Augmented Reality | Bringing interactive reading & learning tools to young explorers in real-time

Augmented Reality | Bringing interactive reading & learning tools to young explorers in real-time Early-Learning Development. Interactive Lesson Plans. Augmented Reality. Teaching young explorers to read, handle social situations and embrace the world around them. Wonderscope | Within #technology #news #Wonderscope #Clio #Reading #Children #kids #earlylearningdevelopment #education #app #ios #experience #AR #XR #VR #SpaceX #EdTech

Previously Published to tEQ.life

If you grew up watching Nick Jr., you already know how much of an impact interactive television shows, such as Blue’s Clues, can have on a young mind. Our children feel as if the characters on the show are actually their friends, and they quickly embrace the second-person experience, as a means for early-learning education. They become like sponges — easily engaged and encouraged by conversation. Intrigued by curiosity, they thirst for exploration. And while they quickly absorb the material and storylines presented before them, there is a huge divide between reality and storytelling that continues to leave a void out in the open.

Augmented reality is changing all of that, allowing our children to thrive at levels we have never seen before.Our children learn in different ways, and yet reading is a major part of who we become as students, educators, and professionals in our fields. We learn visually, we learn through auditorial experiences and we learn through pure immersion, completely saturated in the overall experience.

One company making a difference.

Within, a Los Angeles-based tech company, has been taking advantage of this ideal, creating exciting new platforms and highly interactive experiences in augmented, mixed and virtual reality since about 2014. Last year, they introduced a wide spectrum of learning tools that would bring interactive reading experiences into the forefront of early childhood development.

Yesterday, they announced an “Intergalactic, AR Reading Adventure Sends Kids into Space.

As it releases its fourth augmented reality storybook, Clio’s Cosmic Quest, Within continues to embrace augmented reality when telling “extraordinary stories” to an audience of young readers. In fact, the launch of the early-learning reading app, Wonderscope, has been nothing short of a welcoming experience, as these young readers are met with a lovable character, who stops at nothing to engage their young minds while leaving a lasting impression sure to last a lifetime.

Meet Clio.

Meet Clio — a tiny particle of purple stardust — as she literally enters into our world and immediately greets your child with meaningful dialogue and an overall sense of inclusion. She includes them into the narrative and invites them to join her on a mission through our solar system. They are, then, presented with a combination of “read-out-loud” experiences, that include interactive diagrams, maps and fun facts to help them through their journey.

Students can choose to interact one-on-one or they can bring their classmates along for the journey. As a team, they join Clio in challenging reading bullies, meeting the Sun and bringing an entire nebula back together — just in the nick of time!

Real-time lessons on life.

“We’ve written lines for kids that teach them how to handle bullies, stick up for what they believe in, and be there for those that need help,” states Within’s Director of Development, Jonny Ahdout, about this rewarding new game.

The story about Clio becomes just one more addition to Wonderscope’s growing library of augmented titles, including A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, Little Red the Inventor and Wonder’s Land Ringmaster Wanted — with even more stories and adventures to be released in upcoming months.

According to a recent press release, “Wonderscope’s voice recognition system is built to understand and nurture confidence in new readers at a wide range of levels, and with different dialects and accents. The app provides visual and aural feedback by highlighting words, and having characters make eye contact and react expressively back to the user.

Clio’s Cosmic Quest ends with a fully interactive bonus scene where users explore and learn more about space, planets and solar systems, developing a playful appreciation for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”

Wonderscope is geared towards kids, aged 6 and older and currently holds a solid 4-star rating from Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families, through the promotion of safe technologies and media for children.

The app is currently free and available on all AR-enabled iOS devices, although stories themselves can run as high as $4.99 a piece.

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Wearables for Good Improves the Lives of Children

Wearable Tech World | TMC Net

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S WEARABLE TECH

Children-friendly “Wearables for Good” is what UNICEF, ARM (News – Alert) and frog are calling both Khushi Baby and SoaPen, winners of the 2015 Wearables for Good Challenge. Each team, led by joint collaborative Indian-US teams, will have their designs come to life through manufacture, mentorship and a $15,000 prize. Earlier this month, winners were named for the May 2015 launch of The Wearables for Good competition.

