Nashville, Tennessee – To proactively address the growing bullying epidemic in the U.S., HealthTeacher, the interactive leader in youth health, has created Awesome Upstander!, a fun mobile game that teaches kids how to stand up to bullies in a safe and positive way.

“Awesome Upstander! offers a highly entertaining play experience for kids while teaching them they have the power to diminish bullying by banning together as upstanders.”

Dr. Susan Lipkins, child psychologist and leading expert in the development of Awesome Upstander!, believes playing this game can set the standards for teaching elementary-aged kids how to be an upstander, a person who knows how to intervene in a bully situation in a safe and positive manner. The game reinforces the concept of respecting and protecting others. Learning these skills during the elementary years will diminish the severity and frequency of bullying during the middle school years when it is at its peak.

“This game is perfectly placed in terms of the child’s social and emotional development,” Dr. Susan Lipkins said. “It teaches kids, in a meaningful way, how to make a difference. This is the first game that reinforces pro-social behavior in an age-appropriate way.”

Bullying most often occurs where adult supervision is low or absent: schoolyards, cafeterias, bathrooms, hallways, and stairwells. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Bullying in Schools” report, only 10 to 20 percent of non-involved students provide any real help when another student is victimized.

“Awesome Upstander! is evidence that we can make learning about the serious issue of bullying both educational and highly entertaining,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO of HealthTeacher. “HealthTeacher is harnessing the power of interactive devices and gaming to address the important physical, social and emotional health issues affecting our kids.”

Filled with challenges, levels, hidden objects and fun sound effects, Awesome Upstander! is designed to engage kids just like other popular interactive games while promoting social good. At the Awesome Upstander! website, teachers can download supporting material for their classroom, and parents can download resources for teaching their kids about upstanding at home.

“Awesome Upstander! offers a highly entertaining play experience for kids while teaching them they have the power to diminish bullying by banning together as upstanders,” said John Herbold, VP Product of HealthTeacher. “Kids tell us Awesome Upstander! is fun to play, and parents say it gives them peace of mind knowing their children are learning how to deal with an issue affecting the emotional and physical safety of their kids.”

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 4.2 or later
* 37.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Awesome Upstander! can be purchased in the Apple App Store in the Games cateogry or Google Play for $.99 (USD), or played online.

Health Teacher
Awesome Upstander!
Purchase and Download (iPad)
Purchase and Download (Google Play))
Screenshot
App Icon

HealthTeacher is the interactive leader in youth health, creating games, apps, and educational resources to make health awesome for kids. HealthTeacher’s research-based products are designed to get kids moving and to develop healthy behaviors that last a lifetime. Reaching over 6 million kids through its fast-growing network of 11,000 schools, HealthTeacher’s interactive products are used by teachers, parents, and kids to address important youth health issues, including physical activity, nutrition, and social and emotional well-being. Copyright (C) 2012 HealthTeacher. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Release and Controversy
At WWDC 2012, Apple announced the coming release of iOS 6, the latest software for the iPhone and iPad. Apple boasts that there will be more than 200 updates and improvements over the previous operating system, and have outlined a bevy of new features to be included in the new package.

Among these new features is what Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing, has called a “redesigned app store to allow developers to provide moreinformation about their apps.” Apple has asserted that this release will make it easier for app developers to sell their product within a fair and balanced system.

App developers have retorted that the changes are simply not enough. They criticize thestore design, claiming that is just more of the same. “The top 100 paid apps list is very static and difficult to penetrate even with significant app sales,” says Ben Hamey, co-founder of Bonobo Pte.

Despite what has been said about the app store redesign and the ease with which app developers will be able to sell their product, it is impossible to deny the popularity that this coming update to iOS will have among developers. Currently, 7 out of 10 apps are developed for iOS, as reported by mobile analytics firm Flurry.

New Features
Among the new features included in iOS 6 will be an update to Siri, including newlanguages, the ability to launch apps, and Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp integration. Another key feature will be the new Passbook. Using this feature, a user will be able to keep all their important bits of paper, such as airplane tickets, gift cards, vouchers, and concert tickets, in one consolidated place – right on their Apple mobile device. It is interesting to note, however, that Apple has decided to distance themselves from mobile payment options, a service that Googleand Microsoft have already started exploring.

Yet another important feature will be App Banners on the Safari web browser. This will allow users to have instant access to an app, straight from Safari. With one touch, they can immediately start downloading an app or just jump straight to the app if they already have itinstalled without going through the App Store. App Banners will allow an instantaneous, fluid,and functional switch from web browsing to using an app.

Facebook Integration
The most important new feature may be Facebook integration with iOS devices that will allow instant access to Facebook within web browsers, Siri, and apps. With this addition, users will be able to “like” apps on the app store and purchase apps based on what friends are using. Facebook integration will also exist within an app, so users will be able to share photos, scores,and other bits of information with their Facebook friends. Consider the social media integration incorporated in the previous incarnation of Apple’s iOS. Twitter integration was included with the main apps on iOS 5, and it allowed sharing ofphotos and in-app tweeting. This integration between apps and social media has allowed users toshare something they normally would only be able to experience by themselves with theirfriends, all with just a single sign-in. Twitter integration with iOS 5 meant developers needed tostart thinking about why users would want to share their app with other people.

Now think about the ubiquity of Facebook. Think about the way it fits into our day-to-day lives seamlessly and how it does so without us being consciously aware of it. We post incredibly personal information about ourselves and our day for friends, family, prospective employers, and even the occasional stalker. Facebook integration with iOS 6 creates anopportunity for developers to make apps that are a part of a user’s daily life. Sharing an impressive score from a game, a creative drawing, or a funny photo can become as inconspicuous as posting a status update about a delicious breakfast, a new relationship, or how weird Prometheus was. When an app can be integrated with our lives through Facebook, it becomes far more meaningful. The user doesn’t experience the app simply from the moment it is opened to the moment it is closed. Now the experience exists in a space outside of the app’s original confines, in a social universe that allows it to spread and be shared. If Facebook integration is as significant as one would hope, then iOS 6 may make apps socially relevant like never before.

Prit Patel is a Public Relations intern at Appency with an interest in technology, culture, and viewers like you.