AMA EDU platform impacts the life of parents, children and communities !
AMA EDU: dynamic and easy access solution empowers parents of young children through multimedia, technology and community workshops
Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)
Thanks to IDEO Community and our mentor, we have evolved our project further and will continue to do so. Our refinements started before the mentorship feedback, and we had time to do research on other ideas and how they localize the efforts. Reaching the Hispanic communities in The US is the key entry point for our solution and the IDEO community had exemplified with many ideas. Our video content and software are currently in Spanish, which allows us easy adoptation to Hispanic Communities in US. Also, the use of localization toolkit helped to understand what is needed to adopt.
- At first, we developped our videos for parents only but thanks to users and to applicants feedback we ve got the idea that our content is in fact relevant to both parents an their children. Videos can be watch by both groups simultaneously. We received as an advice to make our Kiosk solution reacheable to children by adding a step for children to reach the screen level.
- A strong feedback we received was that human interaction is key. Parents want to be able to exchange and discuss ideas and difficulties they are confronted to in the upbringing of their children. That is why we decided to enhance our app by creating a forum.
- Following our conversation with our mentor, we have decided that for localisation we needed pick a point of start. And after research and consideration we were able to search and contact communities in a particular state and make sure that they would be point of entry for US users.
Name or Organization
We are in Peru since 2016 and expanding activities to South America and Hispanic communities in USA.
What is your stage of development?
Early Stage Innovator, with at least one-year experience in ECD
What is the stage of your proposal?
Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.
Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)
Early childhood education (ECE) is key for children to have a prosperous future. Our mission is to enable parents to access free and relevant information on ECE through interactive videos, online resources and in workshops to assist them develop their children’s emotional, social, motor and intellectual skills to prepare them to become responsible adults and engaged citizens in tomorrow’s world. By integrating new technologies to more traditional channels we allow parents in less fortunate circumstances to access relevant education content.
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)
AMA EDU provides an innovative solution to help parents educate their children. Through short 2D animations, inspired by the Montessori method, AMA EDU provides parents with simple tips to apply at home that promote the holistic development of their children from 0 to 3 years old. Our videos offer day-to-day advices on stimulation, parenting’s skills, nutrition and special needs.
Videos are short, based on scientific data and made in partnership with international and local education specialists. Our platform provides production of tailor-made videos on specific themes upon request from AMA EDU’s partners, shares ECE advice through app forum, video channels, website, kiosks in strategic locations, and community workshops.
Our solution gathers data and information from parents to partners. After watching videos, parents can answer short and relevant questions targeted by our partners in order to understand the needs and difficulties of families.
What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)
Our aim is to give an equal chance to children born in less fortunate circumstances as others. Our platform empowers, educates and motivates parents, especially women to focus on early childhood education. It gives ideas to parents on what to do at home with their young children and how to solve daily difficulties. Our solution aims to reduce social disparities and to contribute to the country's prosperity.
Our solution also contributes to build strong communities through local workshops.
Explain your idea (5000 characters)
There are current global challenges regarding educating preschool children. ECE is considered to be one of the most unmet need of this century especially so in developing countries.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics, there are more than 100M slum-dwelling children under the age of six who lack quality education worldwide (INEI, 2017). In most of the world, early childhood education begins only at 3 years of age. Before the age of 3, there is no official early childhood structures offered to parents, meaning that between 0-3 years children's education depends exclusively on parents and caregivers. As a result, parents who don’t have enough time and resources are left without the knowledge or support on how best to nurture learning in their young children. AMA EDU aims to solve this problem by empowering parents so they play an effective role in the education of their children.
AMA EDU is specialized in developing educational 2D animated videos, published on video channels that are free for parents to access. The content of the videos and workshops focus on four key early childhood education themes:
- Stimulation: emotional, intellectual, motor, hygiene and social.
- Parenting: solving problems related to the key development stages of young children, discipline, parental relationship, etc.
- Nutrition: nutritional advice for child and mother.
- Special needs: specific physical and mental pathologies treated by our partners.
AMA EDU’s videos are diffused through three channels: app, workshops and kiosks. Thanks to those, AMA EDU can reach parents regardless to location or time of the day. Users can have a cross-channel experience by starting their user journey from one media and continue to another. Additionally, kiosks are computer terminals featuring specialized hardware and software that provides access to information and application for places with low mobile penetration. For the same reason AMA EDU also organizes workshops on a weekly basis, orienting around particular topics. Each workshop starts with the projection of educational videos and finishes with a craft session where parents create stimulating games for their children using recycle materials.