Sparked by the release of the UNICEF Kid Power Band, three superpowers in technology have teamed up to continue creating wearables for children. The world’s first WEARABLE-FOR-GOOD presents a mission to keep children active through adventure and physical activity, as they collect points to unlock therapeutic food packets to be delivered to severely malnourished children around the world. Adoption of this technology has inspired a trend in wearable innovation.

A challenge that quickly drew over 2,000 registrants from over 65 countries around the world is now considered one of the “World’s most inclusive technology and designs challenges,” focusing on wearables and what they can do to make our planet a better place.

Enter Khushi Baby, a wearable necklace that stores immunization records for the last two years of a child’s life. Utilizing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, this small wearable sends and receives health record, securely, via smartphone synchronization, accessible by certified health professionals, through the “health cloud.”

“Khushi Baby wants to ensure that all infants have access to inform and timely health care by owning a copy of their medical history. The Khushi Baby system enables access to culturally appropriate wearable digital medical records, even in the most remote and isolated areas. We believe in tracking each child’s immunization to the last mile, and as a UNICEF Wearables for Good Challenge winner,” states Ruchit Nagar, spokesperson for the Khushi Baby brand.

Nagar continues by talking about the future of Khushi Baby, “We look to expand from monitoring the vaccination progress of 1,000 children in 100 villages to a larger beneficiary base in areas beyond India where our digital system can streamline access and delivery to health care. We also look forward to building our system to serve broader populations and medical applications, moving soon to a wider focus on a continuum of maternal and child health care. At its core, Khushi Baby functions as a key to connect those in need of services to a digitally integrated community.”

On the move to develop personalized hygiene skills, SoaPen also entered the competition, in belief that, according to Shubham Issar, “a serious problem can be solved through a simple and fun solution. Our focus is to reduce infant mortality rates and the spread of disease by promoting the habit of hand washing with soap among children. SoaPen taps into the power of the two directional awareness flow between adults and children all over the world, with the aim to reach as many hands as fast as possible!””

The SoaPen introduces the habit of personal hygiene, starting with washing hands. The target audience of the SoaPen is amongst school children, aged 3-6 years of age, a delicate age group that is highly prone to illness, as they come in daily contact with germs and bacteria. In the design of a crayon, this soap will allow educators and guardians to reduce spread of disease and influenza by writing on the skin of children, while directing them to the nearest sink.

Denise Gershbein, Executive Creative Director of frog tells us that the three brands in technology, “wanted to elevate wearable and sensor technology in a way that moves beyond fitness trackers on the wrist and towards improving the lives of mothers and children across the world. It was our goal to bring together a broad and diverse community of people whose ideas and efforts would be much more powerful when brought together in new ways. We are extremely pleased with the dialogue that has resulted from this effort, and truly humbled and impressed by the solutions generated by the winners. We look forward to seeing real impact in the world from these ideas.”

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The First ‘Smart’ Teddy Hits the Markets

Previously Published to TalentZoo’s Digital Pivot

Ted…Snuggles…Teddy Ruxpin…The Care Bears. We all fell in love with these popular teddies because they had minds of their own, they spoke to us, and they “wanted to be our friend.” While Ted’s fictional role in two movies allowed him to completely speak his mind and interact with humans as Snuggles did in laundry commercials, most of our other furry friends were one-way speakers and nothing more than a novelty. We could tell our teddies all the secrets in the world, and they would never tell. They had no other function aside from a pull string or the flip of a cassette tape. After a while, the novelty wore off. Enter “My Smart Teddy Bear.”



Hutoma, a manufacturer of smart toys, gives a “portable brain to everyday objects” and announced yesterday, October 8, that it is changing the one-way conversation and launching a Kickstarter campaign aimed at releasing its Smart Teddy Bear — the “first toy powered by deep learning neural networks that can be programmed by parents using simple text files containing sample conversations.” Basically, Hutoma is giving life through artificial intelligence in making our next-generation pals a little more realistic. Due to the sensitive nature of the relationship between human and bear, it is essential that it’s done in this way, simply because parents will have more control over what the bear will be able to say. In essence, the Hutoma teddy will be everything that we wish our Furbies would have been.

The Hutoma teddy will “learn to understand the human language and engage in a meaningful conversation.” Taking the innocence and bringing it back to childhood, Hutoma strives to keep children engaged just enough to put down the tablet and/or video game system. This leads to more interaction with peers and family, recreating “social” in an offline world, stimulating the brain “the old school way.” My Smart Teddy Bear can speak any language it is programmed to say.

