Thursday, May 30, 2013

Learn Mandarin for the whole family

Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of chatting with the founder of Fingerprint Play, Nancy MacIntyre. We discussed their social apps available for kids.  One of the things I love about Fingerprint Play is that they have created a social platform for the family that is actually safe for kids.  The great thing about this is that it gives younger kids a fun place to play that is also safe.  So many times I talk with parents who have allowed their under 13 year old child to sign up for facebook because they say "All their friends are on there.  What was I supposed to do?"  That argument makes me crazy.  What are they supposed to do?  They are supposed to be the parent and tell their kid no.

Part of the problem for many families has been the trouble of finding fun, engaging, social sites for their young techies.  Club Penguin and Buildabearville are fun but many kids want to feel more like a big kid by being social with their friends and family.  For parents the challenge has been letting their very tech savvy children play in the digital world while still learning something and being in a safe, age appropriate place.  Fingerprint Play seems to have found that combination that makes kids AND parents happy.

The latest app just released is a game to learn Mandarin.  This game is designed for ages 3 to 8 and is not a full course in Mandarin.  Your child will not be fluent in Mandarin when they have played through this app but they will be familiar with many words and have a greater appreciation for the language.  Not only that, this game is really fun.  I had the chance to play through a few words / games and even though the age range is set at the 8 year old set it is a game that I would enjoy playing through.

Here is the full text of their press release this morning:

Fingerprint Introduces Its First Language Learning App, Kids Learn Mandarin, Featuring The Most Popular Spoken Language in the World
Learning a Second Language in Childhood Expands a Child’s Horizons While  Promoting Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Flexibility

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (May 30, 2013) – Fingerprint continues to dismantle the great wall between entertainment and education with its newest learning app, Kids Learn Mandarin, available today exclusively on the Fingerprint network for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Created in partnership with Hong Kong based Digital Learning Company, this immersive and vibrantly animated title improves on the original Kids Learn Mandarin app released in 2012, which was ranked as a Top 10 Education App in six countries. Kids Learn Mandarin for Fingerprint features the network’s acclaimed progress reporting, which provides interactive updates to parents on their child’s achievements, subject mastery and suggested next lesson.    

Kids Learn Mandarin takes a progressive and playful approach to teaching kids ages 3-8 a whopping 240 Mandarin words through 12 fully interactive lessons that cover a variety of subjects –numbers, colors, animals, food, sports, transportation and more. Hosted by Pei Pei the Panda, Kids Learn Mandarin includes 96 mini-games, 12 lively music videos, 12 Chinese character writing lessons and a personal playground that kids can decorate with stickers they earn as they learn!

“Learning Mandarin is truly an investment in the future. Educators have linked learning a second language at a young age to higher test scores, greater confidence and enhanced critical thinking skills,” said Nancy MacIntyre, CEO and co-founder of Fingerprint. “For kids, learning a second language opens the window to our great big world. Kids Learn Mandarin is an app gem that delivers premium language lessons in fun app-sized bites for kids."

Mandarin, the national language of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, is spoken by more than 1 billion people worldwide and is considered one of the most important world languages by the U.S. State Department.1 In fact, more and more U.S elementary schools are teaching Mandarin in the classroom. By making early language learning accessible and appealing, Kids Learn Mandarin reaches kids during critical cognitive development and gives them a boost in life-long learning. 2

“We designed Kids Learn Mandarin around nearly 100 culturally rich, highly relatable interactive games that engage children’s imagination within a high impact language-learning experience,” said Kristy Carr, founder of The Digital Learning Company. “Fingerprint’s sophisticated, family friendly network is the ideal platform for learning to speak and write Mandarin – a language vital to our global growth.”

Kids Learn Mandarin is available in the iTunes App Store with a version that’s right for every family: with individual lessons ($1.99), a Beginner Pack of five lessons ($4.99) and the Premium Pack with all 12 lessons ($7.99). The entire collection and many other great, kid-safe experiences can be found on the games page of the Fingerprint network. In fact, many of the apps, including Kids Learn Mandarin, offer free, lite versions to sample before buying.

About Fingerprint Digital, Inc.
Fingerprint Digital is a mobile entertainment company for kids and the creator of Fingerprint Play, the first kids' mobile learning and entertainment network, providing kid-safe gaming with a connection to parents. The Fingerprint network includes 28 edutainment apps from 13 countries. Fingerprint is funded by leading consumer tech investors including Corus Entertainment and K2MediaLabs. For more information, visit www.fingerprintplay.com orwww.facebook.com/fingerprintplay.

About The Digital Learning Company
The Digital Learning Company was founded by marketing entrepreneur Kristy Carr and media executive Ian Carroll, two parents raising bi-lingual children in Hong Kong.  The Digital Learning Company believes that the best way to teach children a second language is through structured play with highly interactive theme-related games and songs.