After my opposition to screen time quickly eroded, I found my tolerance for what counted as “quality” programming for my kids increasing very quickly. Soon, it all Peppa Pig and if left unsupervised, other kids giving reviews on toys. The algorithm always devolves to an extreme. Even apps brought little help. Sesame Street’s apps weren’t effective at holding attention for more than a few minutes.
Finally, at least for the five year old, there was the Khan Academy Kids app. The quality of the content is impressive, as is the build quality of the app. It can be adjusted for age and can handle when kids have trouble with the challenges.
This took me back to when I had wished Khan Academy was around when I was younger — at least in second year of my engineering degree. It was this video that caused me to wish that:
In 11 minutes, Khan explained what I struggled with for two years. Sure, there’s something to be gained from a struggle and overcoming it, but it shouldn’t be in things that are fundamentals and building blocks. Struggling in those is discouraging.
I’m hopeful that tools like the Khan app and similar offerings will make learning much easier for the next generation, elevating the place where they’re struggle with concepts.