At Age of Learning, our purpose is to help children everywhere build a strong foundation for academic success and to foster a lifelong love of learning. We blend education best practices, innovative technology, and insightful creativity to create engaging and effective educational experiences that bring learning to life. Our flagship program, the award-winning and research-validated ABCmouse.com® Early Learning Academy, is the leading and most comprehensive digital learning resource for children ages 2–8, designed to help prepare children for kindergarten and ensure third-grade readiness.
Today, two of every three children in the U.S. are not proficient in reading and more than half are not proficient in math by the time they reach fourth grade (The Nation’s Report Card). Globally, hundreds of millions of school-age children are below grade level in basic academic skills (Unesco Institute for Statistics).
These gaps in foundational learning have devastating long-term consequences for our children and our world. But these gaps can be closed: Decades of research shows that high-quality early learning experiences can significantly improve children's learning trajectories, with lifelong benefits. Age of Learning is committed to providing outstanding digital educational programs that help children develop the foundational skills required to succeed in school and beyond.
Curriculum Board & Academic Leadership
Our Curriculum Board of nationally recognized educators and experts in language development, child development, and early learning best practices guides the development of our programs, in collaboration with our in-house team of researchers and curriculum and assessment managers. Dozens of classroom teachers across the U.S. and around the world also review our programs and provide critical input. Our Curriculum Board members include a National Teacher of the Year, an inductee into the National Teachers Hall of Fame and co-founder of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and a leading scholar of language development, among other experts:
Kimberly Oliver Burnim
Curriculum Board Member
Ms. Burnim is a kindergarten, first grade, and reading intervention teacher with 16 years of classroom experience. She was honored as National Teacher of the Year in 2006—one of only three kindergarten teachers to receive the award in more than 60 years. Certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and currently serving on that organization’s Board of Directors, Ms. Burnim brings to ABCmouse a deep and forward-thinking understanding of how to support language and literacy development for young learners. In addition to strategic curriculum planning, Ms. Burnim collaborates in the design of ABCmouse learning activities to ensure they are developmentally appropriate, incorporate effective teaching strategies, and help to build a strong foundation of essential concepts and skills important for early learners.
Marc Hernandez, Ph.D.
Curriculum Board Member
Dr. Hernandez is a nationally prominent development psychologist and the Director of the Early Childhood Research and Practice Collaborative at NORC at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as Principal Research Scientist. Dr. Hernandez's research focuses on how children develop literacy, mathematics, and science skills and how best to develop and evaluate programs that improve educational outcomes for early learners. Dr. Hernandez oversees large‐scale projects including experimental and quasi‐experimental studies, mixed-methods research, psychometric analyses for assessment and survey development, and program evaluation. He earned his B.A. in Biology and Psychology, M.A. in Social Sciences, and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology all from the University of Chicago.
Professor Alison Mackey
Curriculum Board Member
Dr. Mackey, Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, is a leading expert in applied linguistics, focusing on how people learn second languages. Her language learning research has appeared in all of the top scholarly journals in her field and she has published 16 books, including three on children’s language learning and teaching. One of her best-known books, co-authored with Professor Kendall King, is The Bilingual Edge: Why, When and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language (HarperCollins). A celebrated instructor, Professor Mackey has taught linguistics around the world, consulted for several major language learning companies, and reviewed international baccalaureate and language programs. She is a past winner of the Modern Language Association’s Kenneth W. Mildenburger prize (with Susan M. Gass). Her graduate work was at the University of Sydney and Cambridge University, where she earned her Ph.D. and M. Phil., respectively.
Dr. Rebecca Palacios
Curriculum Board Member
A 2014 inductee into the National Teachers Hall of Fame, Dr. Palacios has more than three decades of experience in early childhood education, as well as a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of dual language learning, and is co-founder and former vice-chairperson of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), an organization that has certified more than 110,000 teachers. For ABCmouse, Dr. Palacios works on strategic curriculum planning, the design of age-appropriate learning activities, and the development of site content supporting English language learning. Dr. Palacios is a nationwide professional development presenter and has served on committees for the National Science Foundation, the Education Development Center in Boston, and Scholastic, Inc. Dr. Palacios has published articles on teacher professional development, early childhood education, and dual language programs.
