kiddZtube is a new interactive streaming app that works with smartphones and tablets that was inspired by the video-sharing culture of YouTube. After parents expressed concern about the type of content, their Children were viewing Magikbee created kiddZtube which retails for $4.99. The App even includes quizzes--that were curated by teachers--and embedded in each story. Magikbee, the parent company, is dedicated to producing top-quality educational content in safe and closed platforms for young children. Parents can control the amount of time spent watching and/or playing with the app and over 7,000 quizzes and 1,000 popular kids videos for only $4.99.

Recently Hugo Filipe Ribeiro, the CEO and Founder or Magikbee, spoke about kiddZtube and his hopes for the app’s future via an exclusive interview.

Children, apps, and learning

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially find out about how much small children enjoy YouTube?

Hugo Filipe Ribeiro (HFR): I have had this idea in my mind for a long time. My youngest daughter always loved watching videos on YouTube, but most of the time I saw that the videos she was watching were awful, and sometimes even scary. Talking to other parents, I felt that I was not alone since every one of them had the same complaints! Then I started searching for the topic, and I noticed that the problem was pretty much universal, so I got to work making this app.

MM: When did you decide to start kiddZtube and what was the concept and design process like?

HFR: After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I needed to look for a solution. Because Magikbee products merge education and fun, we started thinking of ways to combine the two in the videos that kids love.

We then talked to teachers and parents, and we tested the concept with children, eventually getting to the final product: a safe, parent-controlled and interactive video experience. Kids learn while watching their favorite cartoons, songs or stories! They have to answer questions about what they are seeing, transforming video consumption in something active and not passive, as it has always been until now.

We developed the perfect interface for kids to enjoy, with bright colors and fun animations. To answer questions, which are read out loud, kids use four colored stars, each containing a different option. We use visuals, such as emojis, that kids recognize and love.

MM: What sorts of content and subjects can parents expect their children to learn from the app?

HFR: kiddZtube works on several learning areas with subjects including spelling, counting, colors, emotions, directions, and activities. Kids also learn that sometimes they have to ask their parents for help to answer questions; we like this feature as it encourages parents to watch with their kids and engage in the learning while promoting an all-inclusive family experience.

MM: Did you create all the videos yourself or do you allow people to submit videos that could be useful?

HFR: We don’t create the videos. We work with a group of teachers that selects and curate the videos from popular YouTube channels. They select each entertaining video and add questions to each video via the platform. They choose the ones that they think are better for kids and that can fit our learning purposes. Right now, we have a selection of more than 1000 videos and 7000 questions.

Games, videos, and content

MM: Did you strive to include concepts of entertainment-education and gamification in this app?

HFR: The concept of entertainment-education is at the foundation of all our products.

We believe that kids can engage and learn more when they are doing the things they like. Kids today are digital natives, and so we have to adapt learning to their specific needs by balancing the teaching of important core skills with a more fun and engaging approach such as Games.

MM: Of all the games and videos, do you have any favorites?

HFR: We have a wide range of videos available that can entertain kids as well as parents, as we have songs and timeless cartoons that the whole family enjoy. “Sesame Street” videos are possibly my favorite because they are so cute and at the same time teach so many important things!

MM: What made you decide to include the quizzes and what sort of prize can kids expect for getting the answers right?

HFR: When I read the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations on screen time, something sparked in my mind, and I knew that I had to launch kiddZtube because I had the perfect solution. In the recommendations, they discussed the need for parents to ask kids about things in the videos that they are watching. But we knew that it is impossible for parents to be constantly at their kids’ side asking questions, and so we thought: Why not make the app ask kids about what they are doing? Questions are always a good way to reinforce knowledge because it activates the brain. Kids can only move to the next video if they get a right answer, so that’s the way we reward kids for getting the right answer.

MM: How do you envision the kiddZtube system evolving? For instance, are there any subjects that you would like to add to the roster?

HFR: We are planning to evolve kiddZtube to support more videos and features. We already received requests from preschool teachers that want to use this platform in their classroom, and so we are thinking of opening this tool for teachers. I want to reinforce that we are launching kiddZtube to help kids; that’s our purpose. Kids love digital devices and amusing content, and we want to provide them a safer and more positive experience, and we hope this app helps achieve that.

To learn more, visit our website by Googling “Magikbee” and/or search “kiddZtube” on the App Store.

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