Archive for the 'Web Fun' Category

qubo Highlights Kid Film Winners

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

In response to the phenomenally successful first round of quboPic premieres that aired this past winter, qubo, the TV and online entertainment service for children and families, will debut a second round of user-generated animated short films on qubo Channel as well as on qubo’s broadcast blocks on ION Television, NBC and Telemundo beginning Thursday, July 16.

Thousands of young animators from across the country logged on to to create short animated films using an innovative storytelling web application called “Zimmer Twins”.  qubo selected fourteen films to be to be converted into fully animated mini-movies for national broadcast.  qubo producers will re-master each film, converting it to high-resolution video with broadcast quality color, music and sound effects.  qubo has also enlisted character actors to record the dialogue  and narration written by the animators in their text bubble scripts.

The “Zimmer Twins”, Edgar and Eva, are animated characters featured in interactive cartoons that kids can create from scratch, modify and share with their friends in a rich, safe web environment. The “Zimmer Twins” section on includes storytelling tools, pre-made animated clips and simple editing instructions that tap into kids’ inherent love of stories.  The clips and storytelling prompts explore classic kid themes like science, animals, magic and adventure.  The animation interface is designed around the basic elements of sentence structure, and reinforces reading, grammar, and writing techniques. After creating their stories, users can post and share their creations and even vote for their favorite user-created submissions online.  In 2007, the “Zimmer Twins” won the International Interactive Emmy® Award.

“We were thrilled with the response to our first round of quboPic premieres and can’t think of a better way to honor and thank our viewers than by launching a second effort, “said  Rick Rodriguez, president and general manager, qubo.  “We are proud to showcase the creativity of these talented children on our air. The “Zimmer Twins” helps reinforce qubo’s mission of engaging children’s minds while promoting reading and literacy.”

Professor Garfield Foundation Makes Learning Fun for Kids With Learning Disabilities

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Cartoons help make learning fun, even for kids who struggle with reading. Did you know that financier Charles Schwab was dyslexic and passed his literature classes by doing book reports based on comic-book versions of classic stories? Jim Davis, creator of the Garfield comic series, incorporated the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation content with the Professor Garfield Foundation programming in 2007 to create a fun website where kids go to have fun and learn. The programs are designed specifically for children with learning and attention problems, although all kids benefit from the free edutainment.

“One of the unexpected joys of being in this line of work has been hearing from the parents of children who learned to read thanks to the Garfield comic strip,” said Davis. “After nearly 30 years of doing the strip, we’ve heard this often enough that we’re convinced the strip is a great teaching tool – the simple combination of words and pictures stimulates learning. That’s why we created the Professor Garfield Foundation and the Professor Garfield website. We all learn in different ways, or as says, ‘No two brains spark alike.’ It’s very gratifying that the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation elected Garfield to carry on their vision. It’s a responsibility we take seriously. It will encourage us to redouble our efforts to help kids grow and learn.”

Habitat Heroes™ – Global, Social Networking web site for Young Eco-warriors

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Habitat Heroes™, the first global, social networking web site for young eco-warriors, will launch in time for Earth Day on April 22nd. Sharon Lowe, an Australian mother of three, created Habitat Heroes™ after observing her daughter’s online play. She had a desire to create an entertaining, yet worthwhile destination for children seeking to learn more about the earth, conservation, and preservation.

Lowe developed the site with the assistance of a top-notch panel of environmental experts.“The core of Habitat Heroes™ was formed around values my husband and I wish to instill in our children. Treating other living creatures, and our planet, with respect is of the utmost importance to us. Since computers are part of our children’s lives beginning at such a young age, I wanted to create an online destination where children could learn about these fundamentally important issues through things they enjoy, such as games and activities,” said Lowe.

Habitat Heroes™ is an interactive web destination where children can adopt an animal from an endangered species, and create a life for it, while also playing games, reading fun facts about the planet, and communicating with other young environmentalists. Children select and personalize animal avatars to represent them on the site, and decorate the habitats where their avatars live. The number of avatars for a specific species on the site corresponds to the number of members of that species existing in the real world. For instance, only 3600 members who sign-up can choose the black rhinoceros as their avatar, corresponding to the 3600 black rhinoceros in existence. The site will introduce a new endangered species once the old one is retired.

One of Habitat Heroes™ primary goals is to bring young environmentalists from around the globe together so that they can share their ideas for saving the planet. Animal avatars looking to socialize, or share their thoughts on the environment, can make friends at the local “Watering Hole” and communicate with them via chat boxes. Safety features have been built into the site and online chats are closely monitored. Parents also have the option to limit use of this function or any other aspect of the site.“As a mother, I make sure that everything my children do online is safe and worthwhile. I envision Habitat Heroes™ as an online destination where any child can have a truly engaging experience,” said Lowe.

