ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy
|Founded||Glendale, California, U.S.|
|Area served||U.S. and Canada|
|Type of site||Education|
Owned and created by Age of Learning, Inc., located in Glendale, CA, ABCmouse.com is an educational website for young children that provides online learning activities for 2-6 year olds at preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten levels. ABCmouse.com offers free access for all public schools in the U.S. and Canada and a selection of free content for the general public. Full access to the site’s curriculum and features is available to a subscription-based membership.
Educational advisors include:
- Kimberly Oliver Burnim: 2006 National Teacher of the Year Award recipient
- Dr. Rebecca Palacios: pre-k/kindergarten teacher for 25 years and a founding director and former vice chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
- Phyllis Baecker: an editor with two decades of experience with several children’s educational publishers, including Scholastic, Inc.
- Dr. John Bollard: a lexicographer with 25 years of experience, Editor of The Scholastic Student Thesaurus (2002) and Children’s Thesaurus (1998); Contributing Editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary (2001); and Consulting Editor for Webster’s New World Thesaurus (1996)
- Kevin O’Donnell: writer/producer and creator of the PBS television series Liberty’s Kids
- Dave Hendry: Peabody Award-winning producer and writer for the PBS educational television series Futures with Jaime Escalante and The Eddie Files, featuring Kay Toliver
ABCmouse.com’s reading program is based on a Balanced Literacy approach that combines phonics instruction with oral vocabulary development, Phonemic awareness, Sight words and shared reading experiences.
While developers do not explicitly cite Gardner’s Theory of multiple intelligences, the guiding principles of site development is the belief that learning for young children is facilitated by providing access to concepts and skill development through a combination of text, visual and auditory modes (through books, songs, puzzles, games, art activities and printables). The children’s songs available on the site do include many that impart academic knowledge, such as the Alphabet Songs Letters A to Z, the song Where Do Rainbows Go, and others, in accordance with research that indicates that songs are an effective mode of learning for many young children.
Interface and Access
Al navigation features, buttons and instructions on ABCmouse.com are voiced, and site’s books are narrated.
ABCmouse.com provides several learning contexts for ages 2 through 6 that are intended to teach oral vocabulary and fundamental math concepts. Children can follow a sequence of lessons on the developer-designed learning path, or they can do lessons created for them by their parents or teachers. They can also learn independently in any of the available contexts.
Primarily designed for home use, the website is also available in a version designed for teachers and schools.
The free non-member learning area of the site provides basic reading and math learning activities, as well as limited access to other site areas. Membership for families and private schools is priced on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. ABCmouse.com is available at no cost to public schools, children’s hospitals and some other not-for-profit government institutions.
Educational Songs and Apps
ABCmouse.com’s album The Letter Songs A to Z is available, along with each individual letter song, through online music outlets, such as iTunes.
ABCmouse.com also has produced a range of iPhone/iPad apps, including interactive books from its Aesop’s Fables series, Beginning Reader series, and Search and Explore series, and a Zoo app featuring five animals
Available to the public since November 2010, ABCmouse.com has received the 2011 Parents' Choice Award-Gold and the 2010 Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award. The Web Marketing Association also presented ABCmouse.com with the 2010 'Outstanding Achievement in Web Development' award
- Strouse, Darla. "Kimberly Oliver 2006 National Teacher of the Year". Maryland State Department of Education.
- Ringgenberg, Shelly. "Singing as a Teaching Tool". NAEYC.
- "Research Reports". Pre-K Now.
- "Aesop’s Fables Series". Age of Learning, Inc.
- "Beginning Reader Series: Big Bug and Little Bug". Age of Learning, Inc.
- "The Search and Explore Series: Search and Explore: The Grand Canyon". Age of Learning, Inc.
- "Interactive Environment Series: Visit the Zoo, Set 1 (Elephants, Zebras, Penguins, Lions, and Pandas)". Age of Learning, Inc.
- Hensley, Jessica. "Parents' Choice Awards: ABCmouse.com". Parents' Choice.
- "ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy". Children's Technology Review.
- "Web Marketing Association: Best of Industry".