Interview with TWA and Eyal Dessou Tzafrir, the Creative Developer of Wince: TWA: How did you connect with Anni Greene, the author of WorryWoos? You live on separate continents. Although, probably not that difficult in today’s world – would love to hear how. Eyal: When we lived in the States, our 2nd daughter was born. Suddenly the 1st one became angry all the time. The anger and frustration was targeted us, of course. Everybody noticed the change in her. My wife’s sister bought her a book, Nola. It was about a lonely monster that felt alone not seeing that there are many friends around her if she would only look. This was the first time I got into the world of the WorryWoos. When we started developing books we knew that the WorryWoos was not just a book with a message. It had a different layer in it. It didn’t have a lot words, but what was there was to the point and talked about emotions that everyone is going through and not just little kids because we are all carrying our child inside. TWA: Are you working directly with the author Andi, sharing screens and the like; or do you have free reign developing the app? Eyal: Andi is very artist and “old school”. To her, the whole digital medium was something new. We approached her with our ideas and love of the Woos and she gave us total freedom. We knew that we wanted to keep the same story and just add a layer to it, but not the regular tap anywhere to get the words, or encourage reading for example. We felt that the content was more important then just adding bells and whistles. Andi was amazing with the freedom she gave us. We sent her screens, we overs. It’s a beginning of a wonderful friendship 🙂 TWA: You are really big on creativity, what are your feelings about screen time for kids? Seems to be the hot topic right now. Eyal: I think that it is the same as anything else in life - you need to have balance. We limit our kids, but like everything else in their life at the moment. We encourage them to create, to imagine, to get BORED 🙂 In my eyes, no technology can replace a parent, not even a busy one. TWA: What is your background? Seems like it must have had something to do with art. Eyal: Though it is very important to me, I have no background in art. I have in music but that’s a completely different story 🙂 I believe that visuals are key in supporting kid’s imaginations. We, as developers and publishers, should really look into everything that we do that supports play, exploring and experiencing when it comes to developing a new or adapted app. Otherwise, what is the point of having such a wonderful and engaging tool in your hands, if at the end you are doing the same things you could have done without it. TWA: Next up is a Squeek, which emotion does this little monster focus on? Eyal: He lives in a bubble. He’s shy and needs you to introduce him to the world. Just hold him in your arms and describe everything to him. You can be his teacher and show him all the fun things that are special in your life. Oh, and don’t forget, he’s the pip- “squeek” of the bunch so be gentle!
Written by Jayne Clare
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.