AMA EDU mobile application is going to be downloadable for free in South America. The application gives access to all the educational videos, to questionnaires and to a forum where parents can exchange ideas and discuss early childhood topics in the forum section. This feature also allows AMA EDU to collect data from parents to understand their needs. Therefore, AMA EDU will actively improve the content for videos and suggest additional topics on a need basis.
To maximize our impact our model is based on partnerships with public and private organizations and companies. While showing videos, our digital solutions are dynamic allowing the possibility to ask questions to users on their own unique and individual needs.
Based on IDEO criteria, we are currently at the early innovator stage. As a second phase, our goal is to extend our solution in the United States where there are 41 million native Spanish speakers. In 2014, American children of the Hispanic or Latino community accounted for 28% of those living in poverty (Kids Count Data Center).
Our model is easily replicable for other countries and translatable to other languages.
Who benefits? (1500 characters)
1. The direct beneficiaries are the parents of children from 0 to 3 years of age. The indirect beneficiaries are the young children themselves. Indeed, by the empowerment of their parents, children benefit from the knowledge parents received from AMA EDU. By getting some easy to apply tips on stimulation and interaction, parents directly help their children’s cognitive and overall development. Additionally, our partners are indirect beneficiaries as they get a very useful tool to communicate to their target groups while gathering some useful data and information on parental needs.
2. We offer support and interact with our users through online and offline user experiences and channels. The use of social media, video and application channels permit parental access to information and facilitates parent to parent to facilitator community interaction. At community building events, we engaged with parents at more than 250 workshops. Our kiosk experience allowed us to reach more than 1000 users a month per kiosk. With further resources, we will raise the number of both online and offline users.
What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)
AMA EDU has developed a systemic approach in order to scale the solution to reach 10.000 users in Peru per year. Many studies show evidence that children who are stimulated by their parents go on to more successful prospects of employment, increased incomes over their life-time, higher life satisfaction, better health outcomes, longer life expectancy, and promote better education to their own future children and so on. All of these are important long-term benefits to society that would stem from the improved outcomes we plan to achieve with AMA EDU.
We believe that the mobility of human experience based knowledge is what matters - the ability to use our services and data would transfer information across communities. That's where AMA EDU invests by using human capital and impacting on less fortunate ones with better prospects of life.
To summarize, the short-term impact of AMA EDU is to encourage and advice families to better interact with their children. Whilst, the long-term impact is to have a butterfly effect, that is, to give every child the high or better quality early childhood education and start to life that they deserve.
How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)
We believe by helping parents through our platform, we help less fortunate children in need to have a better education. A study reported by UNICEF shows that the financial case for investing in children’s early life is strong. It showed, for example, that children from disadvantaged backgrounds who received stimulation in their early years earn 25% more income than adults who had not benefited from these interventions. By improving the way parents interact with their children, AMA EDU can have a huge impact on low-income children and gives them the chance to receive the stimulation, get the proper interaction they need and be ready for the next step in life.
In the first years of life, neurons in our brains link at a remarkable rate of more than one million connections per second. This rhythm never equals in adulthood. A child whose brain does not develop properly at that young age because of lacking stimulation and positive interactions passes inevitably alongside this window of opportunity. The consequences are potentially developmental delays, school drop-outs and long-term integration issues into the economic life of their countries. We believe our content and the fact that we deliver our messages makes it simple and easy to understand by parents and help them nurture their children better for the future.
Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)
The outsiders and mavericks that have an impact on the society make innovation happen. We believe that new technologies and especially human centered design can successfully disrupt the world around them. Our concept is mission–driven, creative and aims to facilitate as an activator who make progressive change happen. Maher and Fisher (2012) mentions value, novelty and surprise as characteristics of creative products. Isaksen, Dorval and Treffinger (2011) differentiate creativity from innovation by saying that the first is more related to imagination, process, generating, novelty and soft while the second is more related to implementation, product, developing, usefulness and hard. Baring these definitions in mind, we have created our services with below three key points.
- Form an attitude on ECE
- Decide to on which ideas to adopt or reject
- Implement, test and iterate
To create more collaborative, innovative and productive service, we had to build capabilities to incorporate user feedback, experiments and prototyping and deliver better experiences and influence product roadmaps.
Finally, AMA EDU is innovative when talking about diffusion of innovation. The first key to spread innovation is through communication. by focusing on human centred design, we have created simple and fun videos which are easy to understand by both parents and children. We used logical arguments, stories from our users in all methods of communication i.e. applications, emailing, website, public domain etc. We tend to make our communication service organic, and the user interface to be elegant and aesthetic. These elements are often considered subjective to personal taste, but they share common value to foster creativity and easy-to-use for our users.
