Learning Platforms for Kids and Adults: Animal Jam Titles and VitalSource

In News by Porter Anderson

National Geographic Kids’ announces two new titles in its Animal Jam series, and Ingram’s VitalSource Content Experience Platform has passed the 1-million-user mark.

From AnimalJam.com, where the leaves are turning for autumn

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Teaching Kids About the World’

Two new Animal Jam titles have been added as of Tuesday (October 31) by National Geographic Kids Books in partnership with WildWorks.

  • Animal Jam Official Insider Guide is one of them, and its release this week is of a second edition, offering “the latest profiles on the animals and lands in the virtual world of Jamaa.”
  • And Animal Jam Journal uses writing prompts to create “the perfect holiday gift for die-hard Jammers.”

Animal Jam, which calls itself “online playground for kids who love animals,” was created in 2010 by WildWorks in partnership with National Geographic. These two new titles are mean to be companion books to the online gaming experience.

With a KidSAFE listing and working as a participant in the Better Business Bureau CARU Kid’s Privacy Safe Harbor program, the game closely monitors in-game interactions with chat filters, game moderators and community managers so that parents can feel at ease while their kids explore. This aligns with National Geographic Kids’ mission of teaching kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to make it a better place.

National Geographic Kids is said by the company to be the only children’s brand “with a world-class scientific organization at its core.” It’s intended to inspire young adventurers through award-winning books, magazines, toys, videos, events, an award-winning site, apps and games including Animal Jam.

Animal Jam Play Wild, according to company materials, has been honored as the 2017 Google Play Best App for Kids and is the No. 1-ranked mobile app and online play platform for children 8 to 12. Some 84 million users are registered in 200 countries.

The animal Jam audience skews heavily female, press materials tell us, meaning that it provides “valuable experience in digital gameplay and STEM for girls.”

Ingram’s VitalSource Revamps Platform

Ingram Content’s VitalSource has produced its “next generation” edition of its Content Experience Platform, a corporate training platform that has recently seen the millionth user.

The platform allows companies to create and manage training content, as well as measure engagement and usage.

In prepared materials, descriptions of the digital content service say, “Our platforms provide students and educators access to immersive, engaging digital content. Interactive study and analytics tools give users experiences and insights that cannot be achieved with print textbooks. And publishers and other content creators can enhance their existing content or create new, customized digital-first products…

“With Inclusive Access, we are decreasing the cost of digital textbooks and providing required materials to all students on or before the first day of classes. We deliver educational content to students and educators around the world through our website, strategic partnerships, and institution customers.”

In that context, VitalSource works with more than 1,000 publishers including Cengage, Elsevier, Macmillan Learning, McGraw Hill Education, Pearson, and Wiley.

And last year, the company reports, more than 2.4 billion page views were logged from 15.4 million users through more than 7,000 institutions that are utilizing VitalSource.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.