About Children’s Technology Review

Children’s Technology Review (CTR) is a subscriber-supported database of children’s interactive media products. These products include noteworthy apps, video games, and other forms of interactive media.

Our objective is to keep our readers informed about the latest products, so they can quickly get their heads around the quickly changing children’s interactive space.  

The database started in 1984. The first issue, called “Children’s Software Revue” was published in the Spring of 1993; the name was changed in 2009 to Children’s Technology Review.

As of April 2014, the database contains 15,300 entries. We no longer provide comprehensive coverage of children’s apps. Approximately 50% of the apps that are submitted are listed; of these 10% receive ratings or child testing. We target high profile apps with low ratings, or high potential apps from small publishers.

RATINGS, RUBRICS, SEALS AND AWARDS: Yes, we use them all, but we don’t let the tail wag the dog. The generic rubric was created as part of my Master’s work in 1984 at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, loosely based around a constructive (Piagetian) theoretical framework. It is a generic system weighted to favor child control with a higher scores. When used by a novice reviewer, however, it does not generate reliable ratings. The inter-rater reliability process typically takes 20 products and 6 months; internally we use multiple rubrics to help us better understand specific genres of products. We like to say “our system is the least-worst out there.” Our system does generate quantitative ratings; both as a percent and as a 1 to 5 star form. Products that receive 4.3 stars or better are deemed “Editor’s Choice.” This means we feel they’re a very low chance you’ll be disappointed by this product. We a dated seal, and publishers are allowed to use this to brag. They are not required to link back to us, and no money changes hands as part of this process.

We also bolster external validity by working with other reviewers and organizations, including the KAPi Awards (given at CES) and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Our Dust or Magic events give us a chance to share what we’ve learned with other researchers, publishers or reviewers.

AUDIENCE:  Parents, teachers, children’s librarians and children’s app publishers.

GUIDING QUESTIONS: “What does the child walk away from the experience with that they didn’t have when the first came to the experience?”

MISSION: To provide objective reviews of children’s interactive media products.

We’ve slowly been improving with time, and we invite you to preview our latest features.

Paid subscribers get three parts:

1) Three Noteworthy Apps each week

Delivered every Wednesday Morning, CTR Weekly is a fast roundup of three top rated children’s apps, within hours of their release. One glance summarizes the strengths and weaknesses, and tells you what you need to know. Also included are ratings, quick facts, and a link to a video review. Delivery is each Wednesday at 8:30 AM EST (USA).
2) 12,000+ reviews at your fingertips

Need to do some research, and need a list of math apps for first graders? You’ll receive an instant access password with your subscription receipt, allowing you to log in to our Online Review Database, which includes back issues and over 12,000 product reviews dating back to 1985. The database makes it easy to search by curriculum area, platform, rating and grade. So you can zoom in on just the products you’re looking for. Want the Top 100 iPad products for reading? You’re just a few clicks away.
3) Children’s Technology Review each month. 

Delivered electronically (via PDF) the first week of each month, each 25+ page issue of CTR addresses current trends, research, and news and includes 40+ reviews of both “dust” and “magic” products.
The publication is easy to print or forward. It includes LittleClickers — a one page handout with 5 sites and 10 videos about a current high-interest topic.  Here’s a sample issue.

 View Subscription Options

We do not use instant renewals. You will be sent a renewal notice prior to the expiration of your subscription.

What do you get for free?

While most of CTR’s content is reserved for paid subscribers, we post review excerpts and link to our video reviews on YouTube, which are monetized by Google Ads. We also post a monthly letter (found on page 2 of each issue) that summarizes the latest news and research on children’s interactive media. Each picks up on the theme of the cover, and previews the Editor’s Choice selections (the highest rated products) of the month.

Questions? Please call us at 800-993-9499 (9-3:30 PM EST) or send an email to our circulation manager, Lisa DellaFave (lisa@childrenstech.com)

Thank you for supporting our work!

© 2014 Children's Technology Review. All rights reserved.