Amazon Alexa Fund Invests in Bamboo Learning as startup introduces screen-friendly Alexa math skill, by Frank Catalano, Geekwire, September 27, 2018.
[video] How Bamboo Learning Uses Alexa to Teach Music, by Brad Stone, Bloomberg Technology on Bloomberg Television, July 6, 2018.
New Alexa Skill “Bamboo Music” Teaches Music Theory, by David Novak, Gadget Gram, June 22, 2018.
Alexa Skill of the Week: Bamboo Music, by Rod Trent, My IT Forum, June 22, 2018.
Bamboo Music is a new Alexa Skill that makes learning music fun for the family, by Lulu Chang, Digital Trends, June 20, 2018.
Former Amazon devices executive Ian Freed launches Bamboo Music skill for Alexa, by Frank Catalano, Geekwire, June 19, 2018.
Bamboo Music teaches via Alexa, by Casey Coombs, Puget Sound Business Journal, June 19, 2018.
Amazon veteran Ian Freed launches Alexa music learning startup, by Casey Coombs, Puget Sound Business Journal, June 19, 2018.
ALEXA SKILL TO HELP STUDENTS PRACTICE NUMBER AND WORD PROBLEMS
to Help Students Practice and Improve Auditory and Visual Math Skills
SEATTLE—September 27, 2018 – Today, Bamboo Learning announced Bamboo Math – the first education-focused voice-first Alexa Skill that combines rich visual elements with voice interaction to help students practice arithmetic as part of their math education. Anyone with an Alexa-enabled device, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and the all-new Echo Plus, can use Bamboo Math. Students with screen-based Alexa devices such as Echo Show, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Fire TV Cube also can take advantage of Amazon’s new visual Alexa features to view images to help them learn using auditory and visual skills.
“We’re excited to introduce students to a new way of learning with Alexa. For the first time ever, students can practice math while exercising their auditory listening skills and visual comprehension through number and word problems on Echo Show, Fire tablets, and Fire TV,” said Ian Freed, CEO, Bamboo Learning. “We chose Alexa because we believe voice interaction is a powerful, fun, and engaging guide to learning that reinforces and supplements what students are learning in school.”
The second in a series of Bamboo Learning offerings, Bamboo Math features a colorful and interactive interface that intersperses numeric problems such as:
with word problems like:
Four frogs crossed a bridge. Five times as many foxes followed them. How many foxes crossed the bridge?
For students who have a screen-based Alexa device, Bamboo Math automatically displays images of animals and objects in different environments to enhance students’ cognition and keep them entertained while they are learning.
“Research shows that instructional materials which incorporate both auditory and visual content help students learn more quickly while better retaining the material,” said Irina Fine, COO and Senior Vice President of Content for Bamboo Learning. “Using Amazon’s new Alexa Presentation Language and Alexa-enabled devices, Bamboo Math is a unique voice-first education tool that combines audio and visual elements to help students deepen their understanding and knowledge of mathematics.”
Bamboo Math offers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, initially starting at Level 1 with simple problems for each arithmetic function. Students can ask for more difficult or easier problems by simply saying “Harder” or “Easier”. At the highest levels of multiplication and division, many adults may have difficulty answering the questions without some practice, thus beginning math students have plenty of room to improve their math skills.
Additionally, just like Bamboo Learning’s existing music theory skill – Bamboo Music, students automatically gain new levels in Bamboo Math to challenge them appropriately as they master easier exercises. Once a student has mastered all levels in a particular arithmetic function, Bamboo Math promotes the student to the new functions. For example, students mastering addition are automatically promoted to subtraction. Also, students can switch at any time to other arithmetic problems by simply saying “Addition”, “Subtraction”, “Multiplication”, or “Division”.
“I introduced my children to Bamboo Math to see how they’d like it,” said Sherry Garrison Taylor, mother of three from Brooklyn, New York. “When Bamboo Math asked them a question about tarantulas falling off a trampoline, my children’s laughter immediately filled the air, followed by chatter and many, many tries to see what other fun word problems Bamboo Math had in store. I think that Bamboo Math is a must-have for any parent interested in helping their children learn and retain math.”
Investment and Release Date
In addition to previewing Bamboo Math today, Bamboo Learning also announced an investment from Amazon’s Alexa Fund. Bamboo Learning will use the investment to continue building education skills that help students learn a variety of subjects.
“The goal of the Alexa Fund is to find compelling companies for its portfolio that demonstrate how voice technology can improve everyday life, and Bamboo Learning embodies that vision,” said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund. “Bamboo Learning skills benefit from their founders’ deep understanding of Alexa and decades of education experience, and we’re excited to support them as they build more educational skills for Alexa customers.”
Bamboo Math will be released to the public on October 11. A video demo of Bamboo Math can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/BambooMath. Anyone interested in participating in an invitation-only public beta of Bamboo Math prior to that date may contact the company at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bamboo Learning
Based in Seattle, Bamboo Learning is an education-focused software and services company with a mission to become the most trusted guide to lifelong learning using voice-first devices and software. Bamboo Learning is focused on developing skills for Alexa that enable children and adults to have fun learning and practicing different subjects while listening, viewing pictures, and using their voice. Bamboo Skills, including Bamboo Math and Bamboo Music, automatically get more challenging as children and adults master different levels.
