Following the release of the Adventures of the Tortoise app, I thought to share a piece that sums up its context from a personal angle.
First, Adventures of the Tortoise is a growing collection of Tortoise folktales drawn from (or adapted to) different African Cultures. With it, users can have access to multiple Tortoise stories in one app as we regularly add to the collection. The app goes beyond stories as it also includes interactive activities such as games and folk songs.
Why Adventures of the Tortoise ?
Sometime ago, I shared with my team an idea to recreate a story collection of the morally educative and interesting Tortoise stories we grew up listening to in Nigeria. We agreed to it and began working on the first set of stories to go with its initial release. A bit more background, the app helps to rekindle our childhood experience and by extension other adults out there. On the other hand, my 2 year old niece (our poster girl, Temiloluwa) is growing up real fast, her vocabularies are firming up and she’s already in school. It was funny when prior to the release of the app, I called to inform her parents that I’d be coming in to test out the app with her, and I was told she was preparing for her exams. Maybe I am just naïve or perhaps still old school but I couldn’t help cracking up. I was like, “how in the world does a 2 year old prepare for exams?” Parents, this one’s for you, “how do 2 year olds prepare for exams?” Reciting rhymes? Scribbling? I can’t help laughing as I recall that episode.
Beyond the funny episode, it also occurred to me how fast paced our world is today with kids getting early starts in learning. The need for the Adventures of the Tortoise app suddenly took on a bigger meaning than I’d originally envisaged. Temi, like many 2+ year olds needed an app to help them through their formative years specifically, in areas that have to do with their characters, morals and even literacy. Plus, Temi’s parents like most today need tools and resources that they can directly relate to from a cultural point of view.
In developing the app, the team took into considerations, engagement within the contexts of learning good morals and subconsciously picking up tit-bits on different African Cultures. Even more, the team wanted something that adults could relate to hence, the Tortoise theme with lots of related stories built around him in some African Cultures.
We also have an official blog on Tumblr where the Tortoise shares updates and other interesting info with you. Follow us by clicking the link Adventures of the Tortoise Blog.