The downfall to each My Smart Teddy device is that it seems to be connected to the server at all times. In fact, every time you speak with a Hutoma-powered object, your voice is processed and privately sent to their servers, where it’s analyzed to generate a response. It is continually building a brain. It will learn as you speak to it, but it can also be programmed to learn exactly what you want it to learn through text-file submission.

Devices by Hutoma leverage the power of the Internet to increase learning of factual information and deep sciences. Wikipedia is one source that My Smart Teddy and other Hutoma devices are programmed to analyze, as these are the words of multiple users through an Internet platform. It accesses these databases to get a clearer understanding of not just definitions of the words you speak but also the full picture of how they function.

This is a technology that will both enchant and horrify audiences at the same time. Some will see its benefit, while others will see science fiction coming to life and all the fears that come with it. The Smart Teddy Bear could be an amazing educational toy that also allows children to feel as if they are never alone. It could help build cognitive learning and encourage social integration and confidence, areas where some children suffer greatly. This technology has the power to bring our newest generation into the real world, encouraging conversation, actual friendships, and playtime without a tablet in hand. It will encourage innocence a bit longer in life, which is great considering how society is shifting due to loss of innocence.

Overall, this is an amazing product to keep tabs on and possibly invest in during the Kickstarter phase.

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Educational App encourages “Social” with contests in promoting Math to our youth!

Educational App encourages "Social" with contest in promoting Math to our youth!

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

Whether your child attends a public school or is being homeschooled by you, there is no denying that educational yet interactive learning materials are top priority in giving your child the skills they need to succeed in the real world. The younger the children are, the more we seek to excite their core with educational games directed towards their age group. One company is working to supply this demand in a host of games under release that encourages innovation and the elements of Mathematical function.

In 2013, Sproglit tested the waters with the launch and release of their first educational math game. This game was launched as a Beta iPad App and found its way into a number of schools in California, Utah and New York. This game was dubbed “Kyle Counts” and has found success through Beta users.

The matrix that Kyle Counts was built on is being called “Math Arrow” and is now announcing a contest encouraging teachers and parents, who homeschool their children, to enter for a chance to win $1,000. Runners up will win prizes provided by Sproglit in gratitude for their participation.

The contest is fairly easy to execute. Sproglit asks that the educator sends a lesson plan, story or video showing how they have incorporated the Math Arrow program into their classrooms and are finding success by “boosting number sense, addition and counting skills amongst their students.” Sproglit has created a contest page on their corporate site with instructions and entry forms available to these participants.

Currently, success is being reported by BYU Researcher who is reporting that “playing the Math Arrow: Kyle Counts iPad app for ten minutes a day for just one week raises arithmetic scores by 7-11% among first-graders.”

How Math Arrow works is by “numbers from 0-100 to children so that they can visualize patterns and quickly see, for example, how to count by 2s, 5s, and 10s.” This technology works so well, that even the inventor of the first cell phone, Mr. Martin Cooper, calls the Math Arrow “ingenious.” The Math Arrow was featured through The Mathematical Association of America with the headline: “Math Arrow to Replace Number Line?”

Because this game is catching on with children and educators around the United States, it is imperative that this company finds itself a larger presence, Online, in competing for the Mobile App and Tablet markets, Some people are very particular when it comes to educating the youth and avoiding companies that send out “subliminals” with their programming.

In order to provide individuals with a sense of Brand Trust, it will take everyday individuals to tell their own personal stories and successes. Sproglit is giving them an incentive to do so, while listening to ways to make their product better in future editions!

A product full of colors, animals, drama, learning and rewards, it is sure to capture the attention of young children everywhere, many of which normally have difficulty learning in traditional forms of education. It allows them to really understand the methods and sciences behind arithmetic.

Through testimonials, Sproglit may better demonstrate this to new potential users who may be skeptical. These children can speak about the experience themselves, with the adult involved in the process can speak about the actual progress of each child’s journey.

Sproglit is holding submission for contest participants until January 15, 2014. “We are excited to engage teachers and parents. The sooner they show the Math Arrow and Kangaroo Kyle to their children, the sooner their kids will develop a better sense of numbers,” said Sproglit CEO Todd Buchholz.

Invented by Todd Buchholz, former White House economic advisor, economist, author and winner of the Allyn Young Teaching Prize at Harvard University and in conjunction with his daughters Victoria, Katherine and Alexia, the Math Arrow is used in games by Sproglit in bringing about a positive understanding in the World of Mathematics to children everywhere.

