By Dana Shultz for EduInReview.com
A new, interactive way for kids to learn is making the old classroom model seem far less appetizing and not nearly as much fun. The concept is called Chungaboo, and it's an educational-based start-up in Austin, Texas that was founded on the simple idea of making learning fun.
Chungaboo eBooks can be viewed on a variety of mobile tablet devices for a very visual and interactive learning experience for children of all ages. With Chungaboo, kids can access the topics they want to learn about, including numbers, letters, countries and music; and most subjects are available in up to 10 common languages.
For a better idea of what Chungaboo's all about, we recently contacted one of the co-founders, Sarah Marquez, to learn more about this creative new company that's turning learning as we know it upside down.
Where did the concept for Chungaboo come from? How did it come to be?
It is the vision of a group of parents and friends who were inspired to improve how their kids learn using the latest mobile devices. Chungaboo is the nickname of our co-founder's 5-year-old daughter who, along with her best friends, plays an integral role in our company's creative process.
What should parents know about these books?
Chungaboo brings eBooks to life by fully utilizing the highly-interactive features of mobile devices. Our portfolio includes more than 40 titles that feature dynamic content developed by leading language instructors, music teachers, children's authors and artists, and industry-leading animators.
Children can fully engage with rich images, sounds and animations that boost their skills. Unlike other companies, we pride ourselves on integrating interactive technology that enhances the learning experience without becoming a distraction.
Chungabooo was created with our children in mind and education as the top priority. We have started by creating several early childhood development platforms to teach general concepts such as: numbers, letters, animals, basic vocabulary, bilingual skills, and music theory. Most titles are translated across the 10 most spoken languages in the U.S., including Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog (Filipino), and Vietnamese.
How are they different than other animated books?
Chungaboo insists on getting immediate and continual feedback from the young readers that inspire our books through the creative process. That said, the engaging features that do get a favorable endorsement from our young beta testers create a truly differentiated story.
Above everything else, Chungaboo's biggest differentiation is our talented team. When we say that we want to bring books to life, all of the technology in the world can't do that if the initial content is not imaginative and original. While other eBooks are simply a collection of stock material hastily thrown together, Chungaboo's authors and artists do more than just create education content - we create a story on every page.
What types of subjects/topics do they focus on?
We presently have several hallmark series and are actively developing others that collectively focus on a broad range of educational topics. A few of the products currently available for purchase, or releasing this month, include:
"Lingo Slingo" is a collection of four titles - words, numbers, animals and travel - that help aspiring readers learn basic vocabulary in the 10 languages referenced above. By simply touching a word in either language, readers hear them read aloud by our professional educators, each of whom have extensive translation and tutoring experience.
"ABC Animals," which frequents the number-one ranked spot in the education category on iTunes, makes it fun to learn the alphabet, basic vocabulary in several languages, and animal sounds. It is jam-packed with beautiful wildlife photography and every page is loaded with interactive images, words, and letters. Children can hear words and letters read by a professional native translator while interacting with pictures, upper and lower case letters, and gorgeous image galleries with a simple swipe of a finger.
"The Color Door" is a gorgeous picture book that follows a young boy on a curious adventure that will change his life forever. Readers will learn verbs in their preferred language, expand their vocabularies, and learn valuable lessons about friendship.
"Countries" is jam packed with information, historical insight, and fun facts for countless destinations around the world.
Have they been well received?
The positive feedback we've received speaks for itself.
"I absolutely love Chungaboo e-books! I recommend them to all parents, early child educators, and anyone supporting unique learners who respond to material presented on an iPad." - Kari Dunn Buron
"Chungaboo has been a great and fun learning tool for my 2yr. old son. Since using Chungaboo his speech has improved so much. He is now able to identify animals and items by its name, something he wasn't able to a few months ago. I am very pleased with the books and glad I introduced my son to Chungaboo." - Isis Rodriguez, mother to 2-year-old Asa
As for Chungaboo's future goals, Sarah says the team plans to continue creating and publishing educational children's eBooks with many new titles already in the works. Chungaboo titles cost from $0.99 to $2.99 and are available for purchase on the iBookstore, AppStore and GooglePlay to be read on the various tablet devices.
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