVIEWS$show=/search/label/review

Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.

PROJECTS$show=/search/label/project

Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.

STEM$show=/search/label/stem

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In recent years there is an increased focus in these areas of study. We like to include Art and Design too, so we often talk about STEAM (A stands for Art). At Tech Age Kids we believe Coding is a new literacy and children need to understand how technology works, practice making skills and grow in their curiosity to make a better future for us all.

CODING$show=/search/label/coding

Coding is increasingly being recognised as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn to code at school or at a coding club, but it's brilliant if they get support at home too.

ELECTRONICS$show=/search/label/electronics

We think it's really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn how to make circuits and write code to control hardware. Younger kids can start with conductive playdough. For kids who like to combine craft and tech, littleBits are fab. And we love SAM Labs wireless electronics components for making it easy for kids to make Internet of Things inventions. Lots of electronics kits for kids have support for the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr is one of our favourites. Arduino is a fab skill for older kids and teens to develop.

ROBOTICS$show=/search/label/robotics

We love robots at Tech Age Kids, especially programmable ones. We've got lots of them and write reviews and projects that use them. Our programmable robots for kids buying guide is a good place to start if you're not sure what's available. Roby the mBot Meccano robot dog is one of our popular projects and has been with us to lots of events. Our Ozobot LEGO trailer is fab for kids who love LEGO and robots.

MAKING AND CRAFT$show=/search/label/making

We're advocates of the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with developing physical skills such as papercraft, woodwork, clay modelling, technical drawing and soldering. If children don't develop these skills as they grow up then physical making projects can become frustrating rather than fun. The Maker Community uses the term 'making' as a broad term to include all sorts of artisan skills or craft activities. Being able to make things can lead to life-long hobbies or even careers. It's a great feeling to be able to take a project from an idea in your head to a real object that does something. We're particularly interested to explore products that combine maker skills with tech skills such as electronics but others focus purely on the physical making skills that are still important to modern making.

Language Zen Online Learning for Families

Language Zen is a new personalized web-based language learning experience for adults and children. It currently has an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign running.

Language Zen has used popular media, such as TV programs and books, to determine the language that is actually in use today (rather than teaching archaic or overly formal vocabulary.)

It also adapts to individual users to make sure that the material presented is at the right level for them.


Languages aren't given the priority in schools that I would like to see. Getting a personal tutor is expensive and time consuming. I'd love to have access to a good quality language program that my kids could use to develop their language skills at home when it's convenient to us.

I put some questions to the Language Zen team about the applicability of their system for children.

Is Language Zen Appropriate for Children and Teens?

Older children and teenagers are particularly inclined to learn a new language from media, as they explore other cultures in the process of defining who they are. In Israel, for example,  it is a well-known phenomenon that many teenage girls gain partial fluency in Spanish from watching Latin American soap operas. Our program will support and build upon this tendency. By prioritizing typical, casual, relevant vocabulary, young people will know they are leaning words and phrases that people their age actually use." -Ofir Geller

"For younger children, we'll have specialized modules which are relevant to them. Rather than data-mining from general content (like the teenage/adult courses), these modules will teach words and phrases pulled from children's television and songs. We'll also feature children's songs to support them through our media integration features." -Micah Greenberg

On a personal note, as a teenager I was once laughed at because I had been taught the formal, anachronistic word for cup (similar to the English word chalice). That won't happen with Language Zen." -Micah Greenberg

How Does Language Zen Handle Inappropriate Words?  

As for objectionable content: the default of language Zen is to screen out 'inappropriate' words and meanings. For example, the word "m-----" means ****  and will not be shown unless you specifically ask for "R rated" material. The same goes with sentences or texts that children should not see without parental approval." -Ofir Geller

Are There Any Social Features that Parents Should Be Aware Of?

"Currently there are no social networking features planned. If future social networking features are introduced, they would rely on existing social network accounts (namely Facebook)." -Ofir Geller

This looks like an interesting approach. The idea of using popular songs is likely to engage the tween and teen crowd. We sometimes put my kids favorite videos on with a different language and subtitles, watching LEGO Star Wars in another language helps to at least familiarize them with the sounds of another language in a context that they know well.

The Language Zen team is starting with English to Spanish, with English to Mandarin next on the list.

The use of technology to develop new methods to teach languages and to deliver material has to be the way to go. I've looked into a few language learning programs for children and they felt very dated.

Contribute / Subscribe: Language Zen on Indiegogo
Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Language Zen Online Learning for Families
Language Zen Online Learning for Families
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2013/07/language-zen-online-learning-for.html
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