Math is one of our most difficult subjects to grasp totally in our lifetime and yet is one of the most important. Everything in life involves it. By providing the youth with a love for the subject, we are preparing them for exciting revolutions in how people think, react, and function in our Tomorrow!

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Marketing for Change: Only 1-in-3 parents read to their children, 8 and under

dr suess, one fish two fish red fish blue fish, dr seuss, childhood education, marketing research, market research, macys, via, childhood development, learn to read, english, orlando, pittsburgh, punxsutawney, fort pierce, pittsburgh, new kensington

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON EXAMINER

In a world where technology is so evolved that everything is possible, why are our children becoming more corrupted, lacking morals, becoming more spoiled, lacking conscious, etc.? Does it have to do with how we are raising them? Does it have to do with the minimum bonding time we are spending with them and in being the first teachers in their life? A new survey reports that “only one-in-three parents read bedtime stories at night…Children are more likely to spend time with TV or Video Games than books.”

And, here lies the problem.

Lack of bonding and discipline can lead to an increase in independence, but this increase can be harmful to a child if no direction is given. How are we showing our children we love them? How are we influencing their decisions?

We get mad that they emulate what is seen on television, but we are not filling idle minds with wholesome data or swaying their mindsets in the way that we should. If we aren’t that positive role model in their life, we can’t be upset when “the entertainment” keeps them fulfilled and becomes their new “favorite person.” We can’t be upset when our child comes home with dissatisfactory results on their report cards.

When we read, children look at pictures (if snuggled next to you). Chances are, they will follow the words along with you… whether they know what the words spell out or not.

When they see words in repetition, they eventually learn the word “on sight,” and this readies them to learn more complex words. This is a science that programs like “My Baby Can Read” have proven to us time and time again. This is also something that can’t be done one-on-one in the classroom, especially where large classes exist.

As a matter of fact, the age group of “8-years-old and under” are at the highest risk. “Children who don’t read well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers,” according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

This is a science that programs like “My Baby Can Read” have proven to us time and time again. This is something that can’t be done one-on-one in the classroom, especially where large classes exist. As a matter of fact, the age group of “8-years-old and under” are at the highest risk. “Children who don’t read well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers,” according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Have we become too dependent on the programming our television networks have created to “educate” kids? Let us not forget that subliminal messaging is also often times placed in program messaging.

Innocent realities may also place “thoughts” into the mind of children. For example, an educational program called “IQ Kids” when heard without visuals, or when watched at “half span” attention sounds like it is clearly saying “I kill kids.” If your child can’t read, what message do they perceive? Do you think they will want to learn from these people, no matter how many awards they have won?

In the Online survey conducted by Macy’s, Reading is Fundamental and Harris Interactive, 33% of 1000 parents report nightly reading to their children. Through ten years of partnership, Macy’s and RIF find it even more important to deliver their 10 millionth book to children across the country. “Bedtime stories build the foundation for future achievement.

For a decade, Macy’s and RIF have worked together to get books and literacy resources to children in need, giving children and parents tools they need to dream big,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “While much news in this survey is encouraging, there is more work to be done – work that Be Book Smart and our partnership with Macy’s will help make possible.”

We must remember that this age group is that of our future society, our future decision-makers. If we aren’t teaching them correctly, who will? The television that has the sole purpose of selling advertising and merchandising?

Macy’s understands this and, since 2004, have donated over $25.8 million to RIF through customer-supported fundraising campaigns, in-store events and volunteer activities. They continue this mission with a campaign that runs Today (June 21) throughout until July 21, 2013, in the goal of donating the 10 millionth book to a child in need.

The campaign takes place Online and in stores across the country. The correlating Online campaign includes a Facebook Sweepstakes, and have included this statement in a recent Press Release:

“As part of the Be Book Smart campaign, Macy’s and RIF will host a sweepstakes on Facebook to encourage supporters to share information about the campaign and post images of quotes from favorite authors to their personal timelines via a Facebook app. Each week, one winner will be awarded a $500 Macy’s gift card. For official rules and to enter the sweepstakes, visit facebook.com/macys or rif.org/sweeps. No purchase necessary to enter or win a prize.”

What are you doing to ensure a bright and positive future for our children? Start reading to them, today!

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