FableVision's award-winning work has garnered the best buzz in the industry and beyond. Check out the studio newsmakers and read recent stories.
FableVision and Sesame Studios Present
The Silliest Counting Show Ever!
FableVision Studios is putting the silly in math and counting education with the launch of The Silliest Counting Show Ever! for Sesame Studios, the premiere YouTube destination for kids from the makers of Sesame Street. The channel offers free original stories and songs, complete with new Sesame friends, good humor, and the classic educational goodness synonymous with the Sesame Street brand.
Conceived and written by Tone Thyne, FableVision collaborated with Big Breakfast to produce the live action video starring one-year-old Otis and four-year-old Victoria for a humorous, educational vignette on counting. FableVision supplemented the video with animation and motion graphics. The video teaches counting and sequencing, and folds in lessons of patience, tolerance, and creative problem solving.
“We're so proud to have made something that honors the integrity of everything that Sesame has been making for 47 years,” shares Tone Thyne, Vice President of Creative at FableVision Studios and creator of The Silliest Counting Show Ever! “FableVision is a strong believer in the importance of sparking a base interest and knowledge in math and counting education from an early age to encourage lifelong learning. Our goal was to create something fun and timeless, filled with the humor and heartwarming essence that’s true to all of Sesame and FableVision’s content.”
Meet FableVision and Smithsonian Institute at the
2017 Content in Context Conference!
Shelby Marshall leads three sessions and
Good Thinking! animated series a finalist for AAP REVERE Award
FableVision Studios and Smithsonian Science Education Center are proud to announce that Good Thinking!: The Science of Teaching Science is a finalist for a 2017 REVERE Award in the Best Learning Resources category from the Association of American Publishers (AAP).
The animated professional development series Good Thinking! is designed to support K-12 science educators through targeted short-format videos that explore common student ideas and misconceptions about a range of science topics such as energy, chemical reactions, and natural selection, as well as pedagogical subjects like student motivation and the myth of left and right-brained people. The series is available for free on YouTube here. AAP REVERE Award winners and finalists will be recognized at the award ceremony on May 25 at the 2017 Content in Context (CIC) Conference.
Join FableVision’s Shelby Marshall at the CIC Conference where he will attend the awards ceremony. As a member of CIC’s 2017 planning committee, Shelby will also lead sessions in planning, producing, and navigating the development of educational technology.
Using Sales and Marketing Insights to Inform Technology Product Development
When: Wednesday, May 24 at 9:30-10 a.m.
No matter how great an instructional technology product is, it will have no impact on student learning if it doesn’t get purchased and implemented. Together with Capstone’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Keller, Shelby Marshall will demonstrate why it’s important to take the needs of students, educators, and administrators into account when developing a product.
Making Student-Centered Learning Sustainable:
Identifying Technologies Critical to Creating Successful Solutions
When: Wednesday, May 24 at 1:45-3 p.m.
Take a deep dive into the technologies that are driving the evolution of educational resources. Shelby Marshall will lead one discussion and one activity session on group generation of use cases where panelists and attendees will generate 4-6 use-case scenarios related to student-centered education.
How to Make a Winning Play with Games
When: Friday, May 26 at 9-9:45 a.m.
Educational gaming has become a necessary and beneficial part of learning environments. However, before they can be implemented, it’s important to understand exactly how educational games fit. Shelby Marshall will moderate this panel on how and why to incorporate gaming into your company’s future plans.
Register for the conference here.
FableVision, WNET, and EDC/CCT Win
Phase II SBIR Grant for Cyberchase Fractions Quest!
FableVision Studios is proud to announce that we have been awarded the EDC/IES SBIR Phase II grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The grant will allow for full development of the Cyberchase Fractions Quest game. The SBIR program, operated out of the Institute of Education Sciences, has funded projects to develop education technology designed to support students, teachers, and administrators.
The Cyberchase Fractions Quest game is created in collaboration with WNET's award-winning producers of the PBS KIDS math series Cyberchase and the Education Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology (EDC/CCT). The immersive, story-based mobile and desktop game engages 3rd and 4th grade students in fractions learning and will be developed for both schools and homes, complete with educator and parent resources.
Learning Through Play with FableVision’s Gary Goldberger and Peter Stidwill
Every year, museums welcome millions of visitors to their informal learning spaces. How do you create a media-enriched exhibit that engages both children and their parents? Stimulate thoughtful conversation? Deliver an experience that’s both educational and retainable, so the visit is impactful and leaves guests thinking? The answer: use play. No matter your age, play is compelling, authentic and meaningful. Play is the gateway to creating a physical, tactile experience that educates and resonates with learners of all ages.
In this session hosted by Serious Play Conference, attendees will hear from FableVision’s Peter Stidwill and Gary Goldberger about work the studio has done for museums of all shapes and sizes: from the New England Aquarium to the Smithsonian Institution. Learn tips to create unique, personalized play spaces the whole family will enjoy.
Creating Media for Informal Learning
paces That Engage, Educate Both
Children and Parents
When: May 11, 2017 at 1 p.m. EST
Agents of Change at FableVision:
Paul Reynolds Keynotes
Digital Transformation Conference
Join FableVision CEO Paul Reynolds where he will be sharing how teachers have shaped both him and his brother, Peter H. Reynolds, to not only develop the courage to navigate their own unique creative work, but led them to make it their own life’s mission to encourage others to do the same with a host of digital tools they have developed that support creativity and self-expression, as well as STEAM/maker education.
Hosted by Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Digital Transformation is a national arts-in-education conference that addresses the innovative ways that technology and the arts can make students active participants in their own learning and bring schools, families, and communities closer together.
