From the Disney Insider blog:
Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and apps and a division of Disney Consumer Products (DCP), has recently unveiled Disney Imagicademy. Disney Imagicademy is a new technology-driven learning initiative designed for families with children 3 to 8 to encourage children to learn by creating, doing and making.
Disney Imagicademy offers parents a way to expose their children to fundamental educational concepts in a fun and uniquely Disney way, combining the Disney characters and stories families love, with a research-driven curriculum developed in conjunction with top academic and education experts.
The integrated program includes 30 plus app-based experiences — five of which will be available on December 11, along with a companion app for parents that will help them play an active role in their child’s learning — as well as books and other physical products that will be available for back-to-school 2015. The apps and products cover key subject matters that are important for early childhood development, including math, creative arts, science, language arts and social and emotional skills.
“Disney Consumer Products is transforming the future of our industry by integrating storytelling, play—and now learning—to create deeper, more engaging experiences for kids and families,” said Bob Chapek, president, Disney Consumer Products. “For more than 80 years, Disney Publishing has created stories for children that foster a love of reading and inspire their natural curiosity and with Disney Imagicademy, we are taking the next step and offering parents a learning product unique in the marketplace today. We tapped a panel of top-notch education experts to help us create Disney themed, cutting-edge learning products that kids can both learn from and enjoy playing with.”
Extensive conversations with parents revealed a significant need in the early learning digital space. Parents expressed frustration with the inconsistent quality and lack of connected experiences currently available in the app marketplace. Feedback from parents was paired with the expertise of top academic, early childhood development and play experts to create Disney Imagicademy.
The Disney Imagicademy product portfolio launches December 11 with Mickey’s Magical Math World, an iPad-exclusive app that features five robust math-focused activities in one app: “Mickey’s Super Rocket Shapes,” “Donald’s Number Launcher,” “Minnie’s Robot Count-Along,” “Daisy’s Bedtime Countdown” and “Goofy’s Silly Sorting.” Each in-app experience features progressive early math concepts, including counting forward and backward, sort and classify, skip count, numbers and shapes recognition, reason and logic and more.
“Early math experiences are an essential part of building confident learners,” said Dr. Douglas H. Clements, an internationally renowned expert on the development of mathematics understanding in young children and a member of the Disney Imagicademy Board of Advisors. “Such experiences are surprisingly important to children’s development not only of mathematics topics, but of higher-order thinking skills and general success in school. I am pleased that Disney Imagicademy is helping to produce those experiences with research-driven curriculum and high-quality game mechanics, and I am excited to see its impact on early learning.”
In addition to children’s products, Disney Imagicademy also aims to make learning a family experience with Disney Imagicademy Parents, a companion app designed especially for parents that enables them to be a part of their children’s progress. The Parents app provides a wealth of features to support their children’s educational development, including an accessible way to facilitate an ongoing conversation with their child about what they are learning, functionality to receive real-time updates about their children’s progress, the ability to reward accomplishments digitally and remotely through digital high-fives, and opportunities to inspire offline learning through a continuously updated content feed of ideas tied directly to concepts children are exposed to in the apps.
“Disney Imagicademy Parents is the cornerstone of the Imagicademy experience,” said Brooke Burke-Charvet, TV personality, co-CEO of ModernMom and guest curator, Disney Imagicademy Parents. “I think it’s wonderful that there is a tool that gives parents an easy and accessible way to stay involved in their children’s learning experience. I love that I’m a part of a program that makes learning fun for my kids.”
Jeff Sellinger, senior vice president, Disney Learning added, “Disney Imagicademy’s integrated program connects children’s apps, a parents app and physical toys to create a unique family experience that helps inspire a lifelong love of learning. The physical and digital worlds are coming together in nearly every industry, and with Disney Imagicademy, the learning field is no exception.”
The second suite of digital apps in the Disney Imagicademy line-up is Mickey’s Magical Arts World. Focused on creative arts, the suite will be available on the Apple App Store for download in January 2015.
Physical products and learning toys will launch in time for back-to-school 2015, featuring forward-thinking and innovative brands at the intersection of technology and play, including Smart Toy, Kid Designs, Wonder Forge and Mercury Active.
Mickey’s Magical Math World and Disney Imagicademy Parents will be available on December 11 exclusively on the Apple App Store. For additional Disney Imagicademy mobile apps updates and information, visit www.DisneyImagicademy.com.
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