ePals Corporation (TSX-V: SLN), an education media company and leading Global Learning Network, today announced the commercial launch in China of a new product line for collaborative learning through its joint venture NeuPals, as well as the first customers for this offering in a district of over 10,000 students in the city of Shenyang. NeuPals’ new products – the result of two years of planning and pilots - provide Chinese schools with curricula, media products and collaborative experiences with other schools around the world. The product line promotes cultural understanding, provides language learning practice and builds skills that meet the new innovative teaching and learning goals set by China’s Ministry of Education as well as U.S. Common Core State Standards.
The NeuPals launch in Shenyang was developed in cooperation with the city’s Hunnan District Bureau of Education. Currently, six schools in the Hunnan District have signed three-year contracts with ePals/NeuPals to provide the products via monthly subscription. The agreements signed by the schools include approval for NeuPals to offer premium services, such as ePals Media digital children’s content.
Approximately 50 percent of all classrooms in the Hunnan district are being paired with U.S. classrooms from across 20 states for online exchanges. The program, which represents an important source of revenue growth for the NeuPals joint venture, is intended to expand throughout the 2013-2014 school year and into fall 2014. Students, teachers and parents will be using the ePals safe, policy-managed platform to exchange emails, documents and live streaming video to share information about each other’s cultures, including traditions, holidays, music, cuisine and everyday life.
China represents a rapidly expanding marketplace, where schools and parents have shown enthusiasm for purchasing digital services that increase their students’ academic performance. The new product line allows NeuPals to immediately support the Chinese Ministry of Education’s 2010-2020 Medium and Long-term National Educational Reform and Development Plan, a strategy to promote openness in the Chinese education system, elevate the level of internationalization and enhance global collaboration and communication. The ePals/NeuPals products are designed to directly support the 10-year initiative, aiming to impact more than 150 million Chinese students from primary through secondary levels.
“We are extremely excited about the launch of this innovative new product line for global learning in China,” says ePals President and COO, Katya Andresen. “It is a significant accomplishment to be one of the first U.S. companies accepted into Chinese schools, and we are working closely with NeuPals to ensure as many students as possible in both China and the United States gain access to this offering.”
Says NeuPals CEO, Charles Dou, “The Chinese Ministry of Education is dedicated to finding new ways of motivating students, empowering teachers and engaging parents. The ePals global platform, rich digital content and exploratory learning model is opening up a new world of possibilities for all of our learners and providing them with the broader world vision necessary to become successful global citizens.”
Administrators, teachers and parents in Hunnan District schools are enthusiastic about the program. “The program increases students’ and parents’ exposure to international schools, classes and students, and allows them to share their education philosophy and ideas,” says Lei Jun, the Headmaster of Hunnan Number 1 Middle School.
About ePals Corporation
ePals Corporation (TSXV: SLN) is an education media company and leading Global Learning Network. Focused on the K-12 market, ePals offers school administrators, teachers, students and parents worldwide trusted content, interactive learning experiences, and a collaborative learning community. ePals' award-winning products include: popular children’s educational publishing brands from toddlers to teens, including Cricket® and Cobblestone®; the ePals Global Community®; and In2Books®, a common core eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills. ePals also offers SchoolMail365 and ToolsforSchool.com, a teaching resource marketplace connecting educators to classroom-tested content. Also new is a full service content-licensing, clearance and production service for education publishers. ePals serves approximately one million classrooms and reaches millions of teachers, students and parents in 222 countries and territories. Product websites include: www.ePals.com; www.Cricketmag.com; In2Books.com; and www.ToolsforSchool.com.