Human experience is the vital element that shifts the understanding of the user to another level with collaboration and divergent perspectives. When the learning experience of parents is unfolding as it should, the exploratory and entrepreneurial children would be nurtured and seed the technology enthusiast community while at the same time sharing its vision with the visionary people.
Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)
In Peru, more than 1.2 million children receive no formal education within the first 5 years of their lives. AMA EDU's distribution channels enable us to reach an exponential number of parents and child-carers. The technology we use helps measure website traffic. User outreach rates are anonymously trackable. The comments, and impressions of the videos shape future content to make sure they met needs of parents. The survey option at the end of each video is used exclusively to help improve AMA EDU content, reach and better meet the needs of its target audiences.
AMA EDU is working in partnership with companies and organizations that help us to reach our target populations. Today, already, we have partnered with 6 municipalities, 4 hospitals, and 3 NGOs in Peru.
Thanks to our partners and the services we’ve provided them i.e. tailor made videos, kiosk installations and data collection, we will breakeven in 2020.
To continue to grow, we need financial and partner support to scale up our solution, expand incrementally and to sustainably reach other markets.
Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)
AMA EDU was launched 1.5 years ago. We started with a pilot phase that allowed us to make some improvements and adaptations. Today, we have already developed 40 videos around different topics and additional 15 new videos are in production. Our new mobile application is ready for launch and weekly workshops are organized in different districts in Lima, Peru.
AMA EDU won Start Up Peru 2017 and is part of Endeavor PROMESAS Network and has been recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education as social entreprize partner.
Recognized for our positive impact in early childhood education, we already made partnerships with the below entities:
The Peruvian Ministry of Education, section Special Needs
Three Municipalities of Lima
Transforming Faces Organization, Canada
Baltazar Y Nicolas Foundation
All those achievements were possible thanks to our great team. In Peru, they are 5 people working full time; a country manager, an educational expert and an operational chief. Additionally, we have 2 creative people on the team, responsible for video production and animations. In the UK, there are 2 people working on expanding international partnerships and developing further AMA EDU strategy.
Our team is our biggest asset!
Moving forward, we would like to partner with more organizations and expand globally to where our platform is most needed and would provide the most benefit.
Our methodology is easily replicable. For, Hispanic communities in the US, the educational experience is one of accumulated disadvantage. Many Hispanic students begin formalized schooling without the economic and social resources that many other students have received. Schools are often ill equipped to compensate for these initial disparities.
Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)
To have a successful execution, we have considered below headlines into account to succeed on the market.
1. Current Business Model & Users
a. Current service & environment : AMA website, video channel, kiosk, workshop
b. Desired State : partners, community building
2. User Cases
a. Scoping of users in the US
b. Approach and find right tools
3. ECE Delivery
a. Analyze already existing services and environments within Hispanic Communities on ECE
b. Systematic changes require by AMA
c. Design best practices
4. Governance, next steps, timelines and owners
Our current business model is based on below aspects:
-revenues generated from the tailor-made videos we develop for our partners
-the kiosks rental
-the for profit and non for profit partners
- carefully selected for profit partners with an interest in early childhood can associate their brand to our solution (by organising joined workshops, kiosk space and/or videos can feature a logo)
A successful business viability plan includes with clear definition of next steps, governance plan, task owners and defined timelines. We make sure in the team who will be responsible for each task and have a project manager for collecting the data, analyzing the data, developing the plan, performing financial modelling and analysis as well as reasonable dates and timelines associated with each. The data collection process took us up to two weeks, to plan timelines appropriately.
HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)
Some of the world’s most successful companies use design as the foundation of their business. Today's challenge is such that these design will often drive technological development and innovation. By placing human centered design at the heart of our product development - rather just responding to market forces- we aimed to forge a unique identity. We have used IDEO's toolkits for connecting with our users on a personal level, and translating the value of our services to be accessible and useful to them. However, the value of these design and digitalization does not accumulate overnight but its carefully nurtured and defended. We have added and emphisized the feature to get valuable data from our user's reactions to the videos.
Being focused on our users, we are now increasingly concerned with the contents and contexts. Therefore, we believe digital technologies step beyond the traditional certainties of design, and human centered design form follows function and focus on problems to be solved. Our new application, is altered also to create the conditions for an entirely new design approach, untethered by considerations of purpose. It makes it obvious that design is both part of the problem and part of the solution.
To explain our HCD journey, with previous experience on Human Computer Interaction and Design Thinking during MBA and Master in Innovation and Creativity, we were able to create offline and online experience journey maps. These experience maps helped us to understand the needs, feelings of users and directed us to which steps we should add to evolve our solution.
