Appy days

Jason Krogh, CEO at app company Sago Sago, explains how the digital children’s space is changing and why he feels the debate around young children’s use of technology is finally maturing.
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Good news. The conversation around kids and screens is finally maturing.

Instead of debating the notion of screentime as one monolithic experience parents are talking about the kind of content they want to see on those screens. Technology is in kids’ lives.

Now it’s up to parents to figure out what kind of place they want it to hold. It’s an individual decision to choose how much is too much and the kinds of digital content they make available.

For the industry, it’s our responsibility to make sure we create the high-quality content parents and kids deserve. As a parent, there is plenty of room in my daughter’s life for both digital and physical toys, it is not an either or.

We approach digital toys the same way as anything else; we strike a balance and curate high-quality content just as we would with toys and books.

I’m happy there are a variety of options out there for my daughter. I see her making her own movies, doing pretend play and watching videos about dance moves— technology opens up her imagination, curiosity and interests.

When we founded Sago Sago in 2013 our goal was to create high-quality content that we’d proudly use in our families and share with others. That is something that continues to motivate our entire team. In the early days, most of what was available in the pre-school market was either built for older kids or was an educational, flashcard-style app emphasizing 123s and ABCs.

We saw an opportunity to take a fresh perspective and design apps specifically for toddlers that build on their national sense of curiosity, experimentation and self-expression. And it’s not just us. Since we started out, the kids’ app market has greatly matured.

The App Store allows small studios like Sago Sago to compete with the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon by making all content available for parents in one, easily accessible place. The result is a greater variety of content, and while there’s still bad content out there, there’s also more high-quality content for parents and kids.

So let’s embrace this more nuanced discussion. Let’s stop lumping technology together as if it’s all one thing and start talking about the positive role it can play in kid’s lives.

Jason Krogh is the CEO at Tornoto-based play studio Sago Sago. He can be contacted online at www.sagosago.com/contact/.

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