Khan Academy Kids launches
Khan Academy Kids is a new mobile application for Android and iOS by the non-profit organization Khan Academy.
It is a great resource for children and adults alike; adults can refresh their memory on certain topics, e.g. linear algebra, or start learning new things such as new programming languages or about electrical engineering.
The instructions are designed with accessibility in mind, and they use visuals to better explain the various concepts.
Khan Academy Kids
Khan Academy Kids is a new mobile application designed for children between the age of 2 and 5. The application is free and can be installed from the respective mobile stores, but it requires some preparation before children can start using it.
The very first screen asks for an email address of a parent; it is impossible to explore the app without providing one. Once you have provided the email address you are asked to verify it. I ran into an issue with the verification code as it was not displayed in the email as I don't display HTML content in emails and Khan Academy apparently forgot to add plain text verification code.
I had to browse the source of the email to find the link to activate the account.
The application asks for the name of the child, age group, and avatar. Once all the preparation is out of the way it can be handed over to the child or explored first by the parent to make sure it offers suitable content.
The quality of the production is high. The app features five animal characters that guide children through activities and stories, and offers original content that comes in many different forms. From interactive activities to animated videos using diverse learning methods.
The app includes a reward system which gamifies the experience and rewards kids with digital items for their favorite characters.
The voice over is excellent and controls focus on the essential. One of the first tasks asks children to drag and drop the animal characters around and the whole process feels really intuitive.
Whether apps are right even for education in early stages of a child's development is up for debate. Some parents want their children to become proficient with electronic devices at an early age while others may prefer to block access until they are older.
About the rating: the application itself is well designed and deserves a five star rating; the forced registration and verification on the other hand are not good user experiences and I decided to drop the rating because of that.
Khan Academy should at least consider giving users options to preview the app before requiring email verification.
Now You: Use apps for the education of young children? Yay or nay?