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Group: Apps not effective tool for teaching babies

August 8, 2013 • Entertainment


Leticia Barr, a former schoolteacher who runs the website Tech Savy Mama, is shown during an interview in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, where she weighed in on a controversy brewing over the use of technology to educate young babies. Smartphones don’t make smart babies, an advocacy group declared Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 in a complaint to the government about mobile apps that claim to help babies learn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Smartphones don’t make smart babies, an advocacy group declared Wednesday in a complaint to the government about mobile apps that claim to help babies learn.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, whose allegations against “Baby Einstein” videos eventually led to nationwide consumer refunds, is urging federal regulators to examine the marketing practices of Fisher-Price’s “Laugh & Learn” mobile apps and Open Solutions’ games, such as “Baby Hear and Read” and “Baby First Puzzle.”

The Boston-based group says developers are trying to dupe parents into thinking apps are more educational than entertaining. It’s the campaign’s first complaint to the Federal Trade Commission against the mobile app industry as part of its broader push to hold businesses accountable for marketing claims about their technology to very young children and their parents.

“Everything we know about brain research and child development points away from using screens to educate babies,” said Susan Linn, the group’s director. “The research shows that Login to read more

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