Formally, this means that we will design our products primarily for use outside of the classroom.
Now of course, if some teachers find them worthwhile to use in their classes, great, but this will not be our primary goal.
Why this strategy?
For several reasons, but first and foremost, we feel it’s the best way for us to address
the specific needs that we are targeting, and to do so in a globally scalable manner.
Reach kids within their own comfort zone
In our view, the best way of tapping the huge potential of educational apps and particularly “edu-games” is by reaching kids within their own “comfort zone”, during their own play time. Have you noticed how kids effortlessly soak up huge amounts of new knowledge about games they love? We will tap into this, except this time, that new knowledge will be about life sciences, making it actually useful in the real world, as opposed to endless statistics about imaginary monsters or weapons.
Painlessly demystify key concepts before they show up in class
Our apps will carefully integrate key life science concepts in an age-adapted manner that is gently “pre-curricular”, based on our curation of established benchmarks such as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These key life science concepts that happen to get “soaked up” as kids are engaged in fun, relaxed gameplay, will eventually come up again in the classroom. When they do, we don’t expect these kids to precisely remember each and every detail: the likelihood is strong, however, that they will recall enough of these with the positive association of past fun, making these topics appear less intimidating, more familiar, more accessible, and easier to learn.
Once this occurs, teachers and parents will undoubtedly notice the difference, finding these kids more receptive from the get-go and easier to teach!
Enable kids to complement classroom content at their own pace
It is hugely important for interested kids and their families to be able to complement and supplement classroom teaching with expert information about both the science and the careers, which they can then dig into at their own pace, in their own preferred order.
Reach kids who need it most
Importantly, this out-of-school strategy also allows us a better chance at reaching those kids who, for various reasons, are less receptive to school in the first place, and for whom classroom strategies therefore tend to be less effective. This includes the many kids worldwide whose class sizes make personal attention extremely difficult for the teachers to offer.
Realize the fullest potential of ‘edu-games’
Doing this effectively is far from trivial: one of the many lessons learned over the last 2 decades is that, while game-based learning apps are indeed enhancing classroom dynamics, their fullest potential can only, truly be realized when the playing is genuinely and completely voluntary, i.e. something best achieved outside of school.
The out-of-school route clearly offers us the best way of achieving our mission on a global scale, leveraging today’s worldwide direct-to-consumer distribution by mobile and desktop app stores without getting bogged down by regional variations in teaching curricula or the complexities of individual school districts’ purchasing dynamics.