Disney Releases Learning Apps

February 20, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. app /æp/ (n.) – a program or software for mobile devices
Example: Jeff downloaded a new app on his smartphone.

2. progress /ˈprɒg rɛs/ (n.) – improvement or development
Example: She made huge progress in her math skills.

3. reward /rɪˈwɔrd/ (v.) – to give an award for a good performance
Example: The teacher rewarded Sam for her perfect score.

4. complement /ˈkɒm plə mənt/ (v.) – to complete something or make it better
Example: Activities complement classroom discussions.

5. plus /plʌs/ (n.) – a good quality or an advantage
Example: His English fluency served as a plus in his job application.


Read the text below.
The Walt Disney Company combines entertainment, technology, and expert advice in a series of apps that enhance early childhood education.

The app, called Disney Imagicademy, was designed by the brand to help develop children’s skills including language, arts, math, science, and social and emotional skills. It has five sets with five activities that allow kids to learn while playing or interacting with Disney characters. Children between three and eight years old are the app’s target users.

In designing the app, Disney consulted experts in childhood education. Advisers, like Douglas Clements of the State University of New York in Buffalo, provided the company with information from research. This resulted to a product that is based on a curriculum of early childhood learning.

Disney also has additional apps to ensure that parents are involved in their children’s learning. The Imagicademy Parents app allows parents to monitor progress through real-time updates and reward their children with digital points. It also has a bank of ideas for parents to use for offline interaction.

Aside from apps, Disney will release interactive toys that complement the lessons. These toys can talk to app users, responding to the activities and encouraging children to complete the lessons.

According to Disney Consumer Products president Bob Chapek, Imagicademy differs from other learning apps because of its curriculum-based approach. This shows the brand’s commitment to the user’s learning progress. He added that the Disney characters’ popularity among kids is also a plus.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you find learning apps effective?
·         Do you think this Disney app should be used in schools? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think letting kids use gadgets often is advisable? Why or why not?
·         How do educational apps differ from traditional learning materials?

February 20, 2015