Wednesday, October 26, 2016

At Forbes: What if Everyone Had Assistive Technology?

America is getting an intimate snapshot of how technology lets inclusion make life better for everyone through the new hit ABC comedy Speechless. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Ever hear that argument? If they give a computer to a kid who has dysgraphia then what would happen if all the kids wanted a computer. I like to answer it with if you gave someone whose legs never let him more than a half a block even with crutches, a wheelchair, then that's good. But if all the kids said, hey I want a wheelchair too then what would you say? You'd probably have a lot of things to say.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Barbie Has a New STEM Kit! Latest Story at Quartz

For those of you who missed it, check out my latest story about the new Barbie STEM Kit at Quartz! Was I fair? Unfair? Are you applauding or heckling or not feeling sure what to say?

Curious? Want to try it out yourselves?  Use my Amazon link and support Toys as Tools! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Adventures of a Table Top Tutor

Kids keep playing long after the teacher has left. photo: Toys As Tools

Folks, this is Doug Mercier, an IT professional by trade and my go-to advisor for all things board games and video games.  He also helps me with questions like, "How do I set up a server for Minecraft for my kids so he can play with his friends- you know, people he actually knows? But I have to be able to turn it off whenever, okay? "

Today, as my article in Quartz about board games is published, I am simultaneously publishing his first person perspective on what it is like to teach Testers 1 and 2 on how to play the coolest games out there. Happy Reading. -Jenn

Adventures of a Table Top Tutor
by Doug Mercier

In a world saturated with games and entertainment for kids it can be hard for parents to turn the fun off, get them to settle down, and do their schoolwork. But what if the fun didn’t need to turn off? Video games and board games can seem like fruitless activities however, many of them can actually teach kids important lessons that can be used in real life.

For example, games like Catan teach the importance of resource management and planning ahead. Other games like Legends of Andor teach problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking. So how is a parent to know when a game has real skill opportunities versus just fun?

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