London-based Enabling Genius has licensed Wisdom Edition to produce digital books based on its 16 x five-minute preschool series Phonics School for the Chinese market. The deal will see the interactive digital books distributed directly to 20,000 schools in the country.
A total of 16 new original digital books will be created in collaboration with Wisdom’s reading platform Pickatale, which currently offers more than 280 books in five languages. Interactive touch-feature and integrated video from the series—designed to encourage discovery and learning—will be integrated into the program.
Phonics School teaches letter recognition, letter-sound association and shape tracing while building fundamental phonics skills. It’s is distributed by BBC Learning Worldwide, which is currently in negotiation with a number of broadcasters and platforms for the series.
Smartphone and tablet use by toddlers continues to grow, and according to Enabling Genius, the e-learning industry is one of the fastest-growing markets in China. It is expected to surpass US$1 billion by 2020 and there’s a specific emphasis on video and mobile learning.
BBC Learning has long been focused on China. In 2014, it inked a deal with Singapore-based Popular Holdings to launch CBeebies-branded schools in China. Dubbed English Language Learning Centers, the schools used characters from shows like Sarah and Duck, Numtums and Nina and the Neurons to teach English to students in mainland China and Hong Kong.