PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Leo’s Pad, a series of animated apps for preschoolers, is changing the face of educational apps by customizing learning activities for a child—as he or she plays. Leo’s Pad is the first release from Kidaptive, Inc., a collaboration of educational researchers from Stanford University and an Emmy-winning creative director’s talented team of animators and writers.
Each Leo’s Pad “appisode,” or animated app, is interwoven with games and puzzles designed by educational researchers to create measurable learning experiences. Named in “New and Noteworthy” on iTunes by Apple, the appisodes for ages 3–6 are beautifully rendered in 3D animation. They tell the story of eight-year-old Leonardo da Vinci, playfully reimagined on adventures with pals Galileo, Marie Curie, Confucius and other historical characters.
As the child completes activities, the apps measure his or her responses along 70-plus dimensions of learning. Then games automatically adjust in difficulty to create the optimal learning environment.
“Every game is a series of challenges, a tool to deliver test questions and measure skills such as color recognition, attention control, or counting principles,” said Dylan Arena, co-founder and Chief Learning Officer at Kidaptive. “This adaptive learning model is unlike anything else on the marketplace. Our assessments promise the most detailed insight into a young learner’s development ever offered outside of clinical settings.”
Unlike adaptive learning apps that measure a single skill, such as knowing the alphabet, the sophisticated learning framework behind Leo’s Pad can pinpoint whether a child knows colors but is still working on shapes. It can identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses across academic, cognitive, emotional and physical skill sets such as motor control, spatial reasoning, instruction following, and empathy. Future models will predict a child’s responses on games he or she has not yet played.
The adaptive technology makes the learning process more efficient, engaging, and motivating. “It adjusts to give kids challenges that they will get right, say, 70 percent of the time, just the right balance of ‘Wow, I got that right,’ and feeling challenged,” said Arena, a learning scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford. “That’s the sweet spot for learning and having a good time.”
Coming soon is a “Parent Dashboard” to show a child’s progress based on a 70-component educational matrix.
“It will be more than just reporting. It will offer suggestions such as an activity that the parent and child can do together, or a conversation that can be initiated,” Arena said. The section will include tips on how to support progress outside of screen time.
“Our goal is smart storytelling, to help children have fun and become better learners,” said P.J. Gunsagar, co-founder and CEO of Kidaptive. “We have assembled a team of top educational researchers and talented creatives to craft beautiful apps that parents and children will love. We want to enrich education with engaging tales that have a long-lasting impact on kids’ cognitive development.”
In Leo’s Pad Appisode 1 (“Gally’s Birthday”), Leo helps his friend Galileo (Gally) build a telescope. It is free for iPad. In Leo’s Pad 2 (“Rocket to the Stars”), Leo and Gally create the design for Gally’s rocket ship. It is $1.99 on the iPad.
Kidaptive uses innovative educational technology for smart storytelling on iPads, with curriculum developed by top university researchers to create entertaining and adaptive content that helps children learn.
Contact: Julie Brannon
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