Blended Learning, Continuing Education, Cost of Education, Education Quality, Elementary / Primary / Junior, Feature, International, Minorities, equity, and access, Open Source Education, Preschool / Infant School, Publishers, Required, Startups, Students, Technology, University & College - Written by on Saturday, December 3, 2011 10:42 - 0 Comments

Online Educa: A French Entrepreneur Introduces Apps of All Nations

Isabelle Duston

By Paul Glader

BERLIN – Isabelle Duston, is designing educational iPhone and iPad apps geared to young people in a variety of languages and cultures. Her motivation, as a French woman living in the U.S., is to provide young people in non-English speaking markets access to Sesame Street-like educational games.

Duston, an apps wiz, made the successful iCooking app under her Apps of All Nations company. She has now created and turned her eye to educational video games called for a variety of cultures and languages.

Duston said she was shocked by the free educational technology tools her children had access to in their French/American school. She points out than only 5% of children in the world speak English and enjoy the privileges of online education tools in their own language.

“Coming from France, we have nothing like this in France. There is nothing available that looks like what American kids have,” she says. “They have tons of web sites, apps. Why? Why are they so far ahead of everyone else? They are not smarter than us.”

While Europe has its free pre-schools, America, she says, has championed educational TV and apps with Sesame Street leading the way. “They started to create more tools for kids to learn in a hands on way,” she said. “Americans are all about letting kids learn in an engaging way.”

She has been making several iPhone apps using tools like dropbox, basecamp, scype and assembla with colleagues around the world. They create story-based games and multi-cultural characters to guide kids through game-based learning concepts. She has made 18 games in a variety of languages. She hopes the app sells well to people in the western world so that it can fund other languages apps in emerging markets.

“Kids like to make points, they like to win, they like to get stuff. Each time they win, they get more points. They can spend their points and get easy games.”

“Repitition is one of the rules in gaming. That’s why gaming can be such a good tool in learning. Kids forget they are learning. They are just playing the game to get points.”

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