What: Digital Transformation Conference
When: April 21, Luncheon Keynote
Where: Cleveland, Ohio
GPB and FableVision Bring History to Life at
2017 PBS TechCon!
Bringing History to Life: A Case Study in Game-Based Learning
When: Thursday, April 20, 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
Where: PBS Technology Conference Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Join FableVision’s Gary Goldberger and Peter Stidwill and Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Laura Evans to discuss Georgia Race Through Time, a new history game. Aligned to Georgia standards for 8th grade social studies, the game leverages primary source documents and rich historical content for an engaging, story-based, educational experience. Hear from the GPB and FableVision teams in this production case study for how to utilize story-enriched, standards-based media to teach historical content. Session attendees will gain strategic insights on how collaborating with the right partners results in quality media for modern learners.
PBS TechCon is the key educational event for anyone in public media who works in technology. Presentations from stations, vendors, national public media organizations, academics, and thought leaders from across the non-commercial and commercial sectors make PBS TechCon a varied and powerful event for learning, brainstorming, and collaboration.
The Klumz Named Official Selection for 2017 TIFF Kids Festival
FableVision Studios is proud to announce that The Klumz will be heading to Toronto for its world premiere on the big screen at the 2017 TIFF Kids International Film Festival. The Klumz is a touching film about little creatures that make messes around the house. They constantly spill milk, knock over plants, and leave food crumbs around – not to cause trouble, but because the Klumz see messes as beautiful.
FableVision teamed up with 10-year-old Neshama Ryman to bring her favorite imaginary characters, the Klumz, to life. In the Ryman household, accidents, messes, and unforeseen instances of chaos are always attributed to fictional creatures created by Neshama called the Klumz. FableVision conceptualized and developed a storyboarded script based on Neshama’s ideas and sketches. Neshama took the role of director, approving designs, directing some of the dialogue in the recording session, and illustrated the background for the animation.
The Klumz joins a lineup of films that shine a spotlight on thought-provoking stories that explore diverse themes of home, family, identity, and immigration. The festival will be presenting films that promise to educate, inspire, and entertain children and adults alike. Marking its 20th anniversary this year, the TIFF Kids International Film Festival is the premiere festival in North America for children ages 3-13. Running April 7- 23, the festival is larger than ever with over 160 films, consisting of 33 feature films and over 125 shorts hailing from over 40 countries including Canada, Algeria, Germany, Hong Kong, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Mexico, and many more.
GPB Partners with FableVision Studios to Launch "Georgia Race Through Time"
Aligned to Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) for 8th grade social studies, Georgia Race Through Time’s unique storyline features Savannah, a young antiques expert, and her trusted canine companion Peaches. Together, they seek to find historical artifacts hidden in cities all over Georgia from Athens to Vidalia. The game begins with Savannah and Peaches receiving a mysterious email inviting them to participate in a race to collect historical artifacts. Students help them compete by following along in the challenges and answering Georgia history questions. When all of the artifacts have been retrieved with the help of students completing the challenges successfully, Savannah and Peaches save the day and win fame and fortune.
“Education is the core of GPB’s mission,” said Teya Ryan, GPB President and CEO. “We’re very excited to work with FableVision Studios in the creation of Georgia Race Through Time. As GPB has done with our Georgia Studies Digital Textbook and the free digital learning resources that we provide through our partnerships with PBS Learning Media and Discovery Education, we are engaging students in a very meaningful way with Georgia Race Through Time.”
Georgia educators and students were included in the development process, creating an engaging, game-based learning experience. Georgia Race Through Time is designed to work across web and mobile platforms and is available online and via mobile devices.
"FableVision's approach to game-based learning allows the player to experience a deeper understanding of the subject matter and its relevance to their own lives. Georgia Race Through Time merges an engaging story and relatable protagonist with important historical content and primary source documents," shares Gary Goldberger, President and Co-Founder of FableVision Studios. “From a game design perspective, using a variety of mini-games within the larger experience makes it appealing to different types of learners, and the narrative adds urgency and purpose, while still giving the player room to fail, learn, and try again. We’re so proud of our partnership with GPB, and this unique game we’ve created for Georgia students.”
Play the game here.
Save the date! Two FableVision Learning Panels at FETC Conference
The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) is one of the largest, national, independent education technology conferences, and annually attracts thousands of education and technology leaders from around the world. FableVision Learning has two sessions. Save the date and be sure to attend to learn more about STEM and creative maker tools!
FETC Panel: Practical Affordable Maker Spaces for Your Library and Classroom
When: Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, at 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Session Location: Exhibit Hall Booth #965
Fab@School Maker Studio's Lead Software Designer Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns will join Library Media Specialist Hollyanne Ruffner from Palm Beach County Schools to share how Palm Beach County has created compelling and practical maker spaces in school libraries and classrooms with Fab@School Maker Studio, inexpensive digital cutters, and paper and cardstock.
FETC Panel: Create Bravely: Empowering STEM Education Through Creative Maker Solutions
When: Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, at 10-11 a.m.
Session Location: South 330H
Join FableVision Learning's Paul Reynolds, Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns, and Dr. Denine Jimmerson for their session Create Bravely: Empowering STEM Education Through Creative Maker Solutions. The team will share how teachers and students can enjoy STEM learning with cost-effective, cross-curricular projects using digital fabrication, digital publishing, and animation.
Catch FableVision’s Shelby Marshall and Sarah Ditkoff’s Agile Ed Marketing Webinar!
Show & Sell: The Power of Animated VideosWhat: Agile Ed Marketing Webinar
When: January 19, 2017 1 p.m. EST
Video is fast becoming the most powerful and effective marketing tool for online businesses. Join FableVision’s Shelby Marshall, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Product Solutions, and Sarah Ditkoff, Marketing and Client Services Manager, in an exclusive webinar on harnessing the power of animated videos to create effective marketing campaigns. They’ll share tips and insights on how to leverage videos to captivate an audience with “stories that matter, stories that move.” This webinar will provide an overview of animated videos and prepare you to use them in your marketing initiatives. Kick off the New Year with a powerful new tool in your marketing toolkit!
Toca Boca/FableVision Toca TV Animated Short Finalist for 2017 Kidscreen Award
FableVision is excited to announce that the catchy new animated series Don’t Mix Us Up is a finalist for Best Web/App Series category for the 2017 Kidscreen Awards, an annual competition that honors the best work in children’s television and digital media. Don’t Mix Us Up is a part of Toca Boca’s Toca TV app.
