What would it be like if all children, no matter how humble their circumstance, were told first that they were born for greatness? Then, because they were born for greatness, they needed to systematically train their body, feelings and mind to take their place of service to the world? What if that training could be delivered on an iPad? How might that impact their school performance? How might it change their lives?
Some people train dogs.
I’m a dog who trains people.
So begins Bouncy the People Trainer, an iPad-based, character driven, early learning program for body, mind and heart.
Bouncy, the main character in this series, is a three-legged, mixed breed dog, who is a model of resiliency.
Bouncy’s early experiences in an abusive foster home were harsh, but not defeating. The dog’s strength, humor and resilience in the face of harsh circumstances provide an accessible model for vulnerable students and for all kids who will need perseverance and grit to succeed in a fast changing world.
An equally important, animated, major character in the program is YOU, a life-like avatar chosen through a simple picker system. In seconds, learners can select from more than 1600 combinations of eyes, hair, skin and costume by simply flicking a “picker wheel.”
This first step into the program is a valuable diversity appreciation app in its own right. It has important pedagogical implications as well. It actively involves the learner in a meaningful social context, through which they personalize their learning experience, which in turn promotes identification with the learning process.