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Aug 3
Aug 3

Co-founder of Blippar, Jess Butcher, joins Azoomee’s board

Jess Butcher, Non-Executive Director, Azoomee

Like most people I can be defined many ways. My definitions include technology entrepreneur, business woman, media spokeswoman and business mentor – and it is under these that I normally write, speak and am known outside of my private circle of friends and family.  But it is the definitions of wife and mother that I hold dearest, that fulfil me best and which, if I’m honest I often struggle to square with my other definitions.

My day job for the last 6 years as co-founder of Blippar has been to encourage the world to put their phones between them and the real world – to use the lens, its ‘eye’ to look at and unlock the physical world using image recognition and augmented reality (or just a bit of ‘magic’ for those less interested in the technical definitions). But it has always been a bit of a quandary for me as someone from the pre-smartphone generation to bring up my children in a world of touch screens. My generation’s childhood memories are of playing outside, using our imaginations and experiencing the world with our eyes and hands and as such, I much prefer the idea of my children collecting mental snapshots to obsessing about accumulating rose-tinted Instagram memories; smiles before smilies; emotions without emoticons.

I am blessed with an amazing husband, three beautiful children under 4 and most precious of all, our combined health.  I feel incredibly grateful most of the time but I wouldn’t say I’m a great mother. I’m a ‘normal’ mother – loving, funny and silly one minute and snappy, frustrated and exhausted the next.  I hate that my kids don’t always know which mummy they’ll find (or that their night (mis)behaviours may have fundamentally affected this). The self-deprecating, slummy-mummy type blogs appeal to me as hilarious, if unnerving mirrors on my world.  They are written by kindred spirits wrestling with the same emotions from aching love, delight and amusement to terror, guilt and occasional fury.

I worry constantly.  How many is too many sweets?  Juice or water? ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ or ‘Who let the dogs out?’ Can a child overdose on Calpol? Can I really be bothered to change a heavy, just wet nappy? And perhaps one of the biggest: tablets – friend or foe? How much is too much screen time?

What started with the CBeebies app for 20 minutes or so a day has developed into my three year old deftly tapping in and out of over 30 different pre-school apps, navigating Spotify playlists, turning the Wi-Fi on and off – and what I previously considered the biggest parenting sin of all – watching Paw Patrol in a crowded restaurant, just for a moment’s peace for Mummy.  With each new app discovery and the tantrums that then came from my knee-jerk rationing, my guilt was growing and I started to think harder on the subject.  Herewith, my conclusions:

Screens are not a passing fancy or transitional vogue, they are here to stay. Just as mass publishing was invented, comic books, the radio, television, kids’ television and computer games – and through their existence our recreational habits changed fundamentally, so screens are now an inherent part of modern life. They have irrevocably altered our connectedness, our media consumption, and most wonderfully, provide access to all the accumulated knowledge in the world – with information on anything and everything just a few taps away.   Kids today are incredibly lucky to be born with immediate access to this wealth of information and I believe it is our jobs as parents to help them navigate it safely, not to restrict it or risk abstinence resulting in obsession.  Children have always tired of any single medium and tablets are no different – with guidance and in balance, they can be a glorious gift to this snotty, short attention-spanned generation.  So what specific rules can or should we apply?

Here are some of those that have occurred to me, as a mum of pre-schoolers, as a technology entrepreneur and as, I hope, a responsible member of society:

  • Enjoy screen time together. Just as reading books together is valuable bonding time, so can screen time be.  Games, interactive stories, even the most mundane kids TV programs can be laughed at, enjoyed and discussed together
  • Interactive education is proven to increase recollection by upwards of 60%. There are a wealth of interactive educational apps on all the app stores offering self-guided, entertaining literacy, numeracy, scientific, arty and imaginative games
  • Curate the content available.  Research the apps best reviewed by other parents. Avoid those with heavy advertising or locked, premium levels
  • Understand the child-safety tools that all tablets come in-built with, locking them out of certain content and applications, requiring pass-codes and with time-locks (see NSPCC guidelines for more).
  • Encourage communication with friends and family.  From facetime with Nanna in anther country to parentally-controlled and wall-gardened messaging tools designed for our children to message us and their friends, telling us what they’re doing, creating and learning.
  • Keep them off the big bad web for as long as possible (and I admit, I may not yet be qualified at understanding the full risks here with three currently illiterate children, incapable of tapping something seemingly innocuous into a search bar. I’ll update this list in a few years time!)