Toca TV is a subscription-based streaming service, and offers a carefully curated library of content for kids ages 5-9. Looking to hold true to the signature fun, quirky, surprising Toca Boca brand, FableVision Studios pitched and developed Don’t Mix Us Up, a musical duo of things that look alike but aren’t the same. The videos feature five pairs of items that look the same and are easily mistaken for each other: Cabbage and Lettuce, Salt and Sugar, Mustache and Eyebrow, Whipped Cream and Shaving Cream, and Zero and the letter O. Each duo sings a song that explains what each item is respectively known for to make sure that you “Don’t Mix Them Up!”
Winners will be announced at the Kidscreen Summit in February 2017 in Miami.
FableVision’s Tone Thyne and 11-year-old “Klumz” Director Neshama Ryman speak at the Make-A-Wish® 2016 Annual Conference
The Make-A-Wish Annual Conference (October 24-28 in Scottsdale, AZ) is an annual gathering of Make-A-Wish national and chapter staff and board members from 62 chapters nationwide. The conference includes sessions that inspire innovation, encourage teamwork and the sharing of best practices, and celebrate success. During special events, “Mission Moments” will feature wish kids and others involved in wish granting who have a compelling and inspiring story to tell.
For a special creative collaboration with Make-A-Wish Metro New York chapter, FableVision Studios teamed up with then 10-year-old Neshama Ryman to bring her favorite imaginary characters, the Klumz, to life. Neshama took the role of director, approving designs, directing some of the dialogue in the recording session, and illustrated the background for the animation.
Annual Conference attendees can catch FableVision’s VP of Creative Tone Thyne with Neshama in one of the mission moments during the Chapter Awards Lunch
FableVision’s Peter H. Reynolds & Paul A. Reynolds are Going Places at Peabody Essex Museum for The 2016 Big Draw Festival!
Get inspired to move full STEAM ahead with New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and his creative cohort and twin brother Paul A. Reynolds. Co-authors of a series of STEAM-themed books for kids and the young-at-heart, (Going Places, Full STEAM Ahead, and Go Green!, published by Charlesbridge), the Reynolds brothers will read from their books and share what fuels their creativity and art-driven innovation. A book signing and drop-in art-making activity follows.
Sunday, Oct. 23 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St | Salem, MA 01970
Free with Museum Admission
FableVision Studios Levels Up
With New Senior Producer
Celebrated learning games producer Peter Stidwill
to play key role in studio's offerings of multi-platform digital media
Boston-based educational media production studio FableVision Studios announced today the addition of celebrated learning games designer Peter Stidwill as Senior Producer. The move further accelerates FableVision’s position as a go-to resource for game-based learning and multimedia offerings. Stidwill will work closely with FableVision’s award-winning team who provides strategic creative consulting, broadcast programming, games, apps, and other educational digital content. Stidwill brings a wealth of experience with UK Houses of Parliament and the BBC, and most recently logging the last five years at Learning Games Network (LGN), a spin-off of MIT Education Arcade and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Games+Learning+Society program, where he helped produce award-winning educational games and media. Gary Goldberger, FableVision’s Co-Founder and President, made the announcement.
“FableVision is thrilled to welcome Peter. He’s loaded with talent, creativity, passion, and is a key thought leader in the international game-based learning community,” Goldberger said. “Especially as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we know that having him on board will be a key piece of building our team for the future and moving FableVision forward.”
While at LGN, Stidwill produced Xenos Isle, an advanced multiplayer language-learning game; Quandary, an award-winning ethical-thinking game; Playful Learning, a national initiative to catalyze the use of game-based learning in schools; and the return of Zoombinis, a classic and much-loved puzzle game. Stidwill previously worked at the UK Houses of Parliament, where he produced the award-winning civics games MP For A Week and MyUK, and at the BBC on a range of formal and informal education projects including the Digital Curriculum (BBC Jam) and BBC Science and Nature Online. Peter is also a regular speaker at edtech conferences and speaks internationally on the importance of game-based learning. He holds a B.A. and M.Eng. from Cambridge University (UK), where he created an online science outreach initiative – an extension of his engineering masters dissertation on digital learning.
“I’ve already had a long and enjoyable working relationship with FableVision from previous projects with LGN, so this feels like a wonderful natural progression in my creative path,” said Stidwill. “FableVision has long contributed to the educational and games-based learning community, so I’m very excited to join and collaborate with the team.”
FableVision has earned national and global recognition for its award-winning websites, games, animated films, museum kiosks, and apps. Its roster of clients includes educational publishers, broadcasters, nonprofits, museums, researchers, and institutions such as PBS Kids, Smithsonian Institution, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Nick Jr., and National Geographic Society.
FableVision’s Co-Founder and CEO Paul Reynolds couldn’t be happier, “FableVision is at an exciting inflection point in our growth and impact around the globe. As we launch into our third decade with Peter as part of our team, we’re thinking strategically about the future and preparing for big news ahead. Stay tuned.”
Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery and Zoombinis Bring Home Two New Awards
Hats off to FableVision-developed Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery (Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History) and Zoombinis (TERC) for winning prestigious prizes!
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) MUSE Awards recognize outstanding achievement in Galleries, Libraries, Archives or Museums (GLAM) media. Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery brought home a bronze award in the Games and Augmented Reality category. Together with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, FableVision developed the iOS app to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The app aims to improve the understanding of American history, while helping players get a feel for the critical thinking skills, analysis, and tools museum curators use to study and classify historical objects and artifacts. Read more about Ripped Apart here, and see the full list of MUSE award winners here.
