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Reinventing the way young children can learn through play and visual learning strategies

children who learn self-control, emotional and social skills in the early years, we will be better prepared to success in the future.

Photo of Amelie Jezabel Mariage
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Written by

Name or Organization

Visual Learners


Spain, Brazil, France and Canada. Currently seeking to replicate this model in USA.

What is your stage of development?

  • Early Stage Innovator, with at least one-year experience in ECD


  • Non-profit

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

Visual Learners is reinventing the way young children can learn. We understand children learn at their own pace. We understand the power of using visual and new technologies to make learning experiences more interactive. We know stories are important vehicles for engaging children. Visual Learner is a game-changer for children and families. We provide early stage tools (ebooks & apps) based on visual methods, for children to learn basics such as self-control, emotional and social skills.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Visual Learners aim to create innovative « design for all » solutions that can empower and have a positive impact in the lives of the children and their families. Our online platform is made up 2 part: 1. AV | THE EBOOKS & APPS We have developed 2 collections of tales with pictograms, LEARN and ENJOY. To date 20 e-books and apps with pictograms have been developed. Since then, our ebooks and apps have recorded 1 million children using them, generating a positive impact on Spanish, French, English and Portuguese spoken countries. 2. AV | THE ONLINE TRAINING To learn about early stage experiences and visual learning methods. The World Health Organization highlight that children whose families received training show more progress. Because we know behind the evolution of every child, there is always a involved family and formed professionals. We launched an online academy to offer tools, courses, practical contents and democratize access to learning for everyone.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

Childhood goes as fast as one heartbeat, however it is one of the most important periods of our lives! Start working as earlier as possible with children is decisive for their future. Visual Learners resolve the difficulty for families, care children and teachers to find tools to work and to stimulate children in their early stage of development. We also promote equal opportunity by making sure that everyone has access to these opportunities regardless of their circumstances.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

Here, a real-life example of how our tools can be used from the beginning to the end: Young children can independently play with our ebooks and apps at home, as funny way to learn basics concepts in autonomy. Most of the care children use the same tools to play and to go deeper on basics, such as: emotions, social interactions, self-cares learning process with the children. Educators and teachers also use it, in nurseries, schools, in the classroom as an inclusive tool to work in the reading and alphabetization process of learning with all the children, with or without learning difficulties.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

Visual Learners beneficiaries: • 1 million children aged between 0 and 4 year old, using our tools worldwide. • 60% are identify as Spanish talking countries (Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Peru). • 40% are from French, English and Portugueses talking countries. • 100% of families received free access to visual tools (ebooks and apps). • 6000 spanish families and professional already gotten trained this year in the online platform. • 48% of families receive free or reduced tuition. We are currently very focused on tracking the changes our solutions can produce in the lives of children. We want to be very close of our community, through polls and inquiries we will be able to measure our social impact.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

Here, our last metrics: • THE EBOOKS & APPS We have raised more than 1 million children using these tools worldwide. 96% of the professionals said that Aprendices Visuales tools are essential for children learning and 92% of the parents said that our solutions are an exceptional support for children, families and organizations. • THE ONLINE TRAINING We launched the online platform of Visual Learners last January in Spanish. We already developed 6 different courses to empower adults around children by offering them tools and practical content that can make a huge difference in their lives. More than 6200 families and professionals have followed the courses, scored it in a media of 9,2/10. Visual Learners is a game changing innovation. The long term impact is expanding access our visual learning method to thousands of new families.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

Visual Learners mission is to ensure that the potential of every young children can be fully released. We decided to devote our time and creativity to provide the free tools to do it and making sure that every child can access it.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Visual Learners has grown exponentially since we opened our Online Platform 2016 and continue to be wildly demanded, mostly in English spoken countries. By using the power of technology and providing digital tools, reaching the next million of children require a small amount of capital. With a $1 million dollar innovation prize, Visual Learners will be able to reach the next million of young children able to reach their full potential, across the United States.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

Our track record of success: • Built a broad movement of passionate families and teachers. • Reach the 1 million of children using our visual tools worldwide. • Successfully partnered with the 80 early childhood development associations in Spain. • Create a worldwide data based of early childhood development associations and preschools. • Participated in 60 conferences related to new educational tendencies and visual learning methods. • Built a culturally responsive team. With Spanish, Portuguese, American, French, Italian, German and Greek designer, developer, illustrator, psychologist, teachers. • Winner of 22 national and internationals awards for reinventing young children learning. Our objective for this year is to: - Develop our solutions for the "English talkers" children and families. - Translate the platform and adapt it for the US market. - Reach the second million of children using our tools. - Reach the first 20 000 persons getting trained in our online

