Friday, July 11, 2008

National Geographic Society and kidthing Partner to Bring World to Kids

Ever since I first discovered kidthing, I knew there was something different about this site and their service. I downloaded the free player, interviewed CEO, Larry Hitchcock on No Limits 2 Learning Live on Blog Talk Radio, and then I really began to understand the concept. I did a test-drive with my 6 year-old son and his friends and the content was a hit. We have downloaded quite a few books and games and once they are on my computer they are there for my son to play and read anytime, anywhere, off the Internet. He can create a "playlist" of books and games and his own pictures and email them to a friend or receive a new book read to him by grandma - an aspect still to come, but in the works.
If you haven't listened to Larry Hitchcock's interview (linked above), I would strongly encourage it. It will give you a better picture of what kind of treat we are all in for as this service grows. The possibilities and potential for it to be used in general and special education is tremendous. With a switch to activate a mouse click, orthopedically impaired children have the ability to turn pages of some of the great childrens books out there as they come available on kidthing. I believe it will be the premiere source for interactive games and literature on the Internet for children in the next year or so. Yes, you heard it here! (and could probably hear it from other places too as it continues to grow)

To support my belief, I share with you a release I received from their marketing director a day ago. This is HOT NEWS right out of the horses mouth! National Geographic is partnering with kidthing to design content specially designed for the kidthing player. I am thrilled but not surprised because Larry shared in his interview that they had a list that reads as a "who's who" of children's publishers in the wings to provide content. Having National Geographic as a resource for content secures the longevity of kidthing as a resource in education for children in the home and at school.

I am presenting the complete press release for you below. I couldn't say it any better. Enjoy!

Wide-ranging strategic partnership will bring one of world’s most recognized brands to kidthing’s innovative learning platform

LOS ANGELES (July 8, 2008)—National Geographic and kidthing are partnering to bring National Geographic learning games, read-along stories, creativity products, videos and more to children, parents and friends through the kidthing service.
The partnership will engage kids in better understanding the world they live in and inspire them to care about the planet in a fun manner. kidthing’s proprietary sharing tools will let kids personalize their content and share it with their friends, families, classmates and other kids around the world.
kidthing is a leading Web 2.0 digital platform that provides a safe environment for children to explore and learn. kidthing is a free downloadable digital media player and a connected store filled with a broad variety of entertaining and engaging content from the world’s leading publishers and content providers. At kidthing, parents choose content for their children by browsing, previewing and purchasing rich digital versions of their favorite books, interactive games, creativity products, digital videos and more. Products are available for purchase in the kidthing store on an a la carte basis for as little as 99 cents — and there are no ads or subscription fees. kidthing puts parents in charge of their children’s digital media experience.
As part of the multiyear, wide-ranging relationship, National Geographic titles about animals, habitats, space, geography, dinosaurs and more are being specially created for exclusive distribution on kidthing and will be featured in National Geographic’s own learning area within the kidthing store. This learning area will open in fall 2008.

“kidthing plays an important role in National Geographic’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet. The kidthing service is a unique platform that promotes exploration, personalization and sharing in an environment that is completely safe for children and families, providing a rich, meaningful learning experience,” said John Dumbacher, senior vice president, licensing, at National Geographic. “kidthing’s powerful and secure publishing and distribution platform creates an important new distribution channel for National Geographic.”
“National Geographic has been inspiring a greater understanding of the world we live in through its unique content, brand and global initiatives for more than 100 years. All of us at kidthing are honored to be working with the National Geographic Society to bring this inspiring content in a digital format to kids around the world and to help them learn to be good global citizens,” said Larry Hitchcock, kidthing CEO.
The partnership with National Geographic lines up well with kidthing’s mission to keep kids safe while using the Internet to have fun learning, sharing and getting to know the world around them. kidthing has established publishing relationships with some of the world’s top publishing companies and content providers in arenas such as children’s books, games, animations, learning materials, music and movies including Dr. Seuss, Penguin Young Readers Group, Stuart J. Murphy, Charlesbridge Publishing and Tocali Games, among others. kidthing opened its general access beta release during the first week of March and has downloaded 40,000 players.

All the best to you!


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