Disney & Pixar artists helping with children's math learning during the COVID-19 crisis

Libby-Jane Charleston

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Math company ORIGO Education is using Disney & Pixar artists to create digitized "Big Books," to help with children's learning during the pandemic.

At the peak of the crisis, ORIGO Education was inundated with orders for its unique Big Books - a series of engaging large-format math storybooks for young learners.

Given the increase in hard copy sales, the company has now digitized the series to help parents and teachers engage children in this new 'norm' of learning.

The digital Big Books feature an animated avatar of teachers, including ORIGO Education co-founder and co-author of the Big Book series, James Burnett. The avatars not only read the stories, but they pause after each page to engage learners with thoughtful questions.

ORIGO Education worked with Cetati Studios, whose veteran artists hail from beloved creativity centers such as Pixar, Disney, and Warner Brothers, to produce engaging digital versions of ORIGO Big Books.

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James Burnett said it was clear parents of young learners are eager to access the best resources to help their children get ahead, or in some cases, catch up.

"One of the biggest issues that many children are facing right now is being out of school routine, which can impact their ability to retain information as they usually would in a classroom environment," said Mr Burnett.

"This year, our team has been focused on developing materials that reduce the anxiety that comes from learning at home."

The Big Books are designed to introduce new mathematics concepts by using language and contexts familiar to young students.

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"Learning math through stories is fun and feels natural when kids form an emotional bond with diverse characters they can relate to," said Brian Lovrin, CEO and co-founder of Cetati Studios.

The math is put in real, non-threatening situations to allow children to experience the fun of math without feeling the pressure that they are actively learning,

"With the accompanying tunes and digital learning tools, the books make the learning experience engaging and exciting. We want to prepare children for a world where they have the skills and the confidence to contribute to society as problem solvers, thinkers, and innovators,” said Mr Burnett.

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I'm a journalist and author writing across a wide range of topics, including tech, travel, history, business/startups, relationships, beauty & fashion, British royal history, & local stories concerning Charleston, S.C (where I have a long family history on my father's side: hence my surname! ) Former HuffPost Assoc Ed, ABC TV, ATV Beijing correspondent and many more. Author of "Fatal Females." Mother of three boys: I will love them until the Statue of Liberty sits down.

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