Children and Tablets: Nickelodeon and PBS to Launch Preschool Apps

Nick Jr.’s newest television project “Wallykazam” will first be introduced to the public as a mobile product. The show doesn’t come out until 2014, but educational apps based on the show’s characters and concepts will appear in app stores late next year. According to The New York Times, it is parents who are steering this industry shift. “Driving the change, at Nickelodeon and other preschool television brands, are parents who are increasingly putting mobile devices into preschoolers’ hands and laps,” notes the article.

As TV set ownership declines, tablet ownership is on the rise. “Eighty-eight percent of the parents surveyed said they owned a television, down from 95 percent in 2010,” according to new research commissioned by Sesame Workshop.

The research also shows just how striking educational app growth has been recently. “In October, 27 percent of United States households with children ages 3 to 5 had an iPad, up from 22 percent in April. In those households, 40 percent of preschoolers used the iPad for educational apps, up from 27 percent in April,” writes NYT.

The thinking at PBS is different now, a combination of digital and television. As the article notes, the network has “‘sent away’ a number of producers who came to PBS with ideas for television shows with no thought-out mobile component, telling them, ‘Come back when you have a plan.’”