DirecTV Launches App Designed for Children

July 21, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. function / ˈfʌŋk ʃən / (v.) – to perform or to work
Example: Smartphones also function as cameras.

2. appropriate / əˈproʊ pri ɪt / (adj.) – referring to something that fits a specific situation or purpose
Example: Letting infants use gadgets may not be appropriate.

3. parental / pəˈrɛn tl / (adj.) – referring to a mother or a father
Example: Some movies require parental guidance.

4. subscription / səbˈskrɪp ʃən / (n.) – an agreement that involves paying in advance to regularly get a product or service
Example: She applied for an online newspaper subscription.

5. filter / ˈfɪl tər / (v.) – to remove inappropriate or unwanted things
Example: We should filter all magazines not appropriate for children.


Read the text below.
DirecTV has launched a TV app specifically designed for children.

DirecTV, one of the top providers of television and audio services in the United States, has released the DirecTV Kids app for iOS. The app functions as a filter for videos and provides channels and TV shows for children. This app allows the user to watch shows through his or her smartphone or tablet.

To ensure that DirecTV Kids will be showing only the channels appropriate for children, it has partnered with Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media, a website that provides parental reviews, is in charge of identifying whether the videos within the app are appropriate for children ages seven and below. These videos include cartoons, shows, and movies from Cartoon Network, HBO, Nickelodeon [nik-uh-LOH-dee-uh n], and Disney.

DirecTV Kids aims to provide children with entertainment that is convenient and age-appropriate, thus requiring no need for parental guidance. So far, the app, which requires active subscription, is available only in the United States.

Another child-friendly video app that was launched this year was Google’s YouTube Kids. The app features shows from DreamWorksTV, Jim Henson TV, and National Geographic. YouTube Kids has certain functions that help control the children’s use of the app. These functions include a timer that limits the children’s viewing time, sound settings that mute the videos’ sounds, and search settings that filter and pre-select videos.

Other companies that offer child-friendly videos and TV shows include Netflix’s Just for Kids and Sky Channel’s Sky Kids.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you had children, would you let them use the DirecTV Kids app? Why or why not?
·         Do you think this app will be popular in your country? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think it is important to design technologies appropriate for children?
·         What are the disadvantages of having these technologies for children?

July 21, 2015