Cackleberries, the latest online virtual world introducing children to the future of education is now open for familes to explore. This living community, full of fun learning and adventure, is the brainchild of entrepreneur Eronne Foster, a passionate mother cared so much about the future of children’s education and the promotion of a safe online environment to learn in that she assembled a team of educationalists, British Columbia’s finest animators and game developers to develop an imaginative world rich in learning and packed with entertainment.
“Information technology provides us with opportunities to make learning material more visual, interactive, and accessible,” Eronne says. “We encourage children to learn through creativity, playful thinking, social integration and computer skills. Cackleberries is designed to allow young children between the ages of 3 and 7 to play and learn. It’s not just about reading and math, but embodies life skills, social practices and cultural integration.”
Cackleberries, named after an Australian word for “egg,” reside in a live, ever changing, exciting virtual world. Aside from the wondrous characters and structures illustrated by Vancouver artist Ken Rolston, many unique features contribute to this learning environment.
“We have strived to make the learning seamless” says Eronne, “in the reading skills component, for example, it is the word bar that helps children learn. It brings together both visual and audio cues. Multimedia learning is enhanced with this combination of visual and auditory stimuli, and the beauty is that children are fast tracked into learning outcomes without even realizing they are learning. ”
A highlight of Cackleberries experience is the safety aspect. Using Adobe AIR, developers of Cackleberries are able to build and deploy rich web applications and content directly to the desktop. They have developed a proprietary “Cackleberries Desktop Safety Icon.” The safety icon takes your child into the online world of Cackleberries with no access to the wider internet and no one on the internet has access to your children. The wondrous characters children interact with are carefully crafted computer generated avatars that deliver the fun and education.
“While many parents have recognized the advantage of online supplemented early education, there is nevertheless a fear of allowing children unrestricted access to the internet,” says Eronne. “At Cackleberries we are passionate about providing the safest online environment for your children to play, explore, and learn in. We take early childhood education and online safety very seriously, and consult with some of the top experts.”
“It’s important that parents are able to engage and help direct their children’s play and learning outcomes,” continued Eronne. “We are building a growing resource centre with current information on parenting, early childhood education and child safety. To this end the Cackleberries team has developed Club C for grownups. Club C is for anyone who has a child in their life – parents, grandparents, educators and caregivers.”
In Cackleberries world children develop their own avatars, which are engagingly interactive and kick start the child’s creativity. Children participate in a growing, living world, with houses, streets and communities that evolve around them. The creators imagined a place for children where everyone is accepted, differences are never feared and innocence still exists.
“We are always developing exciting new learning delivery methods which encompass a wide skill set,” enthuses Eronne. “As borders open between nations, ethnic diversity has become part of the mosaic of life. Cackleberries teaches acceptance, understanding and caring; and shows our young audience how to celebrate, not fear differences.”