Zoombinis does it again! This classic game relaunched by FableVision in partnership with TERC and Learning Games Network was honored with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) REVERE Award in the Beyond the Classroom, Play category. The REVERE Awards honor high quality resources that educate learners in and beyond the classroom. In Zoombinis, players test their logical reasoning, data analysis, pattern finding, and problem-solving skills as they help Zoombinis complete unique challenges. With 12 puzzles with four levels of increasing difficulty in each keep players constantly challenged. Read more about Zoombinis here and see all the current and past REVERE Award winners and finalists on the AAP website.
Bob the Builder site Official Honoree
in The 20th Annual Webby Awards
in Web: Youth category
FableVision-developed Bob the Builder Mattel site has been honored for Best Web: Youth category in the 20th Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.
In anticipation of the relaunch of Bob the Builder on PBS, Mattel worked with FableVision Studios to create an online hub that introduces the viewer – in Parents and Kids sections – to the newly designed characters and so much more. FableVision utilized the site modules to guide visitors to different sections, including a page that explains the show’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Entertainment, Arts, and Math) focus. Working with the branding guidelines, established character design, and a parallax design built by Mattel, FableVision crafted the look-and-feel for Mattel’s Bob the Builder site.
Zoombinis and ParkPals: Kindness Rules receive
2016 Parents’ Choice Awards!
The Parents' Choice Awards is the nation's oldest nonprofit program created to recognize quality children's media. Parents' Choice Foundation's panels of educators, scientists, performing artists, librarians, parents and, yes, kids themselves, identify the very best products for children of different ages and backgrounds, and of varied skill and interest levels.
We’re so proud that two FableVision-developed games, Zoombinis and ParkPals: Kindness Rules got nods this year.
ParkPals: Kindness Rules (Committee for Children), a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award Winner
The new tablet game from Committee for Children, ParkPals: Kindness Rules, sets kids in a virtual playground and gives them the responsibility to make the right choices surrounding the four qualities of kindness. The game provides a safe space for children ages 7–9 to practice kind social behaviors that can then be brought into their real lives.
“Park Pals is a wholesome, educational, and entertaining app that teaches children respect, responsibility, and kindness.” – Sharon Heuscher, Parents’ Choice Awards
Zoombinis (TERC), a Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award Winner
In Zoombinis, players test their logical reasoning, data analysis, pattern finding, and problem-solving skills as they help Zoombinis complete unique challenges, escape imprisonment from the evil Bloats, and reach the promised land of Zoombiniville. With 12 puzzles and four levels of increasing difficulty in each, players are constantly challenged, improving their problem-solving skills as they advance through the game.
"Zoombinis will become a quick favorite – kids and parents alike will want to sneak in a few extra minutes to get the crazy creatures a little further along the path.” – Emily Crawford, Parents’ Choice Awards
Massachusetts Book Awards party & book signing at FableVision Studios
An invitation for those who will be attending the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting at the Boston Convention Center this coming weekend....and other book lovers who want to mingle with some awesome authors in a super awesome space!
The Blue Bunny Bookstore will be hosting a wine and cheese reception
Sunday January 10th, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
to celebrate the 2015 Massachusetts Book Awards
at FableVision Studios
Meet Mass Book Award Winners
- Katherine Howe (Conversion - YA)
- January Gill O'Neil (Misery Islands - poetry)
- Paul and Peter Reynolds (Going Places - picture book)
NOTE: This will be an RSVP-required, ticketed event. All are welcome, and tickets are free, but due to the event location, an accurate guest list and valid IDs will be required. Click here to RSVP!
Calling all captains! Quandary Episode 4:
Mixed Messages now available
Think you’ve got the hang of being Captain? Know what it takes to solve Planet Braxos’s ethical challenges? Then get ready for a brand new episode with two new characters! Developed with input from Quandary users, our partners at Learning Games Network are excited to announce the introduction of a fourth dilemma. This all-new storyline addresses privacy, prejudice, and cyberbullying, and features new audio and comics.
Thirty-two light years from earth, the settlers on Planet Braxos have to deal with space-age problems. Settlers face alien animals and need clean drinking water, however they also deal with social issues like favoritism and cyber bullying. Quandary strikes a perfect balance between being fun and addictive—there are no right answers, so players can work through the game multiple times in different ways—and being thought-provoking and instructive in the difficult areas of teamwork and ethics.
The player, in the role of the captain, must read through each settler’s viewpoint on an ethical dilemma and come to the best decision for the community. Teachers have used Quandary in the classroom to teach a number of problem solving and comprehension skills.
Quandary has garnered numerous awards, including 2013 Game of the Year by Games for Change. The game is available for private use at home, and is also available in Spanish. Play the game online, or download the app in iTunes and Google Play stores.
The Long, Strange Journey of Zoombinis Heads to Windows, Mac, and Kindle Fire on October 28
Following the incredibly successful Kickstarter and iPad and Android tablet launch from earlier this year, the beloved educational game, TERC's Zoombinis, is now available on Windows, Mac, and Kindle Fire. The game is designed for players nine and older and is a faithful recreation of the original with updated modern design principles and refinements. Including all the latest updates, the Windows and Mac version will also come packed with extras such as the game soundtrack, iOS and Android ringtones, a digital poster, and desktop backgrounds.
Zoombinis is developed in conjunction with FableVision Studios, along with Learning Games Network.
"Just as children and adults first came to love the timeless logic puzzles in the '90s, players can with the click of a mouse on their PC or Mac help bring Zoombinis home once again," said David Libby, Director of Technology, TERC . "In addition to the more modern look and added gameplay refinements, desktop players will get access to never before released goodies including the soundtrack and ringtones featuring characters such as Arno, the pizza troll."
Numbering in the hundreds, the Zoombinis need your help. The small blue creatures, each with distinct personalities and appearances, are all imprisoned by the evil Bloats who took over their home - and you need to help them reach the safety of Zoombiniville. The PC and Mac controls are simple, using only a click of the mouse to control the Zoombinis, but the puzzles are not as easy as they may appear. Using logic, data analysis, pattern finding and problem solving skills, children and adults will face a series of increasingly difficult challenges, 12 in total. The game is available for Windows and Mac for $9.99, and on Kindle Fire for $4.99.
