I think I was the only one there who knew who Tree Fu Tom was, and was half hoping he would walk us through the Tree Fu moves as I could have aced that, but no joy!
Instead we got treated to a walk through 'Destination Tablet', stats from Ofcom 2013 which comfortingly highlighted the uptake of tablets in the home particularly in households with children (35% had tablets already and its nearly Christmas!).
BBC analytics show that children are using their tablets at breakfast, lunch break, after school (teatime dip!), and then at 10pm at night! This bit worried me as a parent, reading by tourchlight has been replaced by playing by tablet light!
On the brighter side there are less TV's and computers in the bedroom, they have moved to communal areas where there can be greater communication/ parental input.
My family are, I imagine a good example of modern device usage, 20 min ipad time if everyone has been good and TV very much coming second choice of how to spend the precious 'screen time'. As of yesterday my boys homework is online so its 15 min mathletics here and there, not sure whether to factor that into their screen time allowance or not!
Jon's talk of the '10 min rule', and gaming 'snacking', also fits my household. Not so much due to a quick 10 min bite but due to turn taking as we like to maximise the more sociable side of the ipad with the boys discussing strategies etc. The ipad can be an incredible social tool for reluctant talkers, kids really bond over this stuff!
Parental engagement was something I was really interested in as we are about to release a social interaction/ social communication app which the parent can personalise with their own voice. This is similar to the cbeebies parental comment feature. I used this to say well done to my boys and it is a nice touch, although I think it might have meant more coming from Mr Tumble!.
Our game, (still in development), also allows the parent to add names of the child's main friends as characters in the game, which will hopefully support children to generalise greater social interaction from the app into the playground.
The nicest feature of the Cbeebies app from an SEN standpoint was of course Mr Tumble, the children can use a variety of strategies to pop bubbles etc, making it even more accessible. 'Something Special', obviously leads the way in helping and 'normalising', significant educational needs, but it would do no harm for them to talk to Dr Sara Price from the London Knowledge Lab about tangible technologies, (see recent post), it would be a magic mix!