With the introduction of the iPad, we (at Junior Learning) felt that the future of childhood education was about to shift in a monumental way. Every day, children constantly flick between digital books and educational apps as part of their learning programs. Parents and teachers alike are uncertain as to what effect this will have in the long-term on kids. What we do know is that children now expect to learn and interact through digital mediums. We also know that the digital era is here to stay and Junior Learning doesn’t want to be left behind!
With all this in mind, we wondered how can we combine the best of traditional teaching methods with digital learning opportunities? Surely, if we can achieve this, then children will be able to grasp key educational concepts (like learning the alphabet, spelling and reading) much more effectively?
Right from its inception in California (2009), Junior Learning was founded to establish synergies across the fields of toy design and educational publishing. All our educational toys and games are designed around the latest educational research combined with the “best of the best” in toy design. We feel our products make education fun and accessible for all children – strong in educational content combined with the excitement and physical nature of a toy. We like to call this ‘camouflage’ learning.
All this has led to the conception of our new and exciting innovation: Touchtronic Letters. Touchtronic Letters are the first physical classroom resource to work on an iPad. Touchtronic Letters comprise a set of tangible alphabet letters that interact directly with the iPad surface, and work with learning apps. Thus, we believe we have successfully combined the physical and digital worlds of learning for school aged children. We know that children enjoy learning with foam and magnetic letters, so why not create the next step – letters for the iPad?
Touchtronic Letters includes 26 letters of the alphabet, color-coded with consonants in blue and vowels in red. The supporting free App (available from the iTunes store), called Touchtronic ABC’s includes games for teaching letter recognition, phonemic awareness and word building. There are also exciting animations which reward children as they complete each different level.
As you can see, it’s a very exciting time for the Junior Learning Team. Over the past few months we have been working tirelessly to launch our Touchtronic Letters and Touchtronic ABC’s app. We are also working on future educational toys, so keep a close eye out for our new offerings in the Touchtronics range.
At Junior Learning we want to provide engaging and innovative ways for blending the digital and physical worlds of learning. In our view, this is the future of childhood learning. So, we decided to begin this blog as a way to share with you where we are heading with our products, and where we see childhood education in the digital era going. We welcome and look forward to hearing your views and perspectives as well.
In next week’s blog we will feature Dr Duncan Milne’s views on the future of classroom education, (Co-Founder of Junior Learning, PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and Education, and Harvard Alumni).
Anna and Duncan,
Junior Learning Founders.