A7 from iMedia.fm helping Chinese kids learn English
Chinese law allows English to be taught from grade 3. A7 an online edutainment programme by iMedia is helping kids grasp the language earlierBy Saloni Surti 12 Dec, 2013
As per a recent Chinese law, from February 2014, English can be taught in schools only from grade 3, when an average child is almost nine years old. How would you then teach a child a new language as the child’s creative, cognitive, and emotional intelligence has usually been shaped by the age of six? Enter, A7 an online edutainment experience by iMedia, a web-to-mobile-gaming media company focused exclusively on exploratory edutainment for secondary level learning
Another online tutorial?
A7 manages to go far beyond one sided online tutorial sessions. It provides an online and offline edutainment experience that brings together creative thinking and storytelling through learning of core subjects starting with English. The programme has a number of animated characters with background storylines that engage with kids to teach them English.
“Our mission is to deliver a delightful, affordable and engaging experience to kids. We don’t want the shortage of decent schools with good English language programs or teachers to be a roadblock for children to learn English and excel in their lives,” expressed Gavenraj Sodhi, CEO, iMedia.fm Limited.
The online learning experience has developed its core US Common Core standards-based curriculum in collaboration with educators and institutions including teaching experts from the New York Department of Education, based in New York and Southfield School District in Southfield, Michigan and a Professor and educational scholar from Cornell University.
Users can access English lessons for any grade in a classroom or at home by logging on A7’s website. One the child starts learning from A7 parents and teachers can also keep a tab on the kids’ performance. “Assessment happens in a ‘gamified’ manner where children earn points and rewards as they progress through the learning and assessment stages. Parents and Teachers are notified in real-time via the online dashboard, and soon via WeChat, on how their child is performing,” explained Sodhi.
To avoid annoying plug ins and access issues A7 leverages its content using HTML 5. Content is accessed via a Web Browser, whether the child is on their parents’ iPad or on a PC or MAC.
How do the bucks flow in?
While A7 is offered online for free, children can access only a set number of pages. Parents may have to purchase additional stages for a small nominal fee. In addition, in-app purchase is available and offers additional educational-related items of value for a small, additional fee. Also, A7 educational merchandise, tied directly to the story and characters, are also available for purchase and direct delivery to the home.
While iMedia claims to be in the top one per cent out of 1,500 companies it faces stiff competition from companies like ALO7 and 8DWorld. The company has so far managed to receive product and story endorsement from educators in the US and China, their first primary market focus is Chinese children.