Dorka Horváth started the award-winning Kids reading App, BOOKR Kids in 2015 when she noticed a lack of quality children’s literature in a digital format. She combined her passion for publishing and education, and the result was interactive versions of classical children’s stories with animation, narration, text highlighting, and educational games.
We asked the entrepreneur, mom, and doctoral thesis candidate about a variety of topics, from the issue of differentiation in learning abilities to the future of our reading habits. She even gave some good advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs. Dorka’s knowledge and experience provide a unique perspective into the present and future of learning.
How did the idea for the BOOKR Kids app come about?
Growing up with publisher parents and being a young mother-to-be, I wanted the love of reading to inspire my son, just like other children. Books are always a happy place for me, where I can disappear from daily routines, problems and conflicts. But the world is changing, and younger generations need smart and interactive content to read and learn. With BOOKR, we launched an innovative solution to connect beautiful literature and engaging digital books to develop the love of reading among children. BOOKR Kids’ mission is to make data-driven technological tools available for teachers and students worldwide, promoting literature and storytelling, enhancing reading comprehension, and supporting cultural awareness, critical thinking, and social-emotional learning.
What role has EDT&Partners played in BOOKR’s journey and path to success?
We have been working with EDT for more than two years now. When we decided we were ready to go global, we were looking for a strategic partner to support us in our journey. EDT is helping us every day in business development, product development and expansion strategy. We have built our distribution strategy together and gained amazing channel partners like Berlitz for South America. We are also working on government projects together; without EDT expertise, I am afraid we would be lost in this very specific, bureaucratic world.
How is technology helping address the issue of differentiation in learning abilities?
Personalized learning is one of the most highlighted pedagogical approaches today. It requires understanding each student’s individual needs and designing educational experiences to help all students achieve success. BOOKR Class empowers teachers to use data in the decision-making process, be more agile in their instruction, and increase students’ performance by personalising learning and pathways. It tracks overall engagement, reading habits, assignment completion, level progression and language skill development. BOOKR’s learning and teaching environment have been defined as the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts to understand and optimise learning and the environments in which it occurs.
You’re writing your doctoral thesis about how interactive books are changing reading habits- can you tell us what the single most influential change will be?
In my doctoral thesis, I am focusing on interactive books as an important and innovative tool in reading comprehension development. How can interactive books support those who are struggling in the reading process? If a child has a low ability to interpret text, both in decoding and understanding the text, they usually compensate by using other cognitive processes while reading. Thus, if you cannot use automatic text recognition, you can activate an additional “knowledge base,” such as calling additional illustrations to help interpret the context. If these illustrations are also moving, they can stimulate additional receptors and be even more effective at supporting the extra resource. Interactive books enhance reading comprehension because the range of functions can be so rich that the child can benefit from the most appropriate and least energy-consuming compensation process. So personalization and differentiated education can also be achieved.
You’re an advocate for women entrepreneurship; what advice would you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Last year we raised €2 million for a company where two of the three founders are women. In our team, there are five moms with flexible working hours, someone on maternity leave. Today’s world even favours us; it doesn’t matter where and when you work anymore… In pyjamas or a suit, during bedtime or on the way to the nursery. We’ve never had as many great opportunities as now to find the devoted harmony between work and family. Let’s live with it and learn more every day than yesterday and share what we have learned with each other!
This is the first part of a new series we’re calling the EDiT Spotlight where we’ll be featuring articles in the EDiT Journal about EdTech industry leaders, their stories, insights, and the innovative projects they’re a part of.
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