Professor Cynthia A. Tyson, Ph.D., MSW, LSW
Curriculum Board Member
Dr. Tyson is a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University (OSU) and an expert in teaching about social justice, multiculturalism, and race. Her courses include Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education, Early Childhood Social Studies, and Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. She has presented numerous research papers at national and international conferences, published articles in top academic journals, and authored two books. Dr. Tyson has also won several awards, including the American Educational Research Association’s Mid-Career Award and OSU’s College of Education Diversity Enhancement Award. A former elementary classroom teacher and multicultural education staff development specialist, she has provided expert guidance on urban education and frameworks for teaching for social justice. She has also consulted with universities, school districts, and learning communities across the U.S., U.K., Mali, Ghana, and South Africa.
Hee Jin Bang, Ph.D.
Director Efficacy Research and Evaluation
Dr. Bang leads the development and management of Age of Learning’s efficacy research strategy, including the design and supervision of both quantitative and qualitative studies. In her nearly 20 years of high-level experience in education and research in the U.S., U.K., France, and South Korea, Dr. Bang has held research-related positions at non-profits such as the William T. Grant Foundation and the National Writing Project, universities such as N.Y.U., and for-profit companies such as Amplify Education. Prior to joining Age of Learning, she was Founding Researcher at Shebang, Inc., a think tank focused on using research to create solutions to social problems. Dr. Bang has authored or co-authored more than 15 studies and other academic publications, and has earned a B.A. with Honors from Oxford University, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Education from N.Y.U.
Meagan Rothschild, Ph.D.
Senior Director Design Research
Dr. Rothschild oversees formative and user research across Age of Learning’s educational programs. She came to Age of Learning from WIDA, a leading educational research and program development organization within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she focused on early childhood assessment and design. Previously, at Microsoft Research, she conducted a joint research study between Microsoft and Sesame Workshop on media use with early learners. She also worked as an educational game designer and curriculum specialist and was a classroom teacher for several years. Dr. Rothschild earned a B.A. in Hawaiian Language and an M.A. in Educational Technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on Digital Media and Learning.
Elizabeth Owen, Ph.D.
Advisor, Learning Analytics
Dr. Owen is an expert in game-based learning analytics. At Age of Learning she specializes in optimizing adaptive learning systems through applied machine learning. Previously she worked as a researcher and data scientist with GlassLab Games at Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and LRNG by Collective Shift after earning a Ph.D. in Digital Media (Learning Analytics focus) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Owen’s doctoral work was based at the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center, which launched collaborations with EA, Zynga, and PopCap Games using game-based Educational Data Mining. Dr. Owen spent a decade as a K–12 educator and was a founding teacher at the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise charter school. She holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.
Our management team, comprised of executives with backgrounds in technology, media, consumer research, international business, finance, law, and government, includes:
Paul Candland joined Age of Learning in 2019 as CEO. Previously, he was a Senior Advisor to the company. Paul brings extensive experience to the company from his work in the children’s media and technology sector. Previous to Age of Learning, he had a 20-year career at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as President of Walt Disney Japan (2007–2017) and President of Walt Disney Asia (2014–2017). During his tenure as Disney’s top executive for Japan, Paul drove rapid and consistent growth across all divisions. He oversaw the creation, launch, and expansion of Tsum Tsum®, one of Disney’s most successful consumer products franchises globally and the company’s first $1 billion mobile game. At its peak, Tsum Tsum was played by over 5% of Japan’s population every day. Paul also launched a major new TV channel, pioneered the local production of short- and long-form animated content, and transformed Disney’s retail operations. Prior to joining Disney, Paul was an executive at PepsiCo for more than a decade. He earned his MBA from Penn State University and his B.S. in Finance from Brigham Young University.
VP Curriculum Planning & Design
Anastasia leads the team of curriculum experts at Age of Learning responsible for envisioning, planning, and designing the curriculum content of core educational products in the U.S., including ABCmouse and Adventure Academy. She brings nearly 30 years of experience in education, as a teacher, administrator, professional development coach, curriculum developer, and researcher working at all levels, from preschool to university. Anastasia is a member of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Women in Educational Leadership 2018 cohort and the 2019 recipient of the Dr. Leroy Callahan scholarship for promising young mathematics researchers. She holds an M.Ed. with an emphasis in children’s literature and is pursuing her doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning (CISL) at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.
