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Founder of Tinybop Believes Weird is the Way to Go in Kids' Apps

Tinybop is known as one of the companies that are changing the way educational apps are built. Its founder, Raul Gutierrez, believes that tapping into the weirder side of things is what makes his company's apps successful. His explanation in a recent Wired article addresses the major appeal of most educational apps on the market.

“Tinybop is weird—the Brooklyn startup behind apps like The Human BodyThe Earth, and Everything Machine has been known to use fart sounds to teach kids the fundamentals of science,” according to the report.

“In the past five years, the company has slowly established a small, kid-focused media empire around apps so strange and beautiful that even adults (ahem, me) like to play them,” said Liz Stinson of Wired.

Gutierrez tells Wired that the success of his company and the apps it develops is due to the fact that it takes advantage of a medium that no one else in the education space was taking advantage of. In fact, Gutierrez said that kids are sophisticated in the way that they look at the world and that a lot of the time we may underestimate how much knowledge a child can take in, according to the report.

“’I was the weird kid who had children’s books in his dorm room’— and that fascination has given him unique appreciation for kid-friendly design,” according to Stinson. 

“Each of Tinybop’s apps is designed by a team of illustrators. Deciding which of their designs make it into the app is a simple process: Concept drawings are printed onto paper and given to kids, to see how they interact with them.”

To Gutierrez and Tinybop creators it’s about the appeal on an app. If kids are interested in the design and how the app works, they begin learning with ease. It’s something that many education app creators are beginning to recognize and as a result there is an ever-growing surplus of educational apps that will hold students’ attention and actually have them learn something. It would be interesting for teachers to apply the notion of the strange and the weird in the classrooms to see just how effective it can be.

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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