News and Notes for November 2018
John Wayne Airport ranks as the No. 1 airport in America in terms of customer satisfaction, according to the latest J.D. Power Satisfaction Survey. JWA earned 815 points on J.D. Power’s 1,000-point scale, taking the No. 1 spot in the large airport category, and also had the highest point total overall. John Wayne just beat out Buffalo/Niagara International Airport, which had the second-highest overall score (814) of all airports in the survey and was first in the medium airport rankings. Las Vegas McCarran International and Orlando International tied for the highest scoring mega airport with 781 points apiece.
Mega airports were defined as those handling more than 32.5 million annual passengers. The large category includes airports with 10 million to 32.4 million passengers, while the medium category includes airports with between 3 million and 9.9 million passengers.
The study takes into consideration six factors — in order of importance — 1) terminal facilities, 2) airport accessibility, 3) security check, 4) baggage claim, 5) check-in/baggage check, and 6) food, beverage, and retail. Overall traveler satisfaction climbed to a score of 761 on J.D. Power’s 1,000-point scale. That marked an all-time high for the survey, up 12 points from the previous record set just last year and up 30 points from 2016. The J.D. Power survey calculated responses from more than 40,000 travelers who had used at least one airport from September 2017 to September 2018.
Cat hotel comes to Irvine
Local residents and travelers to Irvine have a growing selection of hotels to stay at while in town—but what about their feline friends? Not to worry, entrepreneur Shana Martin is opening Club Cat later this year, a luxury boutique “hotel” just for cats. Located just two miles from John Wayne Airport, Club Cat will provide peace-of-mind to cat owners who travel for business or pleasure. Said to be a high-end alternative to traditional cat boarding, Club Cat promises a five-star customer service experience for both cat and cat owner. While in Club Cat’s care, cat patrons receive the type of authentic care and attention they’re used to at home – and much more. The cat suites are eight-feet tall and at least three and a half feet wide with enclosed balconies. Other features and amenities include live webcasts for cat owners who want to check in on their kitty cats 24/7, “Nightly paw-down service,” calming therapy, “pawi-cures” and “derrière trims.” Try to order that from room service at your human hotel!
Tech for toddlers
UCI researchers have confirmed what many tech-savvy parents already know: many educational apps designed for preschoolers aren’t very educational at all.
As part of a doctoral dissertation in UCI’s School of Education – Melissa Callaghan and Stephanie Reich, co-author and UCI associate professor of education, selected the top 10 paid and free children’s math and literacy apps from the Apple, Amazon and Google Play stores. Each app was evaluated for such design elements as feedback, increasing complexity, guided play, developmental appropriateness and instructive value. Preschoolers process information differently from older learners (i.e., shorter attention spans), so app designs should be guided by developmental science. The researchers found that while most of the apps provided clear goals, moderate instructions and positive feedback, few supplied in-play guidance on how to complete tasks, rephrased instructions if the initial ones were not understood or offered rewards that advanced learning.
“Without well-structured feedback or leveling of difficulty, children may end up relying on trial and error or playing simple games that drill the same skills with no progression,” says Professor Reich.
A few tips from the research for parents evaluating apps for preschoolers: Features facilitating physical interaction, including large icon sizes and simplified touch-screen motions, can help preschoolers successfully play the game, boosting learning. Instead of just earning badges or stickers for completing tasks, unlocking skills or advanced levels of the game can make learning more intrinsically motivating. That makes learning the fun part, rather than the sticker. Or how about this novel idea: parents can read to their kids from actual books, the original app!