From the Editor

Warren Buckleitner, Editor

Welcome to Children’s Technology Review!

Since 1993, we’ve worked toward one  goal: “to provide complete and objective reviews of children’s interactive media products.” Today, we have CTREX, our capstone project. It’s only taken 21 years!

For those who are new to our work, here’s an overview.

  • Timely. We publish the first week of every month. A typical issue of CTR is about 25 pages, and it is sent to Pro Subscribers as a PDF. Additionally, a weekly newsletter featuring three noteworthy children’s apps is sent every Wednesday morning. All subscribers are given access to our review database.
  • Affordable. The cost is $20/year for Basic Access to CTREX, or $60 for a Pro Subscription, which includes the weekly newsletters and monthly issues, plus access to professional tools on CTREX, including printing and exporting, and our Publishers DirectoryRead more about our subscription options.
  • Ethical. There are no ads or gimmicks. You don’t get spam or pinged to sign up for a survey. We don’t automatically renew subscriptions, and we don’t sell or profit from the success or failure of the products we review (e.g., we don’t use affiliate links). And we don’t share subscriber information. Read our thoughts about objectivity.
  • Educational. We’re educators, so we look at these products with the question “what does a child walk away from the experience with, that he or she didn’t have when first coming to the experience.” We always put the child ahead of the technology; our work is grounded in child development theory and developmentally appropriate practice.
  • Experienced. Our first review was written in 1985, based on research at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation.
  • A primary source. CTR reviews have informed other media outlets and organizations, including The New York Times, Scholastic Parent & Child, NPR, and Parents Magazine. We work with two award programs on an ongoing basis: The Kids @ Play (KAPi Awards), given each year at CES, and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (the BolognaRagazzi Digital Prize) for ebooks. 
  • Searchable.  The CTREX review database is big (n>11,800) and easy to search.  There are search fields by age, specific grade level, overall rating, “what it teaches” (by way of reviewer designated tags),  platform and review text. Our search scripts make it easy to pull up the newest reviews by overall rating, and our comments field make it easy to correct an error.
  • Comprehensive.  The database has been a personal project that started as a Masters thesis in 1984.  See 10,500 Objective Reviews, At Your Fingertips. You’ll find reviews days and weeks ahead of other review sites.
  • We child test. We conduct extensive testing with children, and archive products at the non-profit Mediatech Foundation. This is a public center and you are welcome to visit.

Have a look! Here’s one free issue, as a PDF (CTR August 2012).


There’s been a recent explosion in commercial children’s digital content, mostly in the form of apps. That’s why you need CTR.   I hope you’ll consider joining our family of subscribers with our subscription form. We’ll take good care of you.

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Warren Buckleitner, Ph.D., Editor
Children’s Technology Review

* While we’ve worked with both the New York Times and Consumers Union on past projects, CTR has no formal association.

WHAT DO YOU GET FOR “FREE?” While most of CTR’s content is reserved for paid subscribers, the CTREX review database is fully searchable for all users. 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.

 

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