All these musings meant that I was utterly delighted to be invited to join the board of a company called Azoomee earlier this summer.  Their whole raison d’etre is to create a single, safe app environment that encompasses all of the above – entertainment, education and creativity using film, audio books, gaming, art-tools and safe messaging. A guilt-free ‘nanny’ app for primary school age children where all content is vetted and advertising-free.  As a business woman, the model and opportunity to work on a high potential business of this kind hugely appeals to me.  But as a mother, it appeals even more so.

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we're hiring
Nov 0
Nov 0

We’re hiring a ​Content Manager and Compliance Officer

JOB TITLE:
Content Manager and Compliance Officer

ROLE SUMMARY:
Azoomee is a digital entertainment platform for children 5 – 9 to watch, play and learn online. Content is a big part of our product and the Content Manager and Compliance Officer will work closely with the company’s Executive Content Manager.  This is a fantastic opportunity to work for an exciting and ambitious company and creatively contribute to the development of the product. The role is a mid-level position with excellent progression opportunities within the company.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Ensuring that all Azoomee content is compliant with the relevant OFCOM and ASA regulations and guidelines
  • Metadata tagging
  • Writing synopses, parental content guides and family activities
  • Writing content-related blog posts and other materials as required
  • Get under the skin of our audience and identify new content that is relevant and suitable; our target audience is kids 5 – 9

SKILLS / EXPERIENCE

  • Strong writing experience
  • Proven experience with content compliance
  • Proven interest with children’s entertainment media
  • Previous experience processing, scheduling and curating content within a digital CMS
  • An Undergraduate Degree (BA or BS) in Media Studies
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills. Ability to deliver results under pressure
  • Good PowerPoint/Excel skills and a keen appetite for the internet, new technology and social media

THE IMPORTANT STUFF

  • Salary: competitive
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Brand new Mac & iPad
  • Must have unrestricted work authorization to work in the United Kingdom

If you are excited about this opportunity, please email us your CV and a short description of why you’re perfect for this role to hello@azoomee.com.

ABOUT AZOOMEE:
Our office is based in Shoreditch, London. Our team members, investors and advisors come from the Media & Entertainment industry and together we have created an ambitious plan to grow Azoomee into the best kidtech company in the space. This is an opportunity to join a great team at a key stage in the company’s life.

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we're hiring
Nov 4
Nov 4

We’re hiring a Digital Content Coordinator

JOB TITLE:

Digital Content Coordinator – full time

 

ROLE SUMMARY:

Azoomee is a digital entertainment platform for children 5 – 9 to watch, play and learn online. Content is a big part of our product and the Content Coordinator will work closely with the company’s Executive Content Manager.  This is a fantastic opportunity to work for an exciting and ambitious company and creatively contribute to the development of the product. The role is a junior position with excellent progression opportunities within the company.

 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

  • Research children’s video content and games: watch shows, play games, understand their themes. Tag and organise this content into spreadsheets
  • Coordinate compliance and quality control process of all content. This is a key part of our curation work.
  • Prepare and coordinate media artwork and assets for the platform’s CMS
  • Schedule content and create curation lists using Azoomee’s CMS system
  • Work closely with our Executive Content Manager to create a tagging system and implement the tagging across all our content
  • Identify what children are doing on-line and how they are choosing to spend their time. Co-ordinate research projects with external specialist consultants and present data to the management team
  • Get under the skin of our audience and identify new content that is relevant and suitable; our target audience is kids 5 – 9

 

SKILLS / EXPERIENCE   

  • An Undergraduate Degree (BA or BS) in Media Studies
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills. Ability to deliver results under pressure
  • Good PowerPoint/Excel skills and a keen appetite for the internet, new technology and social media
  • A strong interest in children’s entertainment

Preferable but not a requirement:

  • Previous experience processing, scheduling and curating content within a digital CMS
  • Basic Photoshop skills
  • Ability to gather, interpret and present data

 

THE IMPORTANT STUFF

  • Salary: £25,000
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Brand new Mac
  • Must have unrestricted work authorization to work in the United Kingdom

If you are excited about this opportunity, please email us your CV and a short description of why you’re perfect for this role to hello@azoomee.com.

