Founders of the KidzByte MediaTech Pvt. Ltd, an app – touted as ‘India’s First Short-Format Educational News Platform for Kids’ – say they’ve already visited 20 Delhi schools as part of their North India familiarisation drive since their launch last year.
This includes St Lawrence, Bharti Public School at Mayur Vihar, Delhi branches of Ryan International school, St Andrews School Scots Sr. Sec School at IP Extension, Cresent School at Daryaganj, Angels Public School at Mayur Vihar Phase III among others.
Co-Founder Chetan D’Souza, who has 15 years of experience in the field of PR, Marketing and Media, launched this app last July with Swagat Salunke, Design & UI expert.
Based on their initial survey in schools the findings showed that children spend at least two hours on their mobile every day.
“We felt that despite PUBG, Snapchat, YouTube... can we provide kids with a more healthier screen time option that will make them better-informed citizens of tomorrow?” says D’Souza.
The app simplifies news content as well as makes it highly interactive for kids to enjoy as brush up on their general knowledge skills.
App users can consume the news under a total of eight sections such as India and the World, Sports & Entertainment, Career & Education and Weird & Whacky.
The sections are further broken into three formats: pure text (articles below 150 words), audio assistance (a read-to-me feature for listening to news) and a news video channel (animated reporters in a newsroom setup reading out the news).
To keep the kids coming back for more, news reports are often attached with quizzes, where they can earn points that get added into their piggy bank.
There’s a Junior Journalist section, for kids to cover any kind of activities like debates and elections at their school or contribute their art, essays, stories and poems.
But care is taken to avoid ‘controversial’ subjects such as the Dallas shootings, sex education, Section 377 or the Kashmir situation.
The app sticks to current affairs such as the recent Thailand badminton open and how two players made India proud.
“With regard to Indian politics, we explain what the Union Budget is about, how many seats does the Lok Sabha have, who is the prime minister of the country.
We take a very neutral stand. But we have reported on Kenya lifting the ban for hunting elephants. That report got a lot of coverage. In fact, kids wrote us emails offering suggestions for the country to stick on with this ban like constructing more zoos in Kenya where elephants can also thrive,” D’souza explains.
The app is working on gamifying news where children can attempt the quizzes as a single player or play or challenge a friend in a live environment. “We will soon introduce Hindi as a language choice to reach out to kids in Tier II and III cities.”