After the Storm Earns Award in International Serious Play Competition
Classroom, Inc.’s literacy learning game After the Storm has won the Bronze award in the International Serious Play Awards competition. Aligned with the Serious Game Association’s philosophy that games have the capacity to revolutionize learning, After the Storm won the award as it continues to make a remarkable impact on students who are struggling with reading and writing.
Following up on the success of After the Storm (the game is developed by FableVision Studios), Classroom, Inc. is preparing to grow its product offerings with the release of a new learning game Community in Crisis later this summer, also being created in collaboration with FableVision Studios.
More than 25 studios, publishers, companies, and academic student groups addressing the growth of games for learning or “serious games,” won gold, silver and bronze honors across multiple categories in the 2015 International Serious Play Awards competition.
The program recognizes outstanding examples of titles that deliver a high quality of engagement and learning opportunities for students, employees, or other education/training situations.
For a full list of winners, read more on the Serious Play website.
Now that’s some Good Thinking!
New Animated Web Series by Smithsonian Science Education Center and FableVision Studios Addresses Need for Engaging,
On-Demand Professional Development
Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) presents “Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Science” – a free, engaging, and entertaining new web series designed to support science educators. Developed in partnership with FableVision Studios, the series debuts with three episodes; additional episodes will premiere throughout the summer. “Good Thinking!” is the latest initiative in SSEC’s comprehensive professional development program for science educators.
“Here at SSEC we identified a crucial need for accessible, professional development tools that help educators break down misconceptions and other barriers to understanding scientific principles,” said Marjee Chmiel, Associate Director of Curriculum and Communications for Smithsonian Institution. “‘Good Thinking!’ meets that need head on – shining a light on the classroom and pedagogical challenges teachers face, and providing solid, science-based, experiential ideas that can keep their teaching on track. Through these engaging videos, which we expect teachers will share with their colleagues, we aim to enhance K-8 science education, and deepen understanding of STEM topics for teachers and students alike. No other on-demand resource like this exists.”
“Good Thinking!” comprises short, animated videos that explore pedagogical ideas across a range of subject-matter topics like energy, cells, and gravity, as well as cognitive research findings on topics such as student motivation, or the myth of left- and right-brained people.
“We’ve long known animation as a wonderful medium through which to explore complex topics,” said Gary Goldberger, President of FableVision Studios. “It helps visualize and make sense of scientific phenomena that may be too small, too large, too slow, or too fast to observe as live action footage. The humorous approach of the visuals and writing here, combined with a recurring cast of characters, makes the content relatable and digestible – for teachers and for anyone interested in science. The Smithsonian Science Education Center has shown leadership and creativity in guiding this landmark project, and a keen understanding of how entertainment can be used to present significant content.”
Led by teacher Isabella Reyes, each episode centers on interactions with her students in class. But Ms. Reyes also encounters a cast of recurring characters who spring to life from classroom objects and guide her through fine points of teaching. These characters include a talking orchid (who’s an expert on life sciences), a talking Bunsen burner (a physical sciences guide), and Gummerson, a gruff but wise wad of gum who’s “stuck around” the school for a long time, and provides advice on pedagogical strategies.
Ms. Reyes is smart, curious, funny, and self-reflective in her interactions with students and the other characters.
“By uncovering misconceptions about science content and the nature of science education, Ms. Reyes helps viewers assess and develop techniques for their own classrooms in a relatable way,” Chmiel said. “We want educators to feel she is in the trenches with them, helping with their toughest challenges.
Research has shown that the students of teachers who understand common student misconceptions are able to achieve greater learning gains, and the development of the “Good Thinking!” series is informed by this research. The production team consulted with and sought input from a group of science and education experts, and the writing team boasts three Emmy Award winners for television writing.
Chmiel says the series provides a convenient supplement to traditional professional development efforts that often require substantial investments of time and money, and can be difficult to tailor to specific teacher needs. SSEC will publish a professional development guide later this year as a companion to the videos, providing a comprehensive package that is free and accessible to educators across the country
Go Above & Beyond with FableVision
CEO Paul Reynolds at National Maker Faire
What: National Maker Faire
When: Friday, June 12 at 3 p.m.
Where: University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC, Library (41-A03)
The White House will celebrate a “Week of Making” on June 12-18. The week coincides with the inaugural National Maker Faire, at the University of the District of Columbia, featuring makers from across the country and will include participation by federal agencies. On Friday, June 12, FableVision CEO Paul Reynolds will be sharing his insights in a talk entitled GOING PLACES: The Power of Makers to Go Above & Beyond!
The National Maker Faire is a collaboration between NationOfMakers.org, the DC Government, the University of the District of Columbia, and Maker Media bring inventors, tinkerers, and makers of all ages to our Nation’s capital.
NCFL’s Renegade Buggies wins
2015 AAP REVERE Award
Renegade Buggies, National Center for Families Learning’s financial Literacy app, took home an Association of American Publishers (AAP ) REVERE Award in the Beyond the Classroom, Play category. Winners were announced at the REVERE Awards Gala on June 3, 2015, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.
Renegade Buggies combines basic budgeting and money management practices with entertaining gameplay. The app is made available by NCFL with funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, a longtime partner in providing families with resources to learn together regardless of the parents’ educational or economic background. FableVision Studios adapted NCFL’s concept into the game.
Paul Reynolds to Keynote STEM Summit at Virginia Tech
What: 2nd Annual Southwest Virginia STEM Summit
When: May 7-8, 2015
Where: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
The advancement of high quality education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a top priority across the nation in terms of K-12 education, higher education, communities, and business and industry. Across Southwest Virginia, all of these sectors are uniting to focus efforts to promote economic development and quality of life. The purpose of this second annual Southwest Virginia STEM Summit is to provide increased opportunities for building strong partnerships among our regional stakeholders, as well as bring new ideas to our extant efforts.
- To showcase and celebrate current successful STEM educational innovations and partnerships.
