Move over, Wikipedia. Dotopedia is a kid-safe way to learn.
The educational app is based on the Dot. TV series, which follows Dot., an inquisitive 8-year-old girl who goes on adventures and who fearlessly sets about solving problems. She’s energetic and loves to spend the day outside exploring with her best friends Hal, Ruby, Nev, and Dev, and her dog Scratch. The animated series is made for kids ages 4 to 7, and aims to inspire learning and creative exploration, all while modeling how technology can be used to enhance real world experiences.
The app does the same thing. Dotopedia encourages kids to explore the physical world around them, instead of a virtual one created on the tablet. Kids start off by creating a profile, and can choose an avatar or take a picture of themselves. Then, they go to the homepage, where they have the option to read different articles, see Dot’s favorite article, complete a daily quest, or start a new activity. Completing quests or activities lets kids earn badges along the way.
My daily quest for the day was pretty simple: to get a picture of my smile. Within the activities section of the app, kids can either go on a treasure hunt, help Dot out in the Drawing Story, or help Hal tell stories in Clip Collector. The Treasure Hunt sends kids out to explore the world around them and create. For example, my Treasure Hunt task for the day was to help Dot complete her hunt by taking a picture of a cool paper airplane. To do so, kids could make a real paper airplane, and then snap a picture of it to send it into the app. It allows them to become creative in a physical space, while still melding in the world of technology.
In Drawing Story, Dot will tell a story and ask kids to draw a picture based on that story, and then snap a picture of it to put it in the app. Dot told me a story about how her Grandpapa loves to hear her play the cello, so I drew a picture of her concert for her to send him.
In Clip Collector, Hal needs help telling the beginning, middle, and end of his story, so kids are asked to either add photos, sounds, or drawings to enhance his story. This game lets kids get creative IRL, creating their own pictures and sounds to go along with Hal’s story.
Kids can search Dotopedia for articles on all kinds of things, such as planetariums and algae. Within each article, they can add information they learned and update it, or even add content like pictures, sounds, and more. It’s just like real Wikipedia, but full of educational fun for kids.