TC’s Herbert Ginsburg Partners With Tiggly On Geometry Learning App | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC's Herbert Ginsburg Partners With Tiggly On Geometry Learning App


Herbert Ginsburg, the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Psychology and Education, has partnered with Tiggly, the award-winning makers of tablet smart toys for preschoolers, to develop a new app, “Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent” of early geometry mini-games to help preschoolers learn about shapes and develop a love of learning.

“Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent” is a unique interactive story animation app — the first of its kind in the App Store—which turns learning early geometry concepts such as shape identification and shape properties into a humorous talent show. Players meet “Star,” who attempts to find the best shape by introducing challenges to various shapes. Children will learn about the properties of basic shapes as they solve Star's challenges. Teachers and parents can also record their own voice for various characters, making customized cartoons for their kids.

The app expands on Ginsburg’s educational vision of a strong focus on early math and literacy education, by adding tactile play to children’s digital experiences on tablets. This helps to provide a powerful learning environment for early learners that is impossible to replicate with apps or toys alone, but possible with Tiggly’s cutting edge technology.


“New research tells us adding a tactile dimension to digital learning enhances children’s learning experience on their tablets,” said Azadeh Jamalian (Ph.D. ’14), the Chief Learning Officer and Co-Founder of Tiggly, who met Ginsburg at Teachers College while working on her Ph.D. in Cognitive Studies. “It’s truly an honor for us to see that Professor Ginsburg supports our mission to bring physical play into children’s digital sandbox and has now joined this important movement.”

Jamalian is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Cognitive Studies at Teachers College.

Ginsburg said his goal “is to introduce complex math concepts to very young children through engaging and playful stories. It's well known that teaching math tends to be intimidating for many parents and even early childhood teachers, but they all love to read stories to kids. So why not use story time to teach math in a really fun, tactile way?”

The story and mini-games in the app are designed and written by Ginsburg and edited by Emmy-award winning writer Jill Turner.

“Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent” is available for download on the Apple App Store and is available free of charge as part of the Tiggly Shapes Learning System. The Tiggly Shapes Learning System includes four specially designed shape toys (square, circle, triangle, star) as well as four apps that interact with the toys, including the new “Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent.”

Children can play the app with or without their toys. You can download the app here. For photos of Tiggly Shapes in play and screenshots of the Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent app, click here. For more information about Tiggly, visit: 

Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Herbert Ginsburg

Herbert Ginsburg

Herbert Ginsburg, Professor of Psychology & Education
Azadeh Jamalian

Azadeh Jamalian

Azadeh Jamalian (Ph.D. ’14), Chief Learning Officer and Co-Founder of Tiggly