Numedeon, the makers of the education-focused virtual world Whyville, announced today a partnership with computer manufacturer Dell to release a special kid-focused netbook pre-loaded to access the Whyville world. As one of the leading computer manufacturers in the world, this might signal a dramatic increase in the number of kids entering the virtual world for the first time.
More important, from the Betterverse perspective, its may lead to tens of thousands of kids accessing the educational and cultural content that is available on Whyville. Within Whyville young people can learn about coral reefs and ecology, art, mathematics, nutrition and many more subjects in a fun and engaging online environment shared by 5 million registered "Whyvillians."
Sounds like a great example of a corporate-public good venture that uses virtual world technology. The full press release follows after the jump...
Numedeon To Provide Educational Content For New Dell Mini Netbook Geared Toward Children
- Numedeon and Dell collaborate around innovative educational content
- Project centers on easy Netbook access to Numedeon's virtual learning world, Whyville.net
- Netbook to be sold exclusively through Walmart stores, Walmart.com and at Dell.com
PASADENA, California - August 12, 2009
Virtual worlds learning company Numedeon, Inc., founder of Whyville.net, today announced it will provide educational content for Dell's new Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition netbook geared toward children. The new computer will be available in the U.S. in October and sold exclusively through Dell.com, Walmart stores and Walmart.com.
The netbook will include an animated icon (an "animaticon") through which children can easily access Whyville. The Whyville "landing zone" for netbook users will be the new virtual Dell Pavilion where all Whyville users can construct their own virtual netbook from its component parts and design and download customized screens.
"We're extremely pleased to collaborate with Dell, a world leader in digital technology," said Dr. James Bower, Chairman of the Board at Numedeon, Inc. and one of Whyville's founders. "This exemplifies the innovative ways we can reach and educate children around the world."
"This project is a major business opportunity for Numedeon," said Dr. John Nackel, CEO of Numedeon, Inc. "It will greatly expand our user base and provide a link to real-world products that will further enhance growth for Whyville."
"The new Dell netbook represents our approach to creating products that speak to people's passions," said Rachna Bhasin, Dell General Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Personalization. "Whyville's unique educational content is fun and informative for kids, and reassuring for their parents."
With more than 5 million users already, Whyville.net is an educational virtual world where kids can actively participate in educational activities and games sponsored by authoritative organizations such as NASA, Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Whyville also has ongoing relationships with innovative marketing companies like Scion, Toyota Financial Services, Scholastic Publishing, and creative advertising and marketing agencies like Bauer Publishing.
Launched in 1999, by Numedeon, Inc., Whyville.net
is an educational virtual world designed for children ages 8 to 15, and
one of the first virtual worlds and social networking sites for
children. The citizens of Whyville play, engage with activities, earn
virtual currency, socialize, learn, design, eat, dance, govern and much
more. Created by scientists from the California Institute of
Technology, Whyville combines research expertise in education with
advanced simulation and virtual world technology to engage young users
in learning and exploration. At greater than 30 minutes per log in,
Whyville is one of the stickiest and most engaging of all websites for
(ComScore Media Metrics).
Media Contact:Michael Gioseffi
Numedeon, Inc. (Whyville)