In this year’s Digital Startup Alley at BookExpo America, nineteen different companies featured their new products, some of which are live and others which are still in beta. The companies ran the gamut from new approaches to reading subscriptions, new ways to share and review content, even a charitable organization that brings ebooks to readers in areas with limited access to the necessary bandwidth required to download them.
But one company, Chinese Cubes, offered something truly different, something that we don’t see all the time from an enhanced ebook platform. Chinese Cubes has built an entire platform for teaching Mandarin to readers of a variety of ages, while still keeping in mind the actual classroom uses of their platform. With engaging, colorful illustrations, step-by-step writing instruction, voice over narration, and more, each stand alone title address a variety of topics and themes while showing readers the Mandarin and English text.
“Each book comes in three modes, with read to me or picture modes with the sound of authentic Chinese voices reading. The learn by myself mode allows someone who doesn’t have any background in Chinese to understand it.”
With continuous looping features of some of the instruction, teachers can access the stories on a projected tablet and keep the instruction on the board while walking around their classrooms and assisting students. This feature is also important for students and learners who want to practice multiple steps while watching the writing instruction. Chinese Cubes also incorporates less juvenile but still highly engaging levels of instruction for somewhat older learners.
Chinese Cubes was invited to submit its proposal in this year’s inaugural BookExpo Startup Challenge.