Hatch Early Childhood
Get ready to kiss your brain! Innovative touchscreen computer learning system for preschoolers boosts school readiness with the first-of-its-kind child progress monitoring, skills scaffolding and educational progression, immersive development areas and of course, oodles of enriching games, games, games!
Hatch came to the Bean Team with some pretty lofty goals – to create a game-changing learning system for preschool classrooms.
It had to be grounded in scientific research on early childhood learning… aligned with numerous national standards… able to increase school readiness skills… provide individualized progress monitoring… feature adaptive teaching technology that help children grow at their own pace… and all this had to be tucked inside an unbelievably fun game interface with lovable characters.
Hatch had come to the right place.
iStartSmart learning system is designed from the ground up to support the 21st century classroom.
We’re talking intuitive interaction with touch screen technology, progression rules that teach skills while minimizing frustration, and every educator’s dream – built-in progress monitoring with fully formatted, printable reports for teachers, administrators and parents.
Right from the start screen, the iStartSmart system is different than any classroom software currently available for preschoolers. The login screen doesn’t require writing skills or a teacher’s help. It was designed for ease of use by preschoolers – an embedded camera takes their picture and kids use their photo for a unique picture-based login using their own smiling face.
Once logged in, children can begin exploring with three animated animal characters (courtesy of our exceptionally talented illustrators), with a choice of three different themes that carry through the games and skill levels. Kids are rewarded for every correct answer – with such bonuses as growing and harvesting a garden, unveiling and collecting pictures of Washington DC for a scrap book or uncovering animals in an African safari and collecting animal badges.
As they move through the skill development areas of Phonological Awareness, Numeric Operations, Language Development, Alphabet Knowledge and Logic & Reasoning Skills, each answer is met with congratulations or encouragement.
We created intelligent, embedded scaffolding to move the child through the increasingly harder levels in a skill and through the skills in each development area. The games also incorporate savvy progression rules that create a customized learning experience to avoid repetition and frustration.
There’s even Henry’s Hideout, a free play area with enrichment activities that include games about art, writing and nutrition as well as a whimsical, interactive playroom full of animated objects for children to explore.
On the back-end, our programmers developed an extensive progress monitoring system that includes:
- Child, classroom and school-wide reporting
- Data back up
- Ability to transfer children to different classrooms without children having to start over
Multiple rounds of testing during development provided us with invaluable data on how the target age group reacted to and interacted with the characters and the content. The result was an interactive experience that was fine-tuned to the nuances of the age group and and overall system of games and activities that our testing kids could not (literally) keep their hands off of!
Sales of iStartSmart have been very strong and the product is creating a tremendous buzz in the industry. Bean continues to work with Hatch on enhancements for future versions to keep iStartSmart on the forefront of preschool classroom technology.
I expected the project to be completed on time, on budget, and that there would be some huge bumps in the road…There were no bumps, the Bean team added a ton of value to the design – both from a creativity and functionality standpoint. I feel the Bean team took much more personal ownership over the product than I expected from a 3rd party development firm – thankfully so!!!
— Melissa Field, Project Manager, Hatch