 

ABOUT AZOOMEE

Our office is based in Shoreditch, London. Our team members, investors and advisors come from the Media & Entertainment industry and together we have created an ambitious plan to grow Azoomee into the best kidtech company in the space. This is an opportunity to join a great team at a key stage in the company’s life

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Azoomee crowdfunding internet safety esafety investment edtech kids children app
Sep 1
Sep 1

Azoomee is crowdfunding!

We’re thrilled to announce that Azoomee is now crowdfunding on Crowdcube!

We’ve had an amazing journey so far from forming a strategic partnership with the NSPCC back in February 2015 to signing an exclusive deal with O2 last month making Azoomee the sole entertainment provider on their new children’s tablet, which they are selling online and in all 473 O2 stores across the UK.

This is a really exciting time for us and we invite you to get involved at this stage of our development by investing in Azoomee and actually owning part of the company.

The Crowdcube platform is really straightforward to use and you can invest anything from £10 upwards. There are also various investor rewards available for larger investments. If you have any questions then feel free to email the team at invest@azoomee.com.

Otherwise, you can get started straight away by heading over to Crowdcube and watching our video: www.crowdcube.com/azoomee

 

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Azoomee Search It Up internet safety safe online internet security esafety social media kind
Sep 4
Sep 4

Session 8: What’s real on the internet?

As the summer holidays are coming to an end so too are the Search It Up sessions. It’s been an awesome eight weeks and we’ve covered many different aspects of internet safety, including bullying, viruses, privacy, and more.

In this final episode, T-Rex vs Pirate, we look at whether the things we see, read, and hear online are always true.

When Robbie sends Jack a manipulated photo of a T-Rex in the city, Jack is incredulous at first because it seems ridiculous. But, the more Robbie tells him it’s true (and the picture looks quite real), the more Jack is convinced. He rushes to Gran and Maya who help him understand that the internet is full of information that should not be taken at face value.

Through the online world we are exposed to thousands of times more information every day than most humans a few hundred years ago were in a lifetime. Sifting through it all is challenging enough, but more importantly we have to be (and should be) discerning, critical, and sometimes skeptical about what we consume.

At the most basic level, this is a discussion that can be had periodically with children early on by establishing that the internet is never the final word and encouraging kids to think about sources of information.

Azoomee believes in being proactive and starting conversations early about online safety with your children. This summer Azoomee is running a FREE series of VIDEO and QUIZ learning sessions, aimed at children 5-11. Check out session 8 with your kids now!


What they’re saying on social:


We’d like to thank the following partners for their help sharing the Search It Up sessions: the NSPCC, Kidscape, The Breck Foundation, Barney & Echo, KidtropolisKanoFire Tech CampOnline Them and St John’s Innovation Centre.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these internet safety sessions. If you would like to discuss using Search It Up on your site, for classroom activities or for anything else, please get in touch with us at hello@azoomee.com.

 

 

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Azoomee Search It Up internet safety safe online internet security esafety social media kind
Aug 1
Aug 1

Session 7: Being kind online

In this week’s episode of the Search It Up sessions we look at whether being kind online is different to being kind in person.

Jack really enjoys the game Robot Rebuilder, especially when Robbie can play with him online. This time, he and his friend have a disagreement about how the robot should be built and, out of frustration, Jack uncharacteristically decides to destroy what they made together. Robbie leaves the game upset, not quite understanding why his friend would do such a mean thing.

When we communicate and exchange online, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are actual people on the other end. Between physical detachment and complete anonymity, the online world offers degrees of separation that can inhibit our sense of social awareness and kindness. This episode, ‘Jackattack vs Robotron’, aims to reinforce the message that how we act towards others online should not be all too different from offline.

Azoomee believes in being proactive and starting conversations early about online safety with your children. This summer Azoomee is running a FREE series of VIDEO and QUIZ learning sessions, aimed at children 5-11. Check out session 7 with your kids now!

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Azoomee Search It Up selfie internet safety safe online internet security esafety social media
Aug 0
Aug 0

Session 6: What Does Your Selfie Say?

Selfies have become a social epidemic in recent years and we’re all guilty of taking one at some point (yes even you reading this… admit it!). However there is more to selfies than meets the eye. This week in the Search It Up sessions we look at the hidden dangers of selfies.

In this episode, ‘What Does Your Selfie Say’, Maya loves taking selfies and sharing them with friends, but she doesn’t always pay attention to what or how much is being shown in her photos. What she thinks is just a silly picture of herself to send to her friend Gemma actually reveals more than she expected. What if that selfie got into the wrong hands?

