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Fun Digital Learning for Kids That Shapes Education and Skills

The Corona pandemic has resulted in kids and students taking advantage of the global edtech boom. New learning and teaching principles are reflected in the entries to this year's iF DESIGN AWARD.

The way we are in this world has changed. And so has the way we spend our daily lives. Not only do we work differently, but our children learn in a new way. While digital learning has already seen a surge in children’s education in recent years, the Corona pandemic stands as a key moment underpinning the global edtech boom that is vital for reconsidering new learning and teaching principles. Children are affected by partial or full school closures in order for the governments worldwide to tackle the fast spread of the coronavirus.

iF award-winning designs 2021

This learning app aims to revolutionize language learning by teaching the English needed for real life. The chat function allows to seamlessly blend learning, practice and remediation into something that's brand new yet feels intuitive. And it works: A University of Cambridge study found EF Hello users improved faster than with any competitor.
EF Hello | Manufacturer: EF Education First, London, United Kingdom

This learning app aims to revolutionize language learning by teaching the English needed for real life. The chat function allows to seamlessly blend learning, practice and remediation into something that's brand new yet feels intuitive. And it works: A University of Cambridge study found EF Hello users improved faster than with any competitor.

This school serves as a solution to introduce changes that foster character development, improve learning resources, and design a campus according to the needs of students. It offers a structured and targeted environment that cultivates students’ talents, skills and values, and implements designs tailored to their needs. Moreover it is equipped with high-quality resources and technologies.
Change the traditional education | Manufacturer: NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, Fuzhou, China

This school serves as a solution to introduce changes that foster character development, improve learning resources, and design a campus according to the needs of students. It offers a structured and targeted environment that cultivates students’ talents, skills and values, and implements designs tailored to their needs. Moreover it is equipped with high-quality resources and technologies.

NEXT is a multi-person voice chatting social platform that provides a way for applicants who want to study abroad to communicate with overseas students to share and obtain knowledge. The chat room is designed to create a space like a bonfire or a deep alley pub that encourages people to chat in an immersive way and makes them feel free to share. It explores future forms of online education and the application of VR.
NEXT | Manufacturer: FuTsui Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing, China

NEXT is a multi-person voice chatting social platform that provides a way for applicants who want to study abroad to communicate with overseas students to share and obtain knowledge. The chat room is designed to create a space like a bonfire or a deep alley pub that encourages people to chat in an immersive way and makes them feel free to share. It explores future forms of online education and the application of VR.

Mathpid is an AI computing service for children who need to solve math problems quickly and accurately. The stronger AI technology enables faster and more accurate computational learning by providing problems based on individual difficulty levels and the total number of questions. The AI analyzes users' habits in solving problems to suggest effective solutions for each learner.
MATHPID | Manufacturer: Woongjin Thinkbig Co., Ltd., Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

Mathpid is an AI computing service for children who need to solve math problems quickly and accurately. The stronger AI technology enables faster and more accurate computational learning by providing problems based on individual difficulty levels and the total number of questions. The AI analyzes users' habits in solving problems to suggest effective solutions for each learner.

Mobile teaching kits were designed so that this educational program is accessible even to remote rural schools. The lessons give students a fun and hands-on opportunity to get to know the National Palace Museum's collection and encourage autonomous learning through museum resources.
Mobile Museum of National Palace Museum | Manufacturer: National Palace Museum, Taipei City, Taiwan

Mobile teaching kits were designed so that this educational program is accessible even to remote rural schools. The lessons give students a fun and hands-on opportunity to get to know the National Palace Museum's collection and encourage autonomous learning through museum resources.

U+ Elementary World is an educational service for elementary school students that combines several popular educational applications at once. It is an application of LG Uplus for elementary education that assists the self-directed learning of students by allowing them to organize their own study plan.
U+Elementary World | Manufacturer: LG Uplus, Seoul, Republic of Korea

U+ Elementary World is an educational service for elementary school students that combines several popular educational applications at once. It is an application of LG Uplus for elementary education that assists the self-directed learning of students by allowing them to organize their own study plan.

reLEF is made with a single intent – to provide "Remote Learning for Every Family". It cleverly uses the TV already in people’s homes to cut the cost of a display and puts those saved costs into a high-quality camera that can be angled up or down for versatility. reLEF looks like a laughing cyclops in recycled plastic that comes in a variety of happy colors.
reLEF | Manufacturer: Compal Electronics Inc., Taipei City, Taiwan

reLEF is made with a single intent – to provide "Remote Learning for Every Family". It cleverly uses the TV already in people’s homes to cut the cost of a display and puts those saved costs into a high-quality camera that can be angled up or down for versatility. reLEF looks like a laughing cyclops in recycled plastic that comes in a variety of happy colors.

