GH tablet gets national attention

There’s a new option for parents looking for ways to engage younger children in education.
Krystle Wagner
Dec 6, 2013

After two years of development, the Grand Haven-based School Zone Publishing Company has released Little Scholar, a tablet preloaded with educational apps, music and four episodes of the original series “Charlie & Company” for children in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.

On Thursday, hosts of CBS’s “The Talk” mentioned the 8-inch tall, which device allows children to explore math, science, geography, spelling and music. It has e-books available with varying reading skill levels.

The company created the tablet to have one device where children could safely access School Zone content in one area, said Barbara Peacock, managing director of School Zone Publishing.

She said they wanted a safe device that eased parents’ minds about what content their child accessed

The device doesn’t require a wireless Internet connection, but it has the capability in a password-protected setting.

“Can’t we make it easier on parents?” Peacock asked.

Sean Hamstra, user experience manager for School Zone, directed the development of apps such as Counting 1-10, which helps children learn to count.

The Holland resident said it was a “crazy and exciting experience” to be part of creating the tablet. Hamstra said they previously had apps on various markets, but noted it’s difficult to be discovered.

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



I dont i understand how iPhone, tablets and ipads is going to help a child learn, what ever happened to parent to child interaction,the old fashion way, reminds of my grand daughter with her friend, sitting at the same table texting each other, laughing and giggling, but no eye contact or dialog, no social skills there !!!


Exactly. While tablets do have their place (I replaced my PC with an iPad; the only thing I use the PC for anymore is programming songs for the Musical Fountain.), parents should not be relying on them to teach their kids for them.

It is what is wrong with the younger folks these days. Parents no longer interact with their kids. Additionally, kids just sit inside and play video games all day; they have no real social interaction with others anymore. What ever happened to kids going out on day-long adventures on their bicycles, etc... and only coming home once the street lights come on?

Another issue is the fact that public education is watered down these days and only focuses on getting high marks on standardized testing. Luckily, when I was growing up (I graduated in 2001), my grandfather saw this trend starting to show in the schools and decided that he was going to supplement my education. He got me involved with setting up the very first public ISP in Genesee County (the Genesee FreeNet), and we did presentations at the schools which ultimately forced the school district to install internet-connected computers in each classroom. I know I sound like a hypocrite with that, but if you remember the internet back in the mid-90's it was actually mostly focused on education and research.

Additionally, he got me involved in science and electronics and not the watered-down crap they teach in public schools; we built model rocket engines, fireworks shells, a helium-neon laser from the ground up including a module with mirrors hooked to high-speed servos which could be programmed via computer to create animated images )just like a professional laser show), audio power amplifiers, etc...

He also took me to rail yards to speak with train crews, and ride along to learn about what they did. Tours of power plants, hydro dams, auto factories, AC Delco Spark Plug Factory, Delphi, the tunnels under Flint, MI, and many other places where the public rarely, if ever, sees. These were not the 'annual public tour' but rather a one-on-one tour usually with whoever was in charge at the facility and they usually got quite technical since I was interested in the fine details rather than the watered-down overview.

Why did I ramble about that? It is because I had a parental figure that refused to let me slip into the traps that many kids do these days. Parents need to provide experiences like this to their children, and not just rely on the schools or tablets to do it. Those experiences have spurred my interest in MANY areas, and will always stick with me as valuable lessons in life and how stuff works. When I have kids, they will get the very same treatment. There are real-life benefits to being involved with your children as they grow.


I dreamed and preached just like you , until I had kids ,and I am a Utility worker and I believe in the labor end of life, I watch DCS systems run everything from a boiler to water,wastewater,HVAC units and everything else and see young Electronic Techs run them from Ipads and smart phones from home not to mention the production PLC's ,the old way of local control is fast slipping away,you either get with it or get run over, China isn't going to wait for you to accept it.


Also, as for the article itself...

This tablet seems to be aimed towards nothing more than needless consumption. It is most likely a proprietary tablet that does not have the power to grow much with more complex software.

You can simply get a cheap android or iPad tablet and lock them down with parental controls in the same way, and once your children get old enough, you can start unlocking bit by bit.


I saw a baby bouncy seat on tv this am made by Fisher Price and it holds a tablet or ipad only inches from a baby's face. Does society really need this crap? Reads like the School Zone tablet will only run their software. How smart is that? As smart as they want you to be.


If you actually took the time to look at the website for this tablet, you would see that it was designed to be purely educational for preschoolers. It's not just "fluff" like a lot of downloaded free games that kids play on their parent's electronics.

"It is most likely a proprietary tablet that does not have the power to grow much with more complex software."
-None of this speculation is necessary, as all of this information is readily available on the School Zone website. As a matter of fact, your assumptions are all wrong. According to the site, it runs on Android and has the ability to "grow with your child," as they are saying.






It doesn't matter if you "want your kids to be taught" with computers, the fact is the rest of the world is passing american kids by and they need every tool availiable to help them get ahead, I say "Hats Off to School Zone " for at least getting in todays zone.



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