The Philippines is a strong market for tablets. In the educational sector, tablets have also been a player as schools and universities use them in integrating e-books into academic learning. That’s part of the reason that startup Lifeware Technology launched an Android-powered tablet aimed at kids.
Dubbed the Enlight KiddieTAB, the 8-inch educational tablet priced at Php 8,990 ($200) is one of the few tablets made in the Philippines. It focuses on a stepladder learning system for children aged three to eight years old. This means the children can enjoy using learning applications – such as language and literacy, math, art and music, Filipino, and general knowledge.
Lifeware has partnered with local and international app developers and pre-loaded the KiddieTABs with over 100 educational applications. These can supplement the primary school curriculum. A ‘digital step-ladder quick start guide’ lets parents know which apps are suitable for their child’s age.
Michal Cruz-Ladioray, Lifeware head for strategic partnerships, says that more and more parents hand over their personal tablets to their children for gaming. He adds:
We saw this as an opportunity to encourage parents to introduce technology to their children not just for technology’s sake, but as a tool to improve or develop their kid’s learning. This is where we got the idea to set up Lifeware Technology to focus exclusively on products and solutions for education, even for young kids.
A balance between learning and playing
Lifeware believes that interactive technologies such as these actually help children speed up their learning, and early gadget use also helps in a balance of interactive learning with other activities such as social skills and sports. The tab comes with parental controls and time lock features. It limits the apps that kids can access and the length of time they can play with them. It can also work as a regular tablet where parents can access social media sites, and download other apps from Google Play by switching between parent mode and kids mode.
Looking forward, it continues to encourage more Filipino developers to come up with local content and apps that promote the Philippines’ language and culture. Plans in the pipeline include expanding the KiddieTAB users’ app choices through the K-Store, a Kiddie Appstore the startup will launch, which will contain both free and paid apps.
We’ve already seen the Classbook tablet, a similar project in Vietnam that also converts textbooks into interactive formats. In the light of this trend in Southeast Asia, it’ll be interesting to see how parents will adopt tablet-based education for their kids.
(Editing by: Paul Bischoff and Steven Millward)