General Manager, Schools Division
Sam joined Age of Learning with more than 20 years of senior sales management experience within leading media and education publishing companies, most recently Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). As SVP of U.S. Sales, Sam led HHM’s Open Territory team, driving significant supplemental product growth. Before that, as the company’s top international executive, he oversaw the transformation of HHM’s use of technology internationally, developed partnerships and licensing arrangements, and drove consistent growth across regions. Sam previously founded and sold a global publishing consultancy specializing in the development of advanced analytics and market-share management for digital and education publishers. Earlier in his career, he was the Associate Publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Sam holds a BA from Lehigh University.
Lee served as COO of NeoPets, Inc., from 2000 to 2006, overseeing the development of Neopets.com into one of the largest youth communities on the Internet. Lee spearheaded the company’s licensing, merchandising, and promotions activities, securing strategic relationships with companies such as Sony Computer Entertainment, McDonald’s, General Mills, and Wizards of the Coast. Prior to NeoPets, Lee was VP Business Development at The Dohring Company for more than eight years.
General Counsel & SVP, Compliance
Shannon joined Age of Learning with 20 years of experience in corporate and legal affairs, most recently as Deputy General Counsel and Privacy Officer for Everbridge, Inc.(NASDAQ: EVBG). At Everbridge she also served as acting General Counsel, responsible for filing the company’s S-1 with the SEC. Previously, Shannon served as Associate General Counsel at Move, Inc. (acquired by News Corp.) and practiced law at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP in both the Entertainment and Corporate practices. She holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the San Diego Law Review.
President of Greater China
Before joining Age of Learning, Jerry co-founded AboveNet Communications in 1996, which later listed on NASDAQ, and oversaw Asia-Pacific regional operations. He subsequently became a real estate developer and an angel investor in Silicon Valley and China. A native of Taiwan, Jerry earned his M.B.A. from the University of Hartford.
Senior Art Director
Rob was an artist and animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation for more than a decade before coming to Age of Learning. Rob contributed to such animated feature classics as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and many other Disney animated feature films and projects. Rob has also provided freelance illustration, character design, and artistic direction for clients such as Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, Warner Bros., Big Idea Productions, and others. Rob completed his illustration studies at Ringling College of Art and Design.
President of Production
Alex came to Age of Learning with more than 20 years of expertise building and leading innovative software development organizations. Most recently, he served as the General Manager of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment game studio Turbine, where he led the company’s expansion into mobile. Previously, Alex was President and Chief Operating Officer of Transpera, Inc., a leading mobile video ad network acquired by Tremor Video (NYSE: TRMR); and Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Development at Glu Mobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU). Alex also spent several years as a Senior Software Engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. He holds an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University.
EVP & Managing Director International
Rob has more than 25 years of leadership experience driving strategy and successfully managing businesses across the Asia Pacific and Europe regions. He was with The Walt Disney Company for more than a decade, where he ran all of Disney’s businesses in Southeast Asia. Most recently, Rob was CEO and founder of advisory and investment firm Blue Hat Ventures, where he helped scale high-growth businesses in the consumer media & technology industry across Asia. He holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Management Studies from the University of London, was certified as a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and completed the Executive Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Mastery & Adaptive Products
Sunil leads teams that manage development and distribution of mastery and adaptive products. Mastery products leverage learning and behavioral science research as well as artificial intelligence to personalize learning to improve educational outcomes for every child. Sunil serves on the board of Children’s Institute, a non-profit supporting Los Angeles-based children and families in need. Sunil spent 11 years at The Walt Disney Company overseeing mobile product development and distribution globally. He began his career as a management consultant at Ernst & Young and has a B.A. in Business Administration and an M.A. in Accounting from the University of Georgia, and an M.B.A. from University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.
EVP Partnerships & Corporate Affairs
Before joining Age of Learning, Zac was Chief of Staff of the Federal Communications Commission, responsible for the agency’s policymaking and operations on behalf of Chairman Julius Genachowski. At the FCC, Zac oversaw and helped launch a major upgrade of the E-rate program, which provides billions of dollars in annual funding to help connect schools and libraries to the Internet. He joined the FCC in 2009 from the White House, and he previously practiced law at Munger, Tolles & Olson, after beginning his career in strategy consulting and venture investing in Silicon Valley. Zac graduated from Yale Law School, where he was Editor in Chief of The Yale Law Journal.
