ICYMI: Count Play Explore™

Helping Our Clients Help Others

What we love about our list of clients is the variety and adventure each project presents. We help clients in every industry imaginable solve incredibly complex problems through custom development strategies. We’re super proud of that work and of the clients we’ve helped. Today, we’re going to shine a light on Count Play Explore™, a web application developed solely to help parents, educators, and childcare providers incorporate more math into ‘reading time’ through instructional online videos. Since their launch in October of 2020, Count Play Explore™ has received many accolades and praise for the bountiful educational resource they provide. Now there are great things in the pipeline that will improve this thriving online program and ensure that they reach more folks with even better materials. Read on to learn about what is working and what’s to come.

What is Count Play Explore™?

Count Play Explore™ is a mobile-responsive web application that gives parents, caregivers, and teachers an online resource to watch videos of popular children’s books being read aloud. Embedded in each video is attention to the mathematics found within each story. The app is an online platform for families and community members to view supplementary educational ideas and support those working with children in preschool through third grade.

Created by Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, this online resource supports existing curricula by producing reading videos that equip parents/teachers or caregivers with relevant questions, prompts to engage in inquisitive discourse, and subtle moments where math or counting can be emphasized. Not meant to replace traditional teaching or reading methods, this app is a supplementary resource and innovative guide for parents and teachers alike—combining reading comprehension and math with an underlying message that math is all around us, even in literature.

The Problem

It’s no secret that students learn best and make better sense of what they’re learning when they can make connections with previous learning experiences in life that were significant. Sometimes the most meaningful understanding of math comes when it’s a part of other things or subjects in which students hold interest—or larger concepts—that are understood on a macro level. That said, the question becomes how do educators make math more meaningful and is there a way to intentionally bring math into other subjects via cross-curricular integration? 

Integrating math into other subjects isn’t merely including the concepts of adding and subtracting. Math is measuring, sorting, building, noticing patterns, making comparisons, and describing the environment, as well as counting and knowing the names of shapes. There are many ways to incorporate math learning into everyday moments—which is exactly what Count Play Explore™ does with this application.

The Solution

Bitwise Industries worked closely with Fresno County Superintendent of Schools to develop a dynamic, mobile-responsive, web-based application where kids, with their parents, community members, educators, or caregivers can watch videos of popular children’s books being read aloud, while incorporating attention to mathematics with every story.

Users can visit the site to explore video playlists of popular books that include intentional prompts and timed pauses to encourage parents/teachers or caregivers to ask more questions, engage in discussion, and point out moments where mathematical principles or basic counting can be highlighted. 

This app is an online platform tailored to families and community members, equipping them with supplementary educational ideas to add to their existing remote-teaching curricula, provide instruction support for parents/families, and aid in easing the burden of increased online teaching due to quarantine guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Readily accessible via any online browser, users can access the website from most mobile devices, as well. Count Play Explore™ is a mobile-responsive application that scales to most smart devices, including phones or tablets with internet capabilities.

Overall Impact of Count Play Explore™

This application enables parents, caregivers and educators to become an integral part of their child’s supplementary literacy and math learning. Many educators feel that mathematical competency isn’t held in as high regard as reading comprehension. If an adult feels they’re terrible at basic math, it’s often laughed off, whereas if someone cannot read, they feel an outward embarrassment. The stigma around illiteracy is heavy and taken seriously, whereas there is truly no stigma around lack of mathematical comprehension as adults. 

Through this app, the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools shines a light on the importance of math in our lives and how introducing mathematical concepts to our children at an early age can plant the seeds that math is all around us every day—and we should acknowledge it with a positive spin, just as we do reading comprehension.

Moving Forward

To further the educational goals of Count Play Explore™, Bitwise Industries continues to implement new features to showcase everything this amazing resource has to offer–and the next iteration has significant improvements. With its roots in the Central Valley of California, it was obvious to see how important a translated version of the entire platform–web and mobile–would benefit young learners and their adult support. With that, Bitwise Industries will implement a Google translator that will seamlessly toggle the entire site between English and Spanish versions. 
In addition to a revamped “About” section on the current site, this first phase of changes will include visible details about the California Department of Education and the California State Board of Education, along with drop-down menu access to their partner agencies and affiliates like the Early Math Project.

Phase two will encompass even more impactful options as the Bitwise Industries’ team embarks on a rework of how the videos are presented to viewers. This round will include a prompt at the completion of a video to provide viewers with multiple clickable choices to stimulate views of additional relevant content. And finally, options to share videos with other families and promote push notifications of new content–via text and email–will be developed in this upcoming phase. 

This app is blazing that path for parents, caretakers, community members, and educators. If you’re interested in checking out Count Play Explore™, simply go to www.countplayexplore.org. The app is free to the public; no registration is required to watch these impactful reading videos with children.

Let Us Help

Bitwise Industries specializes in custom software development, Salesforce implementation and administration, and Contact Center-as-a-Service. Our technology professionals have deep experience applying cutting-edge technology solutions to help entities of all sizes navigate the technology landscape to find solutions to optimize their operations.

This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not writing, he’s wondering how that rabbit’s career took off after its debut in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

If you’re interested in uncovering the tech possibilities available to your organization or want to find more ways to increase your ROI with technology, click this link to schedule some time with one of our experts.

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