in In The News

In the News: PlayStation Turns 20

PlayStation Turns 20

For those who grew up the 90s, it may be hard to believe that this famed video game console PlayStation turns 20 this year. With big-name video games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Tekken, and Tomb Raider – all originally PlayStation-exclusive titles – the gaming system was able to make a name for itself within the game console industry. At the time of PlayStation’s launch in 1994, Sony faced intense competition from the likes of Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn. Now, to celebrate its 20-year success in the industry, Sony is releasing a special Anniversary Limited Edition PlayStation 4.  Pre-sales will launch on December 6 and according to the company, will be offered in a “very limited supply.” (CNN)

Tablet Computers in 70% of Schools

Tablet sales stand to see an increase in the near future. According to research, 70% of primary and secondary schools in the UK currently use tablets, to some degree, in the classroom. In some instances, usage is amplified—it is reported that in 9% of schools, a tablet is provided for each student. Data from a study led by Barbie Clarke of the Family, Kids and Youth research group forecasts this trend to grow significantly in the future; of the schools not currently utilizing tablets, 45% stated they would likely begin implementation soon. Controversial research results published by the National Literacy Trust and Pearson implied that touch-screen tools proved to be helpful in teaching young boys and weaker students to learn to read. The tablets ultimately belong to the school, but students are given the flexibility to take them home. This shift in teaching praxis is said to mirror the growing role of technology in our daily lives. (BBC)

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Google for Kids

In the competitive world of technology, companies are always in search of ways to personalize and differentiate their users’ experience. Google, the tech giant, is no stranger to innovation and customization. Part of the inspiration for a new line of kid-friendly versions of services—like YouTube and Google search—comes  from an anecdote shared by Pavni Diwanji, Google’s vice president of engineering and “Google for Kids” project leader. His daughter typed “train” into Google’s search engine, and links to the closest Amtrak station populated the screen.  Diwanji’s daughter was surprised at the search engine’s apparent lack of knowledge regarding Thomas the Tank Engine.  This make-over is aimed at users 12-and-under and will focus on age-specific content while providing an array of parental controls. Google has not released any date-specific information; however, executives noted that they will be going to full steam ahead with this project, following the rollout of other child-friendly initiatives such as Doodle 4 Google. (USA Today)


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