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October 2017

The Meaning and the Future of “Educational Apps for Young Children” Developed by Broadcasters

Naohisa Yoshida

As the usage of digital information terminals (smartphones, tablet PCs, etc.) by young children (pre-school children) increases, producers of pre-school TV programs-once dubbed as “the first media for young children”)-are urged to respond to the dramatic changes in the media landscape.

With more and more pre-schoolers enjoy videos and educational apps with smart phones and other terminals, some broadcasters have started developing and distributing such content. Particularly, educational apps are now in the center of attention as a new type of promising content with interactivity and educational effectiveness. On the other hand, some parents feel anxiety and/or guilt about letting their children exposed to the “digital” world. How will broadcasters respond to these feelings?

For broadcasters, until recently, apps were regarded as software whose main purpose was to add values to TV programs and to boost the sales of licensed characters.

This article revisits the meaning of producing apps and discusses new possibilities that can brought by developing apps closely linked to TV programs, through overseas examples and latest research works on children’s growth and development.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research


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