Sharing pictures with family and friends is one of the most fun things to do online, but we need to consider what those images really show and where they could possibly end up. Kids are therefore encouraged to be more discerning when sharing personal pictures online, which is something so easy to forget in the excitement of the moment.

Azoomee believes in being proactive and starting conversations early about online safety with your children. This summer Azoomee is running a FREE series of VIDEO and QUIZ learning sessions, aimed at children aged 5-11. Check out session 6 with your kids now!

To see how your school or organisation can get involved with our internet safety sessions email the Azoomee team at hello@azoomee.com.

What they’re saying online…


 

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Azoomee Search It Up computer virus internet safety online viruses internet security esafety
Aug 0
Aug 0

Session 5: Computer viruses

In the latest episode of the Search It Up sessions we focus on computer viruses – what are they and how do they occur?

While Jack’s having a sick day at home he receives an email for Gran from Auntie Dol. He gets permission to open it and finds an interesting link asking to be clicked. The result is a computer virus that freezes the tablet. Jack is distraught and confused. Why would Auntie Dol send Gran a virus?

In this episode Jack learns that, although the online world is full of attractive things vying for attention, not everything is honest. To young users, discerning what’s suspicious online can be challenging, so the message is simple: If you’re unsure about something, don’t click it.

Azoomee believes in being proactive about online safety and starting conversations early with your children. Check out session 5 with your kids now (don’t worry this link is definitely safe to click!).

Thanks to the following friends for their helping spreading the word about internet safety:

Kidscape who tirelessly fight to protect young people from bullying and abuse.
The Breck Foundation who raise awareness about how to play safe online.
Barney & Echo
 who run a series of internet safety roadshows.
Kano who let kids make and play with technology in a simple and fun way.

If you want to get involved too you can email us at hello@azoomee.com.

What they’re saying online…

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I Don't Want Everyone to See My Bum
Aug 1
Aug 1

Session 4: How long do things stay online?

We are proud to announce that, since starting our internet safety sessions, Search It Up has won an award for Best Animation at UK Monthly Film Festival. Huge thanks to our writer, Dave Ingham, BAFTA-winning production studio, Arthur Cox, and the NSPCC for their continued support.

In this exciting digital era we can easily document, share, collect and distribute media and information with one another like never before. However, the fact that everything is so pervasive and accessible also makes what we exchange more fleeting and permanent. As a result we must practice and encourage the use of good judgement online, especially when discussing digital permanence with children, which can be quite an abstract concept.

In this latest episode of Search It Up, “I Don’t Want Everyone To See My Bum”, Maya records a really funny video of Jack playing basketball and wants to share it online, but Jack is worried about who might see it. Maya tries to convince Jack that it’s not a problem because she can post the video for a little while and delete it later on. Gran happens to overhear and explains that removing things once they’ve been shared online is not quite so simple, which is why posting things requires careful consideration.

Azoomee believes in being proactive and starting conversations about online safety with your children early. This summer Azoomee is running a FREE series of VIDEO and QUIZ learning sessions aimed at children 5-11. Check out session 4 with your kids now!

What they’re saying online… Towie star Lydia Bright:

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Search It Up Session 3
Jul 1
Jul 1

Session 3: Bullying!

In this latest instalment of the Search It Up sessions we look at bullying, both online and offline.

When Maya finds Jack quite sad after school he explains that he is being regularly picked on by Robbie in the playground. Maya relates by sharing an online bullying story of her own and suggests that it would help to go tell Gran, which they do together.

Bullying has become a major concern for parents and guardians of young digital natives. Facilitated by new mediums of social interaction that have connected people more than ever, the effects of bullying can be devastating and harder to detect unless victims and friends speak up.

This episode and short quiz explain bullying to young children in a simple way and offers straightforward advice for dealing with it.

Worried about your kids’ safety online? This summer Azoomee is running a FREE series of VIDEO and QUIZ learning sessions on internet safety. Check out session 3 with your kids now!

Thanks to our friends from Fire Tech Camp, Online Them and St John’s Innovation Centre  for helping us spread the word about internet safety. If you want to get involved too you can email us at hello@azoomee.com.

“Through visual storytelling, Azoomee’s series conveys a heartfelt and empowering message for children to ‘stay smart, stay safe, stay kind’ online.”

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