We recently came across Azoomee, and their bold claim of making learning incredible. We caught up with Estelle & Douglas, co-founders, to find out more about the platform and the wider challenges of screen time for modern day parents.
They are both the parents of three young daughters and like many of us, concerned about whether their children were watching safe content online. It was when their middle daughter came across inappropriate content on YouTube that they fully understood the challenges parents face to keep their children away from inappropriate content.
They began imagining a space to help kids develop traits like persistence or self-management or creativity. To spark their curiosity about technology; to be inquisitive; and think critically; to prepare them for a fast-changing increasingly automated, information-saturated world. We caught up with them over a Q&A below.
Why did you start Azoomee?
Mobile devices are part of our lives. They’re even being used in classrooms, making it impossible for parents to fight against the digital change. Data profiling, advertising and the lack of proper moderation on platforms like YouTube expose children to content that will have long lasting negative effects on their mental health. Some things cannot be unseen!
Driven by this, we created Azoomee, a multimedia platform that offers positive screen time and learning opportunities for 21st-century skills.
Although the platform started with mainly video content, we ended up building a vast library of around 150 fun and educational games, ranging from endless runner games to tech games, even to sorting-out-the-recycling games. Everything is carefully handpicked to create authentic learning experiences that engage entertain and educate! There are no ads, no payment options, and no inappropriate content.
Your mission is to make learning fun, tell us how you’re making that happen?
Learning IS fun. Learning something new is incredible. It’s cool! – it’s a real mission for us to instill that love of learning at an early age. Think of learning as a superpower; we want to help parents raise the super-kids of the future by giving them superpowers!
We do this through games and videos that kids love. Our team of experts handpick content that reinforce skills like problem-solving, STEM, creativity and social-emotional intelligence. This happens while embracing the stories, adventures and challenges that children adore too.
It’s this approach that sets Azoomee apart. We’re the learning app that kids WANT to use!
What’s your view on e-safety provision as a whole and how often are you refining what you do around it?
Azoomee was born out of a bad experience my daughter had online. As a parent, I know that she will be ok because we talk about it as a family and deal with any concerns she may have together. As a dad, I believe that there are some things children (and indeed adults!) should not experience online. But, at the same time, we can only shelter our children for so long…
The most powerful way to protect children online is to inspire honest conversations and help them develop the digital resilience to deal. They will inevitably encounter pitfalls online but they can also embrace the incredible power to learn and explore in today’s digital world.
This is why we produced ‘Search It Up’ a BAFTA-nominated Azoomee Original Series, which tackles online safety subjects and makes them funny and easily digestible for kids. It’s backed up by a curriculum of quizzes and activities that reinforce each topic and encourage children to be inquisitive and to talk about their experiences with a trusted adult.
Online safety is a big priority for dads. We see a lot of fathers sitting down with their kids to watch Search It Up together. As a father, I love that we’re creating these positive moments and inspiring conversations in homes all around the world!
What’s next for you and Azoomee?
We just launched a new collectibles system that rewards kids every time they learn something new by letting them personalise their Azoomee experience.
There’s always something new; we release new kids’ content every week. In the next few months we are adding 100+ really fun games and activities that help children learn about topics like space, the human body and nature. Alongside this, we have some added some really cool new videos, including family favourites that kids will recognise, premieres and hidden gems they’ll love.
Keep a close eye on the app!
You mention Azoomee offering the 6c’s of today’s education: character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. Everything that machines can’t do but humans do well! – Where do you see the future of this?
It’s been said that 2/3 primary school children of today will grow up to have a job that hasn’t even been invented yet. At the same time, half of all labour-intensive jobs globally will be automated by 2030. While schools are doing an amazing job to prepare kids, the future of learning goes beyond the classroom.
With more than 90% of kids using mobile devices to access the internet, the solution is clear to me. We need to embrace the huge potential of these devices to engage children and help them to build and develop the skills they’ll need to thrive in the future.
What skills do you expect children to learn from Azoomee that they can take with them in life as they grow older?
Children are so curious, so excited by the world, and so inquisitive. I hope that Azoomee helps them to take this passion for discovery with them as they grow older.
We curate games and videos around the idea that learning IS fun, whether its specific ‘hard’ skills like maths or ‘soft’ skills like empathy and understanding. It’s our mission to prepare kids for the future.
We can do this in surprising ways. For example, research shows that creativity, social-emotional learning, sensory perception and reasoning are far more important for engineering roles than technical skills!
The important thing is to hold onto that youthful curiosity we were all born with. That’s what I believe Azoomee can do!