Bamboo’s co-founders are Ian Freed, CEO, and Irina Fine, COO and SVP of Content. Ian Freed is a thirty-year veteran of the technology industry, including twelve years at Amazon.com, having served as vice president of Amazon devices, where he led both the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Kindle businesses, and served as technical advisor to Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. Irina Fine is a thirty year veteran of elementary education curriculum development and teaching, having worked in public and private sectors of education in New York, Washington DC, London, and Moscow, after receiving her M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance and Music Education. Learn more at: www.bamboolearning.com
SEATTLE--June 19, 2018 -- Today, Bamboo Learning unveiled Bamboo Music – a new Alexa Skill for Alexa-enabled devices that enables the entire family to have fun learning and practicing music theory while listening and using their voice. Bamboo is focused on making learning fun and easy-to-use for kids and adults, expanding consumers’ auditory learning capabilities, and providing opportunities for parents to see how their children are progressing.
Bamboo Music introduces foundational music concepts such as notes, scales, chords, tempo, dynamics, intervals, and the sounds of different instruments such as piano, violin, and clarinet. Through a variety of exercises carefully selected to follow time-tested music theory teaching methods, students of all ages can learn a wide range of music skills: from notes’ directionality, to the distinct sound of major and minor chords and scales, to identifying multiple instruments playing in selections of children’s songs, folk songs, and classical pieces. As students practice different skills, they can earn Bamboo Badges, and Bamboo Music automatically advances to the next difficulty level as students master new skills.
Attractive to consumers of all ages because it teaches them something interesting and useful, Bamboo Music is designed from the beginning with audio interaction in mind, and combines the voice of Alexa with carefully chosen recordings of musical phrases, including selections customized for Bamboo Music, and played by professional musicians in a recording studio.
Bamboo Music offers the option to register different accounts for each member of the family, enabling family members to play Bamboo Music together, while permitting everyone’s progress to be tabulated separately. Optionally, parents can set up the ability to receive emails of the results from Bamboo Music, which they can forward to music teachers.
Bamboo Music can be enabled by saying “Alexa, enable Bamboo Music” to an Alexa-powered device, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, or Echo Show. Bamboo Music can also be enabled using the Alexa app or via Bamboo at: www.bamboolearning.org.
“Bamboo’s approach to developing the Bamboo Music Alexa Skill is to focus on learning that works well on a voice device, build lessons based on solid educational research and philosophy, make the Alexa Skills fun for the entire family, and enable parents to easily track progress,” said Irina Fine, co-founder, COO, and SVP of Content for Bamboo. “Feedback from trial users has been amazing, from both kids and adults, so we are optimistic about the future for Bamboo Music as a new way for consumers to learn the fundamentals of music.”
“When we first got an Amazon Echo, my 6 and 8 year old daughters mostly played some of their favorite songs and a few trivia games with it. Then, as they started using Bamboo Music, their ears and their minds were opened up to music in a whole new way, and I really started to see how Alexa could help my kids learn while also enjoying themselves,” said Shayle Emerson, mother of three and high school science teacher from Kingston, MA. “The most wonderful thing is that Bamboo Music really got my daughters excited to actually learn how to play an instrument, and this year, they enrolled in ukulele and piano lessons. And now, they’ve continued to use Bamboo as part of their music curriculum. As a teacher myself, it’s awesome to see that Bamboo knows and keeps track of what each member of my family is learning, and makes the questions harder as they reach new levels.”
“By understanding and capitalizing on the power of voice to help consumers learn new things, Bamboo has taken an innovative approach to developing their Bamboo Music Alexa Skill -- which is such a fun and easy-to-use way for children and adults alike to explore music theory,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “The whole family will enjoy competing for new badges as they progress through the Bamboo Alexa Skills, and parents will be thrilled to see how much their kids are learning through their Alexa device.”
About Bamboo Learning
Bamboo is an education-focused software and services company with a mission to teach using voice-based devices and software. It is focused on developing skills for Alexa that enable children and adults to have fun learning and practicing different subjects while listening and using their voice. Bamboo Skills automatically get more challenging as children and adults master different levels; they also tabulate progress and offer an option to receive results via email.
Bamboo’s co-founders are Ian Freed, CEO, and Irina Fine, COO and SVP of Content. Ian Freed is a thirty-year veteran of the technology industry, including twelve years at Amazon.com, having served as Vice President of Amazon devices, where he led both the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Kindle businesses, and served as a Technical Advisor to Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. Irina Fine is a thirty-year veteran of elementary education curriculum development and teaching, having worked in public and private sectors of education in New York, Washington DC, London, and Moscow, after receiving her M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance and Music Education. Learn more about Bamboo Music and Bamboo Learning at www.bamboolearning.org
Lisa Amore for Bamboo Learning