- To continue to forge the types of connections that create and sustain high quality STEM education programs in the region.
- To develop a systematic and on-going process to track our innovations and partnership activities, as well as the outcomes of these efforts, to create a knowledge base that supports and sustains new initiatives, as well as make public the affordances of our region.
Paul Reynolds will give his keynote on Friday, May 8. More information on the Summit website can be found here.
FableVision President Gary Goldberger
to talk about Game-Based Learning at
MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge event
On April 13, 2015, The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will host The Big Game Theory: Gaming Beyond Gaming, a half-day conference that will explore how we can use games to rewire our mind, ultimately motivating ourselves to engage, learn, change bad habits and more…all while we play.
The Big Game Theory: Gaming Beyond Gaming
When: April 13 from 12:30 - 6 p.m.
Where: Microsoft New England Research and Development Center
1 Memorial Drive #1
Cambridge, MA 02142
President Gary Goldberger will be on two panels: Game-Based Learning: Shifting the Responsibility of Learning to The Learner and Driving Engagement: Getting (and Keeping) Your Players Hooked.
NCFL’s Renegade Buggies wins the Institute for Financial Literacy’s Instructional Game of the Year
Renegade Buggies, a financial literacy app developed by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), in partnership with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and FableVision Studios, recently won an Excellence In Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award for Instructional Game of the Year by the Institute for Financial Literacy.
“NCFL’s game engages parents and children in a joint-learning process,” said John Linfield, president of the Institute for Financial Literacy, which provides financial education, counseling and information to nearly 500,000 consumers and is a national authority on adult financial education. “[The game] reinforces money-saving tips that parents may or may not know while instilling the value of fiscal responsibility in children from a young age,” Linfield said.
Renegade Buggies combines basic budgeting and money management practices with entertaining gameplay. The app is made available by NCFL with funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, a longtime partner in providing families with resources to learn together regardless of the parents’ educational or economic background. Renowned educational game developer FableVision adapted NCFL’s concept into the game.
“Renegade Buggies utilizes technology and fun to teach important financial concepts,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. “Receiving the honor of Instructional Game of the Year acknowledges NCFL’s pioneering spirit and tremendous partnership with Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Together, we are paving novel ways for parents and children to learn simultaneously.”
FableVision Studios Sponsors
Sandbox Summit at M.I.T.
When: March 23-24
Where: M.I.T., Cambridge, MA
By creating a dynamic forum for conversation, Sandbox Summit strives to ensure that the next generation of players becomes active innovators rather than passive users of technology. For the third year in a row, FableVision is a proud sponsor of Sandbox Summit.
Want to get a hands-on look at the new Zoombinis? Meet us at the New Product Showcase on Monday, March 23 at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center, from 5-7 p.m. We’ll be demoing Zoombinis with our partners at TERC!
Zoombinis is back! FableVision Joins Stellar, Innovative Team for Relaunch
Studio joins TERC, Learning Games Network to bring back beloved educational game, to homes & classrooms on iPad & Android tablets
“We are excited to relaunch Zoombinis this summer, a game that quickly caught interest in homes and across schools in 1996,” said David Libby, Director of Technology, TERC. “Utilizing touch-screen technology and vibrant graphics, children and adults will solve entertaining puzzles to once again bring Zoombinis to safety.”
TERC, a not-for-profit leader in K-12 math and science education, announced today the revival of the classic educational puzzle game, Zoombinis, coming this summer to iPad and Android tablets for $4.99. Zoombinis is developed in conjunction with award-winning game developers at FableVision Studios along with Learning Games Network.
The award-winning game tells the intriguing tale of the Zoombinis, small blue creatures with differing characteristics. Children and adults test their logical reasoning, data analysis, pattern finding, and problem solving skills as they help Zoombinis complete unique challenges, escape imprisonment from the evil Bloats, and reach the promised land of Zoombiniville. On their epic journey, they must face a series of increasingly difficult challenges, including Pizza Pass, Titanic Tattooed Toads, and Mudball Wall. The Zoombinis travel in groups across multiple levels until all 625 blue creatures are saved.
FableVision Studios is the primary partner working in tandem with the Learning Games Network. Learning Games Network is a not-for-profit game company and brings one of the Zoombinis' original creators at TERC, Scot Osterweil, back to the table for the redevelopment effort.
“This collaboration is a dream team experience,” said Gary Goldberger, President, FableVision. “We’re thrilled to take a classic, beloved game from so many people’s memory and refresh it for modern platforms. Zoombinis has a timeless educational backbone that’s reinforced by story and fun, and we can’t wait for a new generation to experience it.”
Fans old and new of the game can pledge their support on the newly unveiled Kickstarter to expand future platform support. If successful, it will assure that the modern remake reaches an audience beyond the iPad and Android tablets to include PC, Mac, and tablets of all sizes. The full Kickstarter campaign details and how the game is evolving are available here.
KICKSTARTER UPDATE: Our first stretch goal is here! If Zoombinis raises an additional $80,000, we'll be able to finalize development on an enhanced Zoombiniville and some fun extras to be peppered throughout the game.
An enhanced Zoombiniville will create a more rewarding experience as each pack of Zoombinis arrive and add a few extras to unlock, as well as improve the grand finale! Help us reach this goal by sharing our Kickstarter with your friends and family. Thank you for your support!
Just to be clear, the stretch is for an additional $80K, to bring us to $130K total. Read more about the stretch goal here.
FableVision and Lulu Jr. partner to create
My Awesome Publishing Company!
“Educators, their students, and kids everywhere deserve more engaging tools to nurture writing of all kinds. And the good news is that publishing is an almost magical invitation to get kids writing,” said Bob Young, founder of Lulu. “Holding a book in your hands with your name printed on it is really exciting, and that’s what My Awesome Publishing Company! enables.”
My Awesome Publishing Company! will be a web-based writing and book publishing platform designed for young learners, initially grades K–5. FableVision's founder Peter H. Reynolds will host the online platform.