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

We decided to start the project because of a personal experience. Aprendices Visuales inspiration came from our little cousin being diagnosed with autism. Worldwide, people with autism and other learning difficulties are often subject to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations. Globally, access to services and support is inadequate. Just like million of other families, we personally faced a lot of challenges... With him, we quickly discovered that young children are « Visual Learners » and need visual support as images, photos or pictograms to learn easily and to work in autonomy. We designed for him a first story with pictograms to learn to go alone to the restroom, « The underpants of Joe ». When we shared it online, thousands of families and professionals from all around the world, started writing us saying: « thank you, thank you for sharing this material ». We found that we were not alone and we could not imagine everything that these little action was going to change in our lives. After seeing the lack of visual materials for the young children learning, Miriam Reyes and I decided to devote our time and creativity to respond to this huge social demand. What started "at home" 5 years ago, today has become a international organization facilitating young children access to the tools they need to develop their potential.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

Yes! In Europe we partnered with the MIT, Forbes, the European Investment Bank Institute, Ashoka, UNICEF, Global Good Fund or Global Gift Foundation between others. We are currently looking for passionate change makers in USA to join our board and scale our solutions.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

Visual Learners will need help and expertise for the scale up phase. We’re actively looking for: • A talker who can use relationship skills to spread the word about Visual Learners coming in USA. • A mobilizer to create event and reach the community • A presenter to convince institutions, foundations and associations to join the community of Visual Learners. • An executive who can leverage their leadership skills for a cause. • A philanthropist who believe in children potential. • A really famous person involve in childhood causes.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

We would support in the field of: - Coaching and leadership - Team building and selections process - Long term sustainability model - Qualitative impact measurement

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

- - - -

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.

[Optional] Video: You are invited to submit a 30-60 second video that introduces you and/or your team and your idea.

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina

Hola Amelie,
I really enjoyed reading your submission, I had already heard about your project can´t recall where, but it is nice to reconnect through this OpenIdeo Challenge. I myself am an architect, as well as your partner, that ended up dedicating my life " building a brighter" future for all children especially those in low-income communities. I wanted to ask you how did you go about creating your ebooks? and app? I would love to do so as well, but find it daunting to do so, we lack the resources... any suggestions? Valeria ( Mexico)

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina

This is the link to my submission.

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina

This is the link to my submission.

Photo of Amelie Jezabel Mariage

Dear Valeria,
I just looked at Yuum, I loved the idea and I truly believe in the power of using music to encourage cognitive and social skills!
In @AprendicesVisuales we first started with printed books. We soon realize that the impact of one printed book is really small, 1 child or a reduce group of children. That's why we decided to change our approach and get focused on creating ebooks and apps. By using the power of technology and making the project digital we have been able this year to reach 1 million children around the world using our material, to learn basic emotions, autonomy and social skills.
I don't know your end goal... but if your objective is to reach as much children as possible... printed book by printed book, our activity by activity... this path is really slow to raise an exponential impact.
If you want we can have a Skype together and exchange together? Best.

Photo of Karishma Donde

This is really great, love this idea & can see the positive impact it would have! Are books and learning tools given to the parents based on the child's age? Or you get one suite all together?

Photo of Amelie Jezabel Mariage

Dear @Karishma Donde, thank you for your kind words! To date we have developed 2 collections of tales with pictograms. In one hand, the LEARN collection (15 tales) is for smaller kids to learn basic emotional and social abilities, self cares and self estime strategies. In another hand, the ENJOY collection (5 tales) is focused on providing fantastic and imaginative stories, but always with the visual support children's need to read and learn easily. The 20 tales we have created are available in our online platform ( in english) where parents can choose to download all together the suite of Ebooks or download separately one by one the interactive Apps. If you need something more, do not hesitate to contact with us. Thank you again. Best.

Photo of Iliriana Kacaniku

Hey Amelie Jezabel Mariage 
Few days ago we shared with you the invitation to the two webinars in which you will have a chance to hear more about the Prize and ask any questions about the process. Knowing that the sponsor seeks solutions from all over the world that can be implemented in the United States, I think this is a great opportunity to hear any questions you may have on how to develop
your idea along this goal. And many other aspects of the Prize and human-centered design.

We’ll be hosting calls on
Tuesday, December 5, 4:30 - 5:30 PM PST ( and

Wednesday, December 6, 08:00 - 9:00 AM PST (

In case you cant make it, feel free to email us any question you may have at!, and we’ll do our best to answer it during the webinar.

Looking forward to seeing you next week,