HOBOKEN, N.J. – Nov. 9, 2015— Nine New Jersey elementary middle school students are joining forces with Pearson designers and developers to ensure the company’s innovations support the needs of teachers and learners. Participants in Kids CoLab Hoboken will meet virtually and face-to-face throughout the 2015-2016 school year to help Pearson teams design features for digital learning solutions.
Building on the success of the first Kids CoLab in Chandler, Ariz., which launched last school year, the new Hoboken group first met last summer in a one-week summer camp session and then came back together this fall at Pearson’s office here to begin its work in earnest. In a cross-country collaboration, both Kids CoLab teams have supported the development of backstories, names, features and personalities for new characters in SuccessMaker, Pearson’s adaptive K-8 reading and math curriculum, featuring a game-like environment.
Kids CoLab participants are also building skills that prepare them for success in school, college and career. According to the STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) Coalition, by 2020, there will be 9.2 million STEM jobs in the U.S. With the creativity, communications, collaboration and problem-solving skills that Kids CoLab team members are developing, they are getting a jump start on preparation for higher education and careers in the growing STEM fields.
Lisa Segali and John Rotundo are parents of Kids CoLab Hoboken team member, Kate Rotundo, a fifth grader at Hoboken Dual Language School.
“We jumped at the opportunity for our 10-year-old daughter to participate in Kids CoLab because we recognized the many benefits offered by the program for a shy, but bright child,” said Segali. “The collaborative nature among the kids and facilitators has provided a safe and fun environment for Kate to speak up and contribute her unique perspective when the kids are working on an idea.”
Rotundo said, “The regularity of presenting ideas and thought processes in front of a mixed group of kids and adults has helped build her confidence and has increased the volume of her voice; once almost a whisper when speaking in front of people. When we ask Kate ‘How was it?’, she always says, ‘Awesome!’”
“When we engage the Kids CoLab team members as design partners, the magic really starts to happen. We are constantly amazed with their creative and innovative ideas as well as their growing sense of curiosity and collaboration skills,” said Lisa Maurer, manager, product and participatory design research, Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network Center for Product Design Research & Efficacy. “We know that this great new group of young creators from New Jersey is going to bring a wealth of ideas to the design of the next generation of digital learning tools.”
About Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network
To help address the most pressing questions facing teachers and students, Pearson brought together top education experts in the Research & Innovation Network to solve education challenges around the world through research, innovation, and thought leadership that improves outcomes for learners and educators. The Research & Innovation Network is led by Kimberly O’Malley, Ph.D., senior vice president of School Research, and supports six centers: the Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning; the Center for College & Career Success; the Center for NextGen Learning & Assessment; the Center for Learning Science & Technology; the Center for Educator Learning & Effectiveness; and the Center for Product Design Research & Efficacy. For more information about Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network, visit researchnetwork.pearson.com.
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit www.pearson.com.