As EVP at NeoPets, Inc., from 2000 to 2006, Rik was responsible for overseeing business development and client advertising; personally engaging clients such as The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Proctor and Gamble, Kraft, Mattel, and McDonald’s; and spearheading the development of innovative, immersive advertising campaigns. Rik served as EVP at The Dohring Company for more than 14 years, advising thousands of corporate clients on their advertising, marketing, and Internet strategies.
SVP Curriculum Management
Joel has more than 20 years of leadership experience in curriculum and education technology product development, and spent years as an elementary school teacher. Before joining Age of Learning he was Director of Product Management at McGraw-Hill Education, overseeing development of its K–8 intervention curriculum. Prior to that, Joel was Executive Editor at educational publisher Zaner-Bloser, directing product development of its K–6 reading curriculum; Associate Publisher at National Geographic School Publishing, leading the development and production of ESL/ELA instructional materials; and Associate Director of Reading/Language Arts at Harcourt School Publishers, focusing on Early Childhood. He began his career teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades in Santa Ana, California.
Prior to joining Age of Learning, Miriam was a VP at NeoPets, Inc., supervising the company’s Administration, HR, and Facilities operations through its transition from startup to an industry leader in the online youth entertainment space. Before NeoPets, Miriam served as VP of Client Services at The Dohring Company, overseeing services for more than 1,000 research clients. Miriam also managed administration and HR operations during her eight years with The Dohring Company.
Michael has been a leading player in the growth of interactive entertainment for more than 15 years. He was most recently CEO of Buffalo Studios, which was sold to Caesars Interactive in 2012. In 2000, Michael was a founding executive and CFO of JAMDAT Mobile, leading JAMDAT’s highly successful IPO in 2005 and its acquisition by Electronic Arts in 2006. From 2006 to 2011 he led multiple platform and business model transitions at EA as SVP and GM for mobile, Pogo, and social games. Michael began his career on Wall Street as a corporate lawyer at Cahill Gordon & Reindel and then as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch.
Bonnie brings more than three decades of experience in global brand development, consumer insights and analytics, and strategy to Age of Learning. She was an executive at The Walt Disney Company for more than 20 years, most recently as VP Brand Development, responsible for global consumer/brand strategies across the Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars brands and Media Networks. Bonnie played a role in Disney’s shift to direct-to-consumer businesses (including Disney+) and co-led a major effort to strengthen the inclusiveness of the company’s brands. Prior to Disney, Bonnie spent 5 years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and she began her career at the Central Intelligence Agency. Bonnie holds a B.A. in Math with highest honors from the University of Montana, and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.
VP International Product
Yuying joined Age of Learning with 20 years of experience in product management and product marketing for software, internet, and mobile companies in the U.S. and China. She most recently served as VP of Product Management for EF Education First, a leading global education company with more than 40,000 employees. Yuying began her career as a Program Manager at Microsoft on the Windows team and subsequently worked at SAP as well as U.S.- and China-based technology startups. Her interest in blending education and technology began with her undergraduate research at MIT, where she earned her B.S. and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and worked at the MIT Media Lab.
Kevin brings more than 30 years of executive-level experience in the field of children’s entertainment, including educational entertainment, to his creative leadership role at Age of Learning. He created the award-winning PBS television series Liberty’s Kids, voiced by well-known personalities such as Warren Buffett, Walter Cronkite, Billy Crystal, Dustin Hoffman, and Whoopi Goldberg. Kevin creatively contributed to classic children’s shows, including Madeline, Dennis the Menace, and Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego; and he has worked on interactive educational games with companies such as Lucas Arts, Sundance, and PBS.
VP Data & Analytics
With 20 years of leadership experience in analyzing data to drive business strategy and operations, Lacey leads the teams providing end-to-end data services at Age of Learning. Most recently, she was VP of Data at a leading medical technology startup, where she built out the data function to improve customer acquisition and retention and enhance product development. Prior to that, she served as Chief Economist at Edmunds, where she was a nationally recognized leader in automotive economics and spearheaded the use of advanced analytics to optimize online car-buying. She spent the first decade of her career as an economic consultant. Lacey earned a Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA and a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University.
