Bamboo Learning Introduces Bamboo Math: A New Visually-Engaging, Voice-First Alexa Skill to Help Students Practice Number and Word Problems

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Education-Focused Alexa Skill to Use Amazon’s New Visual Alexa Features to Help Students Practice and Improve Auditory and Visual Math Skills; Investment from Amazon Alexa Fund Also Announced

“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.”

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: 3 + 2 = ? 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: info@bamboolearning.com.

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: http://www.bamboolearning.com

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