Can’t help myself, I am doing it, writing a ‘look back post’ on our amazing year 2014. So much has happened and One Globe Kids has grown so much. It will be great to see it all together. If not for you, then for us. So here it is, the facts, the figures and the feelings. After all, “f” words are our thing :-).
1 new Globe Smart educational app
Responding to teacher demand, we created and released Globe Smart Education 1 in August 2014! This new app bundles 8 of the original One Globe Kids stories with 5 NEW complete educational supports, one for each location we feature. Designed for teachers and homeschoolers, the extra features offer many opportunities to reinforce learning in the classroom and at home.
5 Education Inspirations for teachers
While our stories will always be the foundation of our mission to make the foreign feel familiar, we added new content to help educators use the stories with their students. The Globe Smart Education 1 app includes in-depth teaching supports for each country that will get kids moving and thinking:
- Story Behind the Story – details from our “making-of” adventure in each country
- Discussion Guide – themes based on each story that encourage conversation in the classroom
- Discussion Guide Teacher’s Aid – background on themes covered in the Discussion Guide
- Activities – Experience, culture, math, writing and taste activities for each country
- Reading, Speaking, and Listening – questions to help students recall key details and relate them to their own lives
Anne spend a day in the park with Harry to record the One Globe Kids story with a beautiful green background. For those 500+ of you who have watched it, the green did not make it into the final cut. Learning while doing, we figured out that we needed more visuals of kids and less of Anne. Proud to have a promovideo now!
2 review videos
Two videos came online in 2014, explaining how the One Globe Kids app works and why it is so good. Check them out:
- By Smart App Kids > Best iPad app demo for kids
- By Kindertown > One Globe Kids review
2 new certificates
With so many apps for children out there, we understand that it is hard for parents and teachers to find and choose apps that will be best for their ‘iPad-generation’. It helps both them and us to have experts point out the ones they recommend and why. Proud to include that in 2014 we became Teachers with Apps certified:
“We aim to continue recognizing the finest in the educational app industry by awarding our Certified badge of distinction to Apps and Developers that stand out among the rest. The apps are top-notch and classroom worthy, and the developers have proven themselves over and over again.”
And also we received a KidsSafeSeal:
“This means that it provides a safe interactive environment for kids.”
More (5 star) reviews
Besides all the reviews that we got from users in the app store, we received some pretty cool reviews from app and education platforms, not only in the US, but also in the UK, Australia and The Netherlands. Check it out! (Especially the review by Graphite/Common Sense Media was huge for us, although not 5 star yet, 4 stars is big and we will try to add that 5th star in 2015.)
“Put the world in your child’s hands with this safe, fun and interactive app. …. Easy for non-readers to navigate using icons and audio to listen to the story.”
2014: One Globe Kids made it to the ‘Top 9 travel apps for kids list‘ of Family Traveller Magazine.
“If you were to turn your apps into instructional apps, I think you would find that the market is hungry for what you have to provide.”
December 2014: an app evaluation by Balefire Labs, unlike any other we ever had, in a good way, on a tech and instructional level.
“Overall, this app provides an ideal starting point for lessons on global citizenship, diversity and human geography.”
September 2014: a 5 star rating voor One Globe Kids 1 by the Educational App Store in the UK
“KinderTown loves the pictures and voices of the children included in the app as they share different aspects of their everyday life.”
September 2014: rated by Kindertown
“One of the Best Apps We’ve Ever Reviewed.”
August 2014: another raving review by Kids App Central
“Very young kids may have a hard time understanding just how wide the world is. These titles can help them learn that the world is bigger than their own neighborhood or city.“
June 2014: Proud to have One Globe Kids featured in the Common Sense Summer Learning Guide
“This app can be an ideal way to bring the general topics of geography and world culture down to a personal level.
May 2014: A 4 star (!) review by Graphite, the platform for educators to find the best apps, games, and websites for the classroom.
“Stories, beautiful photos help kids build global awareness.”
May 2014: Great review by Commons Sense Media and included in their list of Apps and Websites for Empathy.
“Great online tools for in the classroom.”
March 2014: The NOB (Organization for Dutch schools outside of The Netherlands) included One Globe Kids in their list of great ICT tools for Dutch education abroad.
“This app has so many possibilities when thinking about opening up the world to our children.”
March 2014:One Globe Kids received a 5-star rating from Smart Apps for Kids! (In 3 years only 55 apps have received this score from them)
1 of Scholastic’s “50 Awesome Apps for Teachers”
One Globe Kids was included in Scholastic’s blog and news letter as one of “50 Awesome Apps for Teachers“! We are so proud to be one of the six social studies apps they included with the note: ‘ “Memorable daily-life stories from kids around the world help students gain cultural understanding, learn about other countries, and make comparisons to their own lives,” says Common Sense Media’s Katz.’ Right on!
1 new friend
Although Anne travelled a lot to make One Globe Kids stories while Jos (now 2) was still in the tummy, this year one new story made it into the app: Maya in Israel, sharing how her family celebrates Rosh Hashannah. And more stories are almost good to go. Keep an eye out for My Indonesia (Larasati), My Israel (Asher), My Palestine (Layth and Bara’a) and My Norway (Nora)!
3 UX research projects
We needed to know where to start improving our apps and what was easier than to just ask you. In the Spring, we visited an elementary school in Madison, WI and met with their teachers and tech team to find out how they would like to work with One Globe Kids.
Then in the Fall, 35 students of the Hogeschool in Utrecht, took our app to study user behavior and app design. We learned what Dutch teachers and students like about our content, about the way the app functions and about the look and feel of the app and the brand.
And also at the end of this year, 9 teachers, from the US and Canada, joined our pilot and tested the Globe Smart Education app with their students.
Thank you to all for your feedback!
A core team of 3
While many friends and family in education helped us develop Globe Smart Education, we needed to enter the education market with a diehard educator on our core team. We had a Storyteller and a Marketeer and at the end of 2014 we found our Educator. Welcome Nancy! We will be looking for a Techy next in 2015.
Learning and connecting via the Ashoka Challenge
We spend a lot of time in 2014 describing what we do, who we are and who else out there is accelerating education as part of the Re-Imaging Learning Challenge by Ashoka Changemakers and Lego. We didn’t win, but we made it to Pacesetter and we learned tons and made some great connections. It gave us so much to talk and think about, that it goes into the books as a milestone for Round by Design and One Globe Kids. After this, we are ready to answer any question about our business, our product and the way we work!
2 blog posts for Ashoka Changemakers
We were also asked to post our story on the Ashoka Changemakers blog. Sanny wrote about the trends we observed in all the entries and Anne shared the story of the One Globe Kids raison d’etre. Cool!
2014 was a great year and we’re excited for 2015 – more friends, more stories, more Globe Smartness!
Ffffffffuture, here we come!