SVP Global Business Development & Partnerships
Dave is responsible for global business development and partnerships, including new commercial relationships across distribution, licensing, marketing, and technology. He joined the company with nearly 20 years of experience in senior-level strategic, commercial, and operational roles across media, gaming and technology. Most recently, Dave served as Disney’s VP, Global Distribution Strategy and Business Development, overseeing the Hulu relationship, leading the international DTC platform and partnership strategy, and supporting domestic channel renewals and global SVOD negotiations with Amazon and Netflix. Prior to Disney, he led Strategy and Business Development at Microsoft for Xbox’s interactive TV initiative and worked in Corporate Strategy and M&A at Sony. Dave received an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. and B.A. from UCLA.
Chief Strategy Officer
At Age of Learning, Mia is responsible for overall corporate strategy, including evaluating opportunities for organic and inorganic growth. She joined the company after nearly 20 years at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as SVP of Global Distribution and Strategy, where she oversaw the global growth strategy of Disney’s multi-billion dollar TV network and content distribution businesses. She led the creation of Disney Television’s consumer data and analytics function and spent several years in Disney’s Corporate Strategic Planning group focused on acquisitions, joint ventures, and new business development. Mia graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude with a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She also holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
Christine has a 20-year track record of creative leadership success. In five years at Electronic Arts, Christine guided the development of the EA Mobile Publishing organization, overseeing Creative Marketing, Consumer Insights, and Interactive, as well as serving as the design lead for Worldwide Consumer Marketing. Prior to EA, Christine led creative and brand development teams at DirecTV and The Walt Disney Company. She has also provided creative and brand consultation for leading Internet brands including Lynda.com and Zynga. Christine holds a B.S. in Advertising and a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
As Executive Producer and part of Age of Learning’s founding team, Stephanie currently produces the company’s music and provides creative leadership for content development. From 2015-2018, Stephanie served as Sr. EVP of Content Production and Design, and from 2007-2015, Stephanie served as EVP of Content and General Counsel. Before joining Age of Learning, Stephanie spent seven years as General Counsel at NeoPets, Inc. She was previously a senior IP/new media associate at Troy & Gould, as well as a media litigator at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Stephanie clerked on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and holds a B.A. in Communications Studies from UCLA and a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. Prior to law school, Stephanie produced live shows, records, and television commercials for a variety of clients. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and NARAS, as well as a Grammy nominee.
Board & Company Advisors
Founder & Executive Chairman of Age of Learning, Chairman of the Age of Learning Foundation
Doug Dohring is a California-based entrepreneur who has led several companies to success over the past three decades. Doug founded Age of Learning, Inc., in 2007, and was CEO until 2019. The company has brought together experts in the field of education, creative content developers, and engineers to develop and launch ABCmouse.com, the most comprehensive digital learning resource for children ages 2–8.
Prior to founding Age of Learning, Doug founded NeoPets, Inc., in February 2000. Neopets.com rapidly became one of the world’s top-ranked websites, generating more than 8 billion page views per month in 11 languages globally. Advertising Age named Doug one of the Top 100 Marketers of the Year in 2001. In 2002, with the expansion of NeoPets into Asia, Neopets and Doug were the subject of a Harvard Business School Case Study on the company's viral growth and user engagement. Doug served as Chairman and CEO of NeoPets, Inc., from its inception through its $160 million sale to Viacom, Inc., in June of 2005. Before NeoPets, Doug founded The Dohring Company in 1986, which quickly grew to become a top-100 market research firm in the U.S., serving thousands of clients. Learn more about Doug Dohring...
Sky has a long history as a successful entrepreneur in the Internet industry, having founded, co-founded, and helped build companies with a combined market value of over $5 billion. Best known for founding the Internet service provider EarthLink in 1994, Sky also founded Boingo Wireless in 2001 and co-founded eCompanies, Business.com, and several other companies. Sky was an investor and active board member at NeoPets leading up to its sale to Viacom in 2005. As Director of Age of Learning, he works closely with our management team to help guide our growth.