On Habitat Heroes™, children can explore different continents and learn about environmental issues by touring a virtual map. Each continent also has its own games. Water Wheel is a game based on the real-life work of PlayPumps International, an organization that constructs merry-go-round water pumps for communities in sub-Saharan Africa. In this game, players virtually construct an irrigation system in an African village. In another game, located in India, Connectastrophe, children can explore and learn about natural disasters.In addition to traditional environmental concerns, Habitat Heroes™ also enlightens children about healthy eating and global cultures. Kids learn to make proper food choices at Scoops & Sprinkles, where they can assemble healthy frozen yogurt desserts, or by feeding their avatars sashimi and salads at the Chow House. They can learn about Indian heritage by playing dress-up with traditional saris and jewelry at the Sari Salon. These additional elements allow children to feel a connection – both social and geographic – with other world communities facing difficult environmental challenges.

Beyond the interactive features of the site, children can visit Habitat Heroes™ to find out more about environmental organizations as well as their favorite celebrity environmentalists and the causes that most interest them. Check out this site with your young ones for a fun and educational experience.

PBS KIDS GO! Pioneers In-Video Gaming on its Educational Broadband Service

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Kids Streaming More than

One Million Video Clips Per Week on

As a media leader exploiting new technology for educational enrichment, PBS KIDS GO! announced today the expansion of its video player capabilities to include new in-video gaming on (  Embedded in PBS KIDS GO! popular curriculum-based series, the new games foster greater learning comprehension and enhance the digital experience for early elementary school children. Currently, the PBS KIDS GO! video player offers hundreds of video clips and dozens of full-length episodes, and is streaming more than one million clips each week.


The first series adding the game overlay to online videos include ARTHUR, FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN, CYBERCHASE and WORDGIRL. THE ELECTRIC COMPANY and other series will feature this new gaming option in the coming months.


“PBS is committed to raising the bar when it comes to developing kids interactive experiences that are fun and educational,” said Jason Seiken, SVP of PBS Interactive. “Kids are accessing and using media in myriad ways. As pioneers of this new technology, PBS KIDS GO! is creating an even more immersive and enriching experience for children to further their learning alongside their favorite characters.”


“We’ve combined two of the things that kids love most – great TV shows and cool games – and are thrilled to bring such incredible interactivity to kids whenever they want it,” added Sara DeWitt, Senior Director of PBS KIDS Interactive. “As the leader in educational media, PBS KIDS GO! will continue to reach out to this audience with content that will bring learning with media to a new level.”  

With full screen, closed captioning, Spanish audio, and sharing and voting features, the PBS KIDS GO! video player showcases full episodes, sneak previews and clip highlights from PBS KIDS GO! broadcast properties primarily serving children ages 6 to 8, an audience with limited age-appropriate media choices. With fresh content added weekly, properties include ANIMALIA, ARTHUR, CYBERCHASE, DESIGN SQUAD, DRAGONFLYTV, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN, MARTHA SPEAKS, MAYA & MIGUEL, POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER, WISHBONE, WORDGIRL and ZOOM.  Additionally, kids can browse by themes, such as “robots” and “Earth Day,” and enjoy Web-exclusive content from series including THE GREENS, KRATTS’ CREATURES and KIDS WORLD SPORTS.

Available on both Macs and PCs, the PBS KIDS GO! video player is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and is available at The video player is also available via Web sites of participating local PBS member stations.

PBS KIDS GO! is an educational multimedia destination specifically designed for early elementary school kids which debuted online at and as an afternoon program block on PBS member stations in October 2004. PBS KIDS worked closely with early elementary school kids and industry experts to create this destination for an audience with limited choices for media content that is both fun and educational. With engaging, smart, age-appropriate content and a fun, quirky setting, PBS KIDS GO! empowers kids to discover themselves, define the diverse world around them, explore new relationships and embrace a love of learning. hosts sites from all PBS KIDS GO! series alongside unique destinations such as “EekoWorld” – an environment where kids create their own creatures and monitor them in the wild, and “It’s My Life” – a forum for kids to delve into the daily issues of school, family and friends. The PBS KIDS GO! Web site is also home to several PBS primetime companion sites, such as HISTORY DETECTIVES FOR KIDS, JAZZ, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’S WAYBACK.


PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and outreach programs. With positive character role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s online and community resources – including PBS KIDS online (, PBS KIDS GO! online (, PBS Parents (, PBS Teachers (, PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country – leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month and reaching 99% of American homes. 

Download a New Cyberchase Song and Music Video

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

The holiday fun begins today, December 5 at CYBERCHASE Online with the downloadable original song and mini music video, “When Penguins Fly,” and a preview of “Harry’s New Year’s Eve Countdown,” the new CYBERCHASE For Real segment in which Harry (Matt Wilson) figures out a way to start the New Year off a winner.

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