We developed the journey maps based on feedback received from parents we met in the workshops and during ideation sessions on how might we help parents with ECE. In order to create these journey maps of the offline and online AMA EDU experience, we first did brainstorming sessions. Then, we have tailored our application and kiosk experience around the personas that we created. The personas were mainly inspired from the families we have met in Peru.
With further development and focus we have worked around the already mentioned mobile application, which you may also check our prototype by clicking this link:
Journey Map 1: 2 journeys
Journey Map 2: Offline journey
Journey Map 3 : Online journey
Tell us more about you (3000 characters)
1. Our idea comes from our participation to the Hult Prize Challenge in 2015. The challenge was how to bridge the early childhood education gap in slums. Participants were asked to come up with innovative, sustainable and profitable solutions.
2. My passion for education and young children was born while I was working as an Anthropologist for the Belgian Cooperation in Niger and Burundi (5 years). Since then I have always been keen on empowering parents into giving the best of themselves in terms of care, attention, love and proper stimulation. I have and also still am learning a lot from my five year old little daughter and wanted to create a platform for information flow. With AMA EDU! we want to unlock children's potential by giving the appropriate “tools” to parents.
3. With an unbeatable thirst for innovative technologies even as a child, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that world. As my interests matured during anthropology study and after my time in Africa, I was more equipped and inclined to take an active role in the business of social entrepreneurism. I had the chance to work on a diverse spectrum of projects ranging from fundraising to national health programs in Africa. These opportunities gave me a foundational education helping me embrace and analyze different perspectives of how to help others.
Our team is composed of 6 people. With diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences, everyone at AMA EDU!, brings unique set of skills and experience to the team. We are all dedicated to address the early childhood education gap for preschool children in South America's poorest areas and to expand into the US, other countries and continents.
Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)
We have the perfect team to move the project forward.
We are looking for more partners who have established outreach programs and strategies with our target audience, who are doing work with mothers and early children’s education. We would like to work with municipalities, NGOs that focus on ECE, schools in less fortunate neighborhoods, community based organizations (CBO), as well as multinational organizations like UNICEF and global organizations like Save the Children.
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)
We would like to engage with partners who are invested in ECE solutions development and technology circulation. Partners who can facilitate our growth and transition to scale, one that may have multiple locations in an area, are knowledgeable of local needs and gaps. Equally, we are seeking partners who would help us to execute our programs and roll out our technologies efficiently .
We would like to get support on best practices to govern accountably and transparently to support execution agility.
We would like expert to build a strong distribution channels, and communities; to recruit valuable personnel, and assist us in the development to enable value added services to women and children. Digital citizenship and DQ is more and more built on internet fame and recognition. As well, as social media are becoming more and more important to users to discover, learn, decide and even get support and raise issues. This omni channel, hybrid approach is what we want to learn.
Would you like mentoring support?
If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)
We would like to continue our partnership with Montessori and expand it. We would like to have mentorship from different platforms to digitally transform our solutions to a wider audience. We would like to partner with ECE experienced educators, that create curriculum for children. We would like to have a joint effort with educators, in a way that would integrate ECE with school education.
The customer experience is built through the whole live cycle of the any service as well as through the user's own experience.
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.
An example of one of our video
An example of one of our video
Discipline - Biting
An example of one of our video
An example of one of our video
An example of one of our video
Application video for Stratup Peru 2017
[Optional] Video: You are invited to submit a 30-60 second video that introduces you and/or your team and your idea.
Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)
After the Early Submission, we were matched with a inspirational mentor and had the chance to have an hour call. The session was very helpful for us and both sides were well prepared for it. A day before our call we have sent our mentor a one pager about us and couple of questions that we would ask her in the session. This approach enabled both sides to create a conversation even before we started.
During our session, we were focused on early partnerships, developing content for Hispanic communities, and starting in a small area or state in the US and pilot the demographic information. The suggestion on looking at below demographics will help us move the project forward in the future. Following our mentors suggestion we are looking to understand;
The poverty levels, What resources do the communities already have? , What resources do they need?, What social services are provided? Following these advises, we started doing more research on organisation in Colorado, California, Miami.
Another aspect that our mentor helped us was the idea to share the videos with children audience as well. The proposition of having children and parents learn at the same time is great and something we already started in our local workshops. We are happy to include young children in the process of learning as well. Some of the options would be to have our kiosk to be more accessible by children by staging a box for the child to stand on.
Finally, one additional feedback that we want to use is community sharing. We talked on how might we make it more accessible to partners to know more about the data? We will look into which parameters are important and on what data that we could add to and work with them. We are planning to add specific info and data to provide by simple additions at the end of our videos. The feedback we want to receive will be in survey format with a simple emoji face or a symbols to gather information.