tHE Joybox & du pARTNERSHIP

Joybox Studios is a startup established in 2015 by Will and Julie Clark, the creative minds behind Baby Einstein. It was founded with the goal of developing early childhood curriculum materials including activities, music, videos, games, flash cards, books, and toys. The materials are designed based on research from early childhood education experts.

Joybox has partnered with the University of Denver (DU) in order to meet this goal. The collaboration between DU and Joybox Studios is a part of Project X-ite, a cross-disciplinary initiative at the University intended to ignite new ideas across the University and beyond and to build exciting, innovative partnerships with creative thinkers and doers in industry and government.

The partnership enables Joybox to leverage the expertise of several academic departments at DU, including the Morgridge College of Education (MCE), Daniels College of Business (DCB), and the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science. The project leverages DU’s location at the heart of Colorado’s thriving high-tech innovation economy to collaborate directly with industry and thought leaders.

Carrie Germeroth, Ph.D, Assistant Director of Research at the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy, which is a part of MCE, has been appointed the team lead for the project. Dr. Germeroth will lead a diverse group of students from across the university as they delve into longitudinal efficacy studies, resource creation, business analytics, Latino market studies, project management, video production, and application development. The students – who will come from MCE, DCB, and the Ritchie School – will apply the unique educations they have received at DU as they work together to create a finished product.

tOOLS TO sUPPORT pARENTS dURING THEIR cHILD’S dEVELOPMENT

Joybox Studios will create a suite of tech-based and physical tools for parents and children, birth to 3 years old. The app-based tools will provide parents with a road map for understanding, supporting, and monitoring their child’s development. Dr. Germeroth, along with Research Methods and Statistics students Heather Blizzard and Ksenia Polson, are providing research support for the development of the tools. The support of these three MCE community members includes the creation of a research design intended to evaluate the suit of tools. It also includes the creation of a plan for data collection which supports iterative development. By designing these tools utilizing the expertise of MCE faculty and students, Joybox will be able to create more effective means of developing and measuring their products.

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