January 11, 2011 (Glendale, CA): ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy–a pioneering full online curriculum preschool through kindergarten educational website launched publicly in November 2010—recently received the prestigious Editor’s Choice Award from Children’s Technology Review (CTR), a monthly publication that features the latest products and trends in children’s interactive media.
CTR’s review process is designed to broadly measure five factors that generally apply to most children’s interactive media experiences: ease of use, educational value, entertainment value, design features, and overall value. Global variables strongly influence the ratings in each of these factors, especially “smart” features (like the ability to adapt to a child’s capabilities or to expand in complexity), respecting a child’s time (for example, by making it easy to save work or progress), and so on. On a scale of 1 to 5, ABCmouse.com received 4.5 stars.
CTR Editor Warren Buckleitner wrote in his review, “This solid, subscription-based curriculum for preschool through kindergarten lets children explore a wide variety of content in a structured way. After you play a few levels you quickly can see that teachers played a hand in all aspects of this service.” Buckleitner also noted, “This type of service is complete enough to supplement an existing school curriculum or provide the backbone of a home-based curriculum.”
Buckleitner, a former preschool and elementary school teacher, founded CTR in 1993 after spending 10 years at the HighScope Educational Research Foundation. He has been an adviser to Consumer Reports WebWatch as well as a judge for the Association of Educational Publishers’ Golden Lamp awards and has taught at Michigan State, along with New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. In addition to serving as editor of CTR, Buckleitner writes for Parents magazine and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, among other publications.
ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy provides parents and teachers with a safe, engaging online environment where young children can learn their ABC’s using a computer mouse, thus the name, ABCmouse.com. The goal of this new and unique learning experience is to help children build a strong foundation for future academic success by providing engaging educational content that supplements and supports preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten programs in the subject areas of reading, mathematics, social studies, beginning science, art, and music. The site’s comprehensive curriculum, developed in collaboration with nationally recognized early childhood education experts, offers a depth and breadth of educational content for early learners never before seen in one location on the web. From ABC’s and 123’s to Thank You and Please, ABCmouse.com is “Bringing Learning to Life®” by offering more than 2,000 individual learning activities—online books, games, songs, puzzles, art activities, and printables—contained within more than 350 custom lesson plans spanning six academic levels.
In addition to being available as a subscription service for parents at home, ABCmouse.com’s extensive curriculum is available at no cost to public schools throughout the United States and Canada, where teachers are finding its rich variety of quality learning activities of tremendous value as an additional resource in the classroom. Dr. Rebecca Palacios, an ABCmouse.com curriculum advisor and a pre-k and kindergarten teacher for more than 25 years who was also a Founding Director of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, remarked that “ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy is an extensive curriculum resource that helps teachers of young children provide for the academic needs of individual students in their diverse classrooms, and at the same time is a powerful teaching tool that incorporates best practices in early childhood education. It is a resource that I enthusiastically recommend to preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten teachers across America.”
ABCmouse.com recently announced the release of a new collection of highly innovative educational apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, with engaging features to enhance early learning. These apps, which introduce three of ABCmouse.com’s new children’s books series beginning with six beautifully illustrated interactive books as well as an interactive zoo environment, are the first of ABCmouse.com’s ongoing series of releases of educational apps for young learners, extending its online curriculum to the mobile platform and providing opportunities for children to learn from ABCmouse.com no matter where they are. Direct links to these apps are provided below.
Doug Dohring, Founder and CEO of Age of Learning, Inc., which owns and operates ABCmouse.com commented, ”We’re very pleased to receive the Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award because it recognizes that ABCmouse.com is an extremely rich resource for parents and educators that goes well beyond educational games and interactive children’s books.
“Our goal in creating the site has been to develop a complete online supplementary curriculum in which every learning activity is very engaging, fun, and highly educational for young children whether it’s about phonics, word families, counting, colors, shapes, animals, weather, or any of the dozens of other topics in our curriculum. And even though there are already thousands of learning activities at ABCmouse.com, we will continuously be adding more content to keep the site fresh and new for our young learners. It has been and continues to be a major development effort and the CTR review, as well as the very positive feedback we are getting from our members, helps us to know that we’re on the right track.”
Mr. Dohring further noted, “I would like to acknowledge our many curriculum advisors, including Kim Oliver Burnim, Dr. Rebecca Palacios, Dave Hendry, Dr. John Bollard, Phyllis Baecker, Kevin O’Donnell, and others, for their valuable contributions in making ABCmouse.com the high quality children’s educational resource it is today, capable of earning the site this recognition.”