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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: The Effect of the Expectation Economy on Education

The Expectation Economy is a theory named and developed by Reinier Evers at Trendwatching.com. The basis of the theory is that because consumers are becoming more educated about products and services through the spread of information via the Internet, the consumers are now expecting more from than expenditures than ever before. It is a solid theory and Evers provides a number of detailed examples to support the theory in this article.
As an educator, I found the section of the article about the next generation and their entertainment habits the most interesting. Evers points to three websites designed for children under age six that allow parents to upload a picture of their child and have their child star in a game or cartoon video. Another example of a website designed for kids under six is the children's toy Webkinz that comes with a subscription to a website on which kids can play games as their Webkinz character or interact with other Webkinz. (You can read more about Webkinz here.)

Implications/ Applications for Educators
With the growth in websites designed for the under six age group there will be more and more kids coming into elementary school expecting individualized instruction and interaction. The question of how to hold a child's attention is an ever present question with ever changing answers. Incorporating technology through computer use is one way to grab the attention of students beginning as early as kindergarten.

Here are a couple websites with educational activities designed for kids under six.
http://www.primarygames.com/
http://www.funbrain.com/
http://www.kidsgames.org/