ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy

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ABCmouse.com
Type of site
Education
Available in English
Headquarters Glendale, California, U.S.
Area served U.S. and Canada
Industry Education
Parent Age of Learning, Inc.
Website abcmouse.com
Advertising No
Launched November 10, 2010 (2010-11-10)

ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy is a subscription-based digital education program for children ages 2–8, created by Age of Learning, Inc.[1][2] Subscribers can access learning activities on the ABCmouse.com website or mobile app for tablet or smartphone.[3] Subjects covered include reading and language arts, math, science, health, social studies, music, and art.[4][5]

ABCmouse.com is also made available at no cost to teachers,[6][7][8] Head Start programs,[9][10][11] public libraries,[12][13][14] public housing authorities, and other community organizations.[15][5][16]

As of 2016, ABCmouse for Teachers was used in more than 65,000 classrooms and ABCmouse for Libraries was available at one-third of U.S. public libraries,[17][18] including all branches in Los Angeles,[19] Chicago,[20] Houston, and Brooklyn.[21]

ABCmouse for Schools, a product designed for school districts or chains of schools, launched at the 2016 ISTE conference.[22]

In 2017, a two-year longitudinal study published in the Journal of Applied Research on Children concluded that the use of ABCmouse Early Learning Academy improved school readiness and accelerated students’ learning gains in math and literacy skills.[23]

Age of Learning, Inc.[edit]

ABCmouse.com is produced by Age of Learning, Inc., a privately owned education technology company.[24] The company was founded in 2007 by Doug Dohring and is headquartered in Glendale, CA.[25] Age of Learning launched ABCmouse.com in 2010 after three years of development, guided by a team of educators, and following testing by 10,000 families.[26]

Members of Age of Learning’s Curriculum Board include 2006 National Teacher of the Year Award recipient Kimberly Oliver Burnim,[27][28] 2014 National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Rebecca Palacios,[29][30] and Science Writing Award-winning writer Stephen M. Tomecek.[31] The board is overseen by two-time Peabody Award-winner Dave Hendry.[32][33]

In 2014, at the White House Summit on Early Education, Age of Learning pledged to the Invest In Us campaign to provide services valued at more than $10 million to preschool, pre-k, and Head Start classrooms over two years.[34][35] In 2015, the company partnered with another White House initiative, ConnectHome, to make ABCmouse.com for free to families living in public housing in 27 cities and one tribal nation, serving up to 65,000 children.[36][5] In 2016, it was reported that Age of Learning raised $150 million from Iconiq Capital, giving the company a $1 billion valuation.[37][38] Age of Learning also launched ABCmouse for Schools in 2016;[39][18] the enterprise-level solution won an ISTE Best of Show Award at the annual edtech conference.[40]

Content and structure[edit]

ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy content currently consists of more than 8,500 learning activities and 850 lessons.[5] The preschool through second grade curriculum is laid out in a sequence called the “Step by Step Learning Path.”[41] Parents can register up to three children and set each one at his or her own level based on age and ability.[42] Children can also use any of the content outside of the set learning path. Activities include videos, coloring activities, learning games, poems, puzzles and songs that cover reading and writing, math, art, music, social studies, science, and health.[43] There are also more than 800 digital books, including over 100 Stepped Readers.[44] The same content is available whether children log on using their computer or mobile device (iOS, Android, Kindle).[45][46]

To some, the amount of content “seems almost endless” but can be “almost overwhelming,” suggesting kids will “likely need help navigating the site.”[47] Others have judged it “easy enough for even the youngest computer users”[46][48] and “well designed for children to use” with an “interface that is intuitive for them.”[49][50][41]

Navigation and rewards[edit]

Children navigate the site with the aid of “voice-overs, images, and text,” but younger kids may need help.[51] Children earn tickets each time they complete a learning activity, which they can use to shop at virtual stores to decorate their room or “buy” things for their pets.[52][53]

The ABCmouse.com rewards system is one of its more polarizing features. A review on Common Sense Media said that rewarding learning with shopping may be “teaching a potentially unintended message.”[51] Others have expressed that this motivation[52] encourages completion of activities, understanding of responsibility, and “budgeting and prioritizing.”[51]

Educational apps and videos[edit]

The ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy curriculum can be accessed on tablets and smartphones using apps from iTunes,[54] Google Play,[55] and the Amazon Appstore for Android.[56] Age of Learning also launched ABCmouse Language Arts Animations, ABCmouse Mastering Math, ABCmouse Mathematics Animations, ABCmouse Science Animations, ABCmouse Music Videos, and ABCmouse Zoo apps in the same app stores. These apps can be used online or offline and are available to ABCmouse members.[57][58][59]

Some Age of Learning apps, such as its Aesop’s Fables series[60] Beginning Reader series,[61] have been discontinued and are instead available on the ABCmouse.com YouTube channel.[62][63]

Awards[edit]

The ABCmouse.com website and apps have received the following awards: 2015 National Parenting Publications Awards Double Gold Winner,[64] 2015 TabbyAwards Winner and Tabby Awards Users' Choice Winner,[65] The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval for Spring 2015,[66] Tilliywig Brain Child Award Winner in 2013,[67] Winner of the 2011 Parents' Choice Award-Gold,[68] the 2010 Children’s Technology Review[69] Editor’s Choice Award, and the Web Marketing Association's 'Outstanding Achievement in Web Development' award in 2010.[70]

ABCmouse for Schools received a Best of Show Award at the ISTE 2016 conference.[71]

References[edit]

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External Reading[edit]