Will joined ICONIQ Capital as a Partner in 2013 and co-leads its merchant bank, including its technology and direct investment efforts. Prior to ICONIQ, Will was a General Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures and an Associate at The Beacon Group, a private equity firm acquired by JP Morgan Chase. Will began his career as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. He received B.A. degrees in Engineering and History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Will has been an investor in a number of companies, including Alibaba, SurveyMonkey, The Honest Company, and Uber.
Yan Ke, Ph.D.
Yan has been a leading technology entrepreneur in the U.S. and China for almost two decades. In 1997, Yan left Cisco to co-found and serve as an executive at NetScreen Technologies, a Silicon Valley Internet security company that went public in 2001 (NASDAQ: NSCN) and was later acquired by Juniper Networks for $4 billion. In 2005, Yan co-founded Northern Light Venture Capital, a Beijing-based, China-focused venture capital firm that has backed more than 100 early- and growth-stage companies and manages nearly $2 billion in capital. Yan attended Tsinghua University in China, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. In 2002, he was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Dan is currently the Chairman of Coatue Ventures and Coatue Growth, and was VP of Partnerships at Facebook from 2006 to 2018. As head of global business development and operations, he was responsible for strategic partnerships, developer relations, M&A, and community operations. Dan joined Facebook in 2006 after seven years at Amazon in business development and product management, including the development of the Amazon Kindle. He has a B.A. from Harvard University.
Dave was an investor and trusted advisor to Age of Learning. A successful entrepreneur and widely respected technology executive (SurveyMonkey, LAUNCH Media), he shared our belief that every child should have access to a high-quality education. Dave helped to guide our strategy, build our team, and prepare the company for global expansion. We miss him greatly.
Program Development Process
We develop our educational programs through a deeply collaborative and child-centric process involving:
- our Curriculum Board;
- an in-house team of curriculum, user, and efficacy researchers; and curriculum and assessment managers;
- dozens of expert classroom teachers; and
- our creative content development and engineering teams.
The goal of our process is to create engaging and highly effective educational experiences that help children achieve specific learning outcomes and develop a lifelong love of learning. It is comprised of three phases:
The process begins with research. Curriculum and assessment specialists collect, review, analyze, and synthesize three categories of information:
- state-, national-, and (for English language learning) international-level standards that delineate what children should learn;
- the latest research on learning and educational best practices;
- publications of professional education associations that address specific subject areas.
This body of information forms the basis of subsequent curriculum and assessment design decisions.
Curriculum specialists, with review and input from advisors, develop and validate comprehensive, detailed Scope and Sequence documents covering the subjects and topics to be addressed for each program under development. These documents present the specific learning objectives (concepts, principles, data, and skills) that will be taught for each topic.
3. Build, Test, and Iterate
Our curriculum team works with our creative content developers to determine the types of Learning Activities that will effectively address each learning objective, such as games, books, songs, puzzles, videos, and art activities. Our creative content team, including designers, visual artists, writers, editors, composers, musicians, voice-over artists, and engineers then create these activities in an iterative process heavily informed by user research.
Teams typically create a prototype of a new Learning Activity either on paper, with physical manipulatives, or digitally, and work with our User Research team to have children use the prototype in one or more research sessions. These sessions, which provide critical insights into children’s play-styles, behaviors, motivations, and challenges, test our hypotheses about how best to teach and assess. Based on this user research, our teams iterate Learning Activities and assessments before releasing them in to our live programs.
We then evaluate our programs through field testing and rigorous efficacy research to ensure they’re improving learning outcomes. We partner with third-party early learning experts, including SRI International, University of Oregon, NORC at the University of Chicago, and WestEd to study the effectiveness of our programs in a variety of use cases. More than a dozen large-scale research studies, including multiple randomized control trials, have found that ABCmouse accelerates learning and helps children make significant gains in early literacy and math skills.
This collaborative, learner-centered development process enables us to create products that help children build a strong foundation for academic success. Click here to learn more about how we develop one of our products.
Education Access Initiatives
Reflecting our commitment to help children everywhere build a strong foundation for academic success, Age of Learning's Education Access Initiatives reach millions of children by offering the full, award-winning ABCmouse.com® Early Learning Academy at no cost to teachers, libraries, and community centers, including afterschool programs and public housing authorities.
Age of Learning has partnered with the White House, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and others to serve children across the U.S. in need of high-quality early learning resources.