Robot Partner is a mobile app concept aimed at assisting autistic children between 4 to 6 years old social in improving their emotional skills. Using scientific methods, a virtual character was created to guide them in taking part in learning activities in the areas of speech and gesture, emotions, and social communication.
Robot Partner | Manufacturer: Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China

Robot Partner is a mobile app concept aimed at assisting autistic children between 4 to 6 years old social in improving their emotional skills. Using scientific methods, a virtual character was created to guide them in taking part in learning activities in the areas of speech and gesture, emotions, and social communication.

FABO Booki is a packaging system for STEAM courses, STEM learning units that also integrate arts teaching (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). BOOki stands for "Book Kit," a reading experience and hands-on project kit. The user unfolds the BOOki package to reveal assembly instructions of the product along with a project guide. The intuitive nature of the product also lends itself to remote learning.
BOOki | Manufacturer: Shanghai Fabole Education Technology Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China

FABO Booki is a packaging system for STEAM courses, STEM learning units that also integrate arts teaching (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). BOOki stands for "Book Kit," a reading experience and hands-on project kit. The user unfolds the BOOki package to reveal assembly instructions of the product along with a project guide. The intuitive nature of the product also lends itself to remote learning.

QUIZTOK is a blockchain quiz network platform for anyone to create or play quizzes. Rewards for participating in quizzes are given in the cryptocurrency QTCON. It uses quizzes of asking and answering questions so that users can naturally approach their interests, and offers personalized services with a high degree of accuracy.
Quiztok | Manufacturer: Quiztok, Seoul, South Korea

QUIZTOK is a blockchain quiz network platform for anyone to create or play quizzes. Rewards for participating in quizzes are given in the cryptocurrency QTCON. It uses quizzes of asking and answering questions so that users can naturally approach their interests, and offers personalized services with a high degree of accuracy.

Pinto is an investment education and experiencing service for teenagers and parents and provides a guided investment experience. Among others, it encourages to develop planning habits for investment and provides a shared wishlist between teenagers and their parents, eventually leading to a healthy investment culture.
Pinto | Manufacturer: NH Investment & Securities, Seoul, South Korea

Pinto is an investment education and experiencing service for teenagers and parents and provides a guided investment experience. Among others, it encourages to develop planning habits for investment and provides a shared wishlist between teenagers and their parents, eventually leading to a healthy investment culture.

Intelligent Space offers a fast, affordable, comprehensive education solution for developing countries. These schools can deploy and install quickly. By configuring interactive whiteboards and smart devices into the classrooms, children in these countries can enjoy the benefits of intelligent learning and have a better learning experience and outcome.
Intelligent Space | Manufacturer: NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd., Fuzhou, China

Intelligent Space offers a fast, affordable, comprehensive education solution for developing countries. These schools can deploy and install quickly. By configuring interactive whiteboards and smart devices into the classrooms, children in these countries can enjoy the benefits of intelligent learning and have a better learning experience and outcome.

The BixbyKids service is a conversation-enhancing tool that uses a multi-sensory, step-by-step method to develop language and cognitive skills. Its three unique features foster curiosity, imagination, and learning in children.
BixbyKids | Manufacturer: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea

The BixbyKids service is a conversation-enhancing tool that uses a multi-sensory, step-by-step method to develop language and cognitive skills. Its three unique features foster curiosity, imagination, and learning in children.

This website for kids provides verified content that parents can trust. The site features videos, audiobooks, and games with cute characters that children enjoy exploring. All content is selected to stimulate children's imagination and help promote their development. Educational contents such as curriculum, language games, and quizzes make learning as enjoyable as playing.
JUNIOR NAVER | Manufacturer: NAVER Corporation, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

This website for kids provides verified content that parents can trust. The site features videos, audiobooks, and games with cute characters that children enjoy exploring. All content is selected to stimulate children's imagination and help promote their development. Educational contents such as curriculum, language games, and quizzes make learning as enjoyable as playing.