“I’m on a mission to encourage creativity and self-expression for all ages, which is why I’m so excited to connect the dots with Lulu—the pioneer in open publishing for grown-ups,” Reynolds said. “We can now provide the same access to print-on-demand books for kids, giving every child a chance to share their voice with the world.”
The partnership was announced recently at FETC 2015 where key members from the My Awesome Book Publishing Company! team met with educators who will pilot the program.
Designed for mobile and desktop accessibility, My Awesome Publishing Company’s creativity tools can travel beyond the classroom to libraries, community centers and the home—so the creative process doesn’t have to stop when the school bell rings. Because the final output can be a physical book, creative work is easily shared with family and friends, and becomes a family heirloom that can be treasured for generations
Save the date! Two FableVision panels
at FETC Conference
FETC Panel: Making 3D a Reality
Featuring Paul Reynolds, CEO
When: Jan. 22, 10 a.m.
Where: Rm. S310EF
Envision a school classroom where students are the engineers—and every student walks away with a working machine, pop-up, or another 3D object they designed. The Reynolds Center TLC and FableVision, with Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns, are designing and developing Fab@School Maker Studio, the first digital fabrication software tool specifically for use in elementary and middle school classrooms.
FETC Panel: Anatomy of a Learning Game
Featuring Leigh Hallisey, Creative Director
When: Jan. 23, 10 a.m.
Where: Rm. S230H
Ever wondered about the process of making a learning game? It involves a lot more than just good programming. This panel shares perspectives from BrainPOP, Learning Games Network, Classroom, Inc., and FableVision on different aspects of developing Classroom, Inc.'s After the Storm. Developed by FableVision, After the Storm is a literacy learning game designed to CCSS, and is integrated into school-day and after-school environments.
Gary Goldberger to attend Hands-on Financial Capabilities Workshop at Federal Reserve Bank
When: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Where: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA
This invite-only event will explore promising educational technologies for increasing financial knowledge, skills and understanding in order to help young people better manage their financial resources. Leaders in the edtech and financial education fields will discuss the role technology play can help underserved people advance their financial capabilities.
The objectives of the workshop are to:
- Capture best practices from the field of educational technology that have been shown to increase student knowledge and skills.
- Explore the application of promising technology strategies to enhance both the delivery and relevance of widely disseminated financial education content [curricula].
- Produce tangible recommendations that can guide future financial capability technology efforts.
More information can be found on the event page website.
Anti-Bullying Roundtable features Paul Reynolds
When: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Where: Barnes & Noble, 1 Worcester Rd., Framingham, MA
Authors, advocates, and entrepreneurs come together to discuss the importance of empowering our youth, giving voice to the marginalized, changing a bullying culture, and explore what this looks like in their work. The panel features Karen Kiefer, Paul Reynolds, Megan Kelley Hall, and Christine Guthery. You can get more information on the Barnes & Noble website here.
Paul Reynolds Keynoting at EdLeader21 Summit
When: Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Where: Atlanta, GA
Paul will be offering the Wednesday evening keynote featuring his latest collaboration with his twin brother, Peter H. Reynolds, called Going Places. A book signing will follow. Going Places has been embraced as a call for creative approaches to STEM education. As the maker movement sweeps across the nation, the Reynolds brothers hope this book gives educators and administrators the encouragement and support needed to advocate for a more innovative, constructivist curriculum.
"Kids with the maker-mindset, who are producers of their own knowledge, will have an infinitely more productive, successful and satisfying journey ahead of them," Paul said. Read more about the book on our blog.
Spotlight on Stories that Matter
FableVision president Gary Goldberger shares the ingredients in our secret storytelling sauce. Spoiler alert: he finds it all personal. Read the full Kidscreen article here.
Creative Juices Art Show Open House
Our creative juices are flowing -- or should we say glowing?
When: Friday, August 15, 5-9 p.m.
Where: FableVision Studios, 308 Congress St., Boston, MA
Details and RSVP: Eventbrite
Join us at FableVision Studios for our annual Creative Juices Art Show Open House. This year's theme will feature all things blinding and bright – that's right, Glow-in-the-Dark! We will be transforming the Studio into a glowing world of art, all created by our own staff. Check out these photos from past Creative Juices Art Show's for a taste of things to come.
The FableVision Guide to ISTE 2014
Visit the FableVision booth #3114 at ISTE on June 29-July 1
What: All things FableVision
When: June 29 to July 1
The FableVision Learning team will debut Fab@School Designer. While you're there, meet the team behind the product! Also, learn about International Dot Day, the international phenomenon celebrated by over 1.3 million people last year! Remember to pick up new free posters designed by Peter H. Reynolds, new writing kits, and much more.
What: Classroom, Inc.: After the Storm
When: June 29 and 30
Classroom, Inc. will be at the FableVision booth Sunday and Monday to show off the latest learning game developed in partnership with FableVision Studios, After the Storm. Aimed at middle schoolers, After the Storm is a literacy learning game that promotes vocabulary, multi-media production, and editing through a real-world simulation of a busy office environment. Learn more about After the Storm on our blog here, and read the piece in Kidscreen.
What: Dig-It! Games: Mayan Mysteries
When: June 29 – July 1
Stop by the booth to learn more about the award-winning FableVision/Dig-It! Games game Mayan Mysteries and Loot Pursuit: Pompeii. Mayan Mysteries is the award-winning archaeology adventure game, developed by FableVision and Dig-It! Games. Players travel to seven unique Maya sites, explore challenging puzzles focused on math, social studies and language arts, all while solving the mystery to save Ich’aak from looters. In Loot Pursuit: Pompeii (featuring FableVision artwork), kids to explore history while also testing their knowledge in algebra, geometry, ratio and proportions, and number systems.