Platypus is a free edutainment mobile game teaching financial literacy to teenagers. Finlit skills are an integral part of adult life, yet the necessary education is not provided within the traditional school system. The aim is to provide young players with a reliable financial knowledge that helps them start their adult lives with ease—and enables them to make conscious, grounded decisions about money.
Platypus: A Finlit Story | Manufacturer: OTP Fay Andras Foundation, Budapest, Hungary

Platypus is a free edutainment mobile game teaching financial literacy to teenagers. Finlit skills are an integral part of adult life, yet the necessary education is not provided within the traditional school system. The aim is to provide young players with a reliable financial knowledge that helps them start their adult lives with ease—and enables them to make conscious, grounded decisions about money.

IBM conceptualized an objectives-based, storied approach to their virtual course, where every lesson, activity, and talk aligned to an underlying "hero’s journey". The training program ensures that graduating designers still left with the same resiliency and thirst to take on the challenges of their product teamwork and shape the future of IBM.
IBM Design Virtual Education | Manufacturer: IBM/Debra Staff, Austin, United States

IBM conceptualized an objectives-based, storied approach to their virtual course, where every lesson, activity, and talk aligned to an underlying "hero’s journey". The training program ensures that graduating designers still left with the same resiliency and thirst to take on the challenges of their product teamwork and shape the future of IBM.

Heycode is an educational hardware product designed to help children learn to code at an early age. With its patented physical programming technology, this product teaches programming through game-based tasks. The design of Heycode takes into account both the child's sense of technology and interest, and perfectly interprets the concept of "learning through play".
heycode | Manufacturer: Hangzhou Youbixue Technology Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, China

Heycode is an educational hardware product designed to help children learn to code at an early age. With its patented physical programming technology, this product teaches programming through game-based tasks. The design of Heycode takes into account both the child's sense of technology and interest, and perfectly interprets the concept of "learning through play".

RakugakiAR is a game and project app designed to make something we've all imagined become a reality: "What if my drawings came to life...?" Just doodle in a notebook, on a whiteboard, or any other surface. As the app scans your doodle, it will come to life and start walking through the virtual space. You can feed them, poke them, or even tease them a little.
RakugakiAR | Manufacturer: Whatever Inc., Tokyo, Japan

RakugakiAR is a game and project app designed to make something we've all imagined become a reality: "What if my drawings came to life...?" Just doodle in a notebook, on a whiteboard, or any other surface. As the app scans your doodle, it will come to life and start walking through the virtual space. You can feed them, poke them, or even tease them a little.

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Homeschooling has suddenly made it necessary to accelerate the skills and technology for remote learning. This allows everyone to rethink traditional education: the kids, the teachers – and the designers who have made it their mission to find fun and innovative ways to learn new things. And especially the shift in teaching from classrooms to online learning will have a sustainable effect, for the long term, on the worldwide education market allowing designers to create new hybrid models of education. This ingenuity is showcased when we drill down into the category Service Design of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD. Among the award-winning entries are, for example, the "IBM Virtual Education" program, the education solution for developing countries "Intelligent Space" and the gold award-winning project "Design Movement Campus".

For a long time, playing and learning were considered two different activities – one was taken place in a classroom, the other one on a playground. However, many designers go along with the opinion by now that you can only reach children with a sustainable design language, introducing the mix of education and entertainment. This rather cultural design approach is reflected in studies showing that a child’s motivation towards learning increases through cleverly integrated games. By combining playing and learning, kids today can further take advantage of online teaching, from elementary school to college students. Standardized lessons are a thing of the past. This makes it possible to cater to children’s individual needs, personal learning pace, and comfortable learning environment. What’s more, digital learning teaches much-needed self-learning skills – giving today’s children the educational tools they need to navigate the world of tomorrow.

Design Movement on Campus | Manufacturer: Taiwan Design Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan This gold awarded project aims to nurture students’ aesthetic sense through design and helped provoke conceptual transformation within the system, shaping an influential aesthetic ecosystem.


Cutting-edge technologies like AI and VR are creating a fun future for digital learning, from mobile app concepts to entire learning platforms. "reLEF" is an eye-catching, remote learning computer that connects to the TV and invites kids to do their homework with the help of its friendly face. "U+ Elementary World" features a colorful design and combines lessons with games for added learning fun. In addition to acquiring new skills, social communication is key to personal development. The “NEXT” social platform helps students stay in touch while studying abroad via a future-oriented video chat that allows them to come together virtually as a group and exchange ideas. Another exciting concept is the "Mobile Museum of National Palace Museum", which uses an interactive gallery to strengthen children’s aesthetic sense and cultivate an appreciation for art and culture.

The seemingly endless possibilities of digital learning offer a holistic approach to children’s education, making it more engaging and therefore easier for everyone.

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(published in June 2021)