FableVision’s Creative Director Leigh Hallisey
joins all-star, all women panel
Anatomy of a Learning Game panel on June 11, from 4-5 p.m. at GLS conference
Developing a learning game means bringing together a diverse list of “must haves,” from determining technical requirements to reaching an over-saturated audience, and implementing the game in its market. The panel, Anatomy of a Learning Game, From Design to Development to Distribution, brings together five individuals to share their work on an innovative, new learning game, Classroom, Inc.’s After the Storm. FableVision’s Creative Director Leigh Hallisey joins Jen Groff of Learning Games Network, Allisyn Levy of BrainPOP, Anne Richards of Classroom, Inc., and Heather Robertson of Books del Sur. More details here.
Tone Thyne Named Vice President of Creative
at FableVision Studios
In newly created position, Thyne to oversee
production of original IP.
Significantly underscoring its commitment to original, home-grown intellectual properties, content, and characters, Boston-based media and interactive studio FableVision is accelerating its expansion of new content development for multiple platforms. Tone Thyne has been named to the newly created position of Vice President of Creative and will spearhead the company’s development of original animated properties, including television, games, apps and other digital content, primarily for pre-K and youth markets. The announcement was made by FableVision Studios’ President Gary Goldberger.
“Joining FableVision is the kind of opportunity that most creative professionals can only dream of,” Thyne said. “There is a singular spirit at FableVision that I’ve long admired. The company’s status as a center for excellence in content development and production is long-standing and well-earned. I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with the team to channel our collective creative energies and ideas.”
Thyne was the supervising producer for Little Airplane’s hit The Wonder Pets! for Nick Jr., Go Baby! for Disney Junior, and Laurie Berkner’s co-creation Sing It, Laurie! for Sprout. He has written and directed episodes of 3rd & Bird, Sing It, Laurie!, Tobi, Small Potatoes, and The Wonder Pets! Thyne was an 11-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation where he had a hand in classic animated films ranging from The Lion King through Fantasia Continued and everything in-between. He is currently the co-creator, designer, and executive producer of the new animated series The Adventures of Napkin Man!, airing on Canada’s CBC.
“FableVision has built a solid reputation for quality media, storytelling and interactives working with the best of the best in educational media,” Goldberger said. “Now it’s the time for us to take advantage of our increasing momentum, and take the next step to accelerate and expand the development of our own original IP.”
Since its founding in 1996 by New York Times best-selling children's book author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (Judy Moody, The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, The North Star) FableVision has earned national and global recognition for its award-winning work with educational publishers, broadcasters, nonprofits, museums, researchers, and institutions including Scholastic, Sesame Workshop, PBS Kids, and the Jim Henson Company. Based in Boston’s Innovation District and co-located at the Boston Children’s Museum, FableVision’s transmedia offerings include educational software, mobile apps, animation, websites, games, interactive graphic novels, museum kiosks, live-action, and digital storybooks.
FableVision’s Founder Peter H. Reynolds shares, "Right from day one, our strategy has been to find mission-driven talent who really care about using media, storytelling and technology to move the world to a better place. With his boundless talent and impressive industry experience, Tone is a perfect addition to the FableVision team. The next chapter of FableVision will be quite a story."
For FableVision’s CEO Paul Reynolds, Thyne’s addition is all about seizing opportunity.
“In a world where smart devices are proliferating around the globe, quality content is more valuable than ever,” Paul Reynolds said. “Tone’s leadership will help hasten FableVision’s emergence as a major original media development partner for global distributors who know they’ll need to keep feeding those billions of screens with fresh, quality content in the months and years to come.”
REVERE Awards Profile: Zoombinis Combines Computational Thinking with Engaging Game Play
The Players' Tribune: Game Break: Martellus Bennett
Good Morning America: 11-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Creates and Directs Animated Film
Los Angeles Times: Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Students celebrate Read Across America Day
Huffington Post: Neshama: 10-Year-Old Battling Cancer and Directing Animated Film
USA Today: The long, strange journey of 'Zoombinis'
Lab Out Loud: Good Thinking! from Smithsonian Science Education Center
Entertainment Weekly: ‘90s computer game Zoombinis to return this summer
U.S. News & World Report: 7 Apps to Teach Your Kids Personal Finance Skills
Dig-It! Games: Q&A With Paul Reynolds, CEO Of FableVision, Inc.
Examiner.com: Lightning strikes twice for puzzle game Zoombinis
EdTech Times: Zoombinis: Bringing a beloved ’90s game back for tablets
Renee Kurilla and Keith Zulawnik:
Living and Working Happily Ever After
Parka Blogs: 5 Questions for Renee Kurilla
Kidscreen: Stories that Matter
Gloucester Times: A Think Tank for the fisheries game
Maritime Gloucester: Opening for "Think Tank" Interactive Fisheries Exhibit on World Oceans Day
Let's Get Busy Podcast: Renee Kurilla (Ep. 54)
Animation World Network: FableVision Adds Tone Thyne as VP, Creative
Naplesnews.com: Discovery Day Academy "Lighting the Way" with New Animated Video
Association of American Publishers: Visionary Award Winner 2013: Peter H. Reynolds
Wall Street Journal: Can Vampires Make You a Better Investor?
Cartoon Brew: Artist of the Day: Bob Flynn
Association of American Publishers:
Ranger Rick's Tree House: Profile in Innovation
Association of American Publishers: International Dot Day Celebrates How One Book Has Encouraged Children to "Make Their Mark"
Boston Magazine: How a Local Company Got To Illustrate an Astronaut’s Book for Kids
Boston Herald: Astronaut finds out of this world Boston illustrator
Boston Globe: FableVision creates smart phone apps for early learning
The Economist: Blood bars and debt bunnies
Boston Business Journal: Gary Goldberger on creating multiple learning platforms
Boston Globe: Selectman and brother donate educational software
Boston Globe: A whole new ‘neighborhood’
Boston Business Journal: Startups tackle Flash with animation tools
Game Industry News: Autism DVD Released By FableVision
Animation Magazine: Toon Boom, FableVision Debut Animation-Ish
Animation Magazine: Toon Boom Goes to School with Fablevision
Boston Business Journal: Jumpstart, Fablevision Inc. to move into Children's Museum