Dr Kimberley O’Brie, co-fouder and principal psychologist at Quirky Kid® will be heading to the UAE next week to participate in the 5-days Dubai EdTech Bootcamp organised by Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), together with eight hand picked educational movers and shakers.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the largest number of English-speaking private schools in the world and more than 20 international universities. Education is big business in Dubai and the schools there are at the vanguard of technology integration with traditional educational modalities.
Dr Kimberley will be connecting with other global innovators in the educational and educational technology space, sharing skills, and showcasing our unique Quirky Kid products and programs. Amongst the showcase is BriteChild®, an innovative new app currently in the Beta-testing phase, as well as our Social and Emotional Education Systems and curriculum, like The Best of Friends® BaseCamp® and Power-Up® programs.
The programs includes the opportunity to deliver a 10 minute pitch pitch session to a small group of key potential customers and investors. Attendees will include decision makers from schools and universities; family offices; VC funds and government funding
arms, such as:
- Knowledge Fund, Privity FZ LLE, Athena Education, Foundation Holding, Cedar Bridge, Private Office of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Alnehayan and Private Office of HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Makhtoum
While there’s no denying that we’re thrilled-to-pieces to be recognised at the Bootcamp as an innovator in education, we’re also thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our reach to more kids globally.. Our participation in this exciting event helps us understand the common experiences of children first-hand on a global scale, as well as helping us achieve our goals of reaching beyond geographical boundaries to make kids all over the world happier, healthier and in better relationships.
The inaugural Dubai EdTech Bootcamp is a joint initiative with Austrade, EduGrowth and Dubai Future Accelerators and runs from 2nd-6th March 2019 in Dubai UAE.
About the Program
The format of the program consists of various interactive sessions including workshops, pitching sessions, presentations and networking. The
- Introduction to UAE business and local culture: understanding the unique cultural and business context in the Middle East
- Insights into education industry: understanding the UAE innovation eco-system and education market as well as the education regulator
- Introduction to Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Future Accelerators, Area2071, GEMSX and KHDA
- Briefings on setting up a business, business structures and partnership models, financing options, intellectual property protection,
tendering and contracts.
- Roundtables with private and public sector customers to understand their needs to refine your approach and message for the UAE market.\
Video conferences with experts in other Middle Eastern and African markets to learn how to take advantage of regional opportunities.
If you would like to connect withy Quirky Kid and explore opportunities with us for the Middle East, please get in touch. Quirky Kid as recently selected to participate in the India BootCamp organised by the NSW Department of Industry and the School of Social Entrepreneurs.
We are proud to announce that Quirky Kid will join 33 other startups on 10-day immersion bootcamp in India’s fast-growing tech startup ecosystem. Quirky Kid, an iAccelerated Company, will demonstrate and pitch our Beta Software, BriteChild as well as our Social and Emotional Education Systems and curriculum, like The Best of Friends Program.
An exciting partnership between the NSW Government and Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) today announced 33 startup hopefuls from across NSW who will join a 10 day immersion bootcamp in India’s fast-growing tech startup ecosystem.
SSE conducted an eight week talent search for emerging entrepreneurs across the NSW
innovation ecosystem, including its 11 member universities and TAFE NSW, to attract a
diverse mix of startups with a solid pitch, strong IP and a strong fit with the India market.
NSW Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair welcomed the announcement under the Government’s $1.6 million innovation partnership between NSW and India to allow entrepreneurs greater access to markets and knowledge.
“Immersing this diverse group of NSW based startups in the Indian innovation ecosystem is
a sure way to drive innovation and creativity. The exposure and specialist mentoring they’ll receive on scaling a global business makes. The sky the limit for creating high growth companies. These emerging entrepreneurs will learn from India’s best and brightest, gaining direct access to global leaders in innovation who can guide their businesses in dynamic and fast developing technology markets,”
Minister Blair said.
SSE Education and Training Director, Jonathan Jones sees huge potential for SSE’s next International Bootcamp to the thriving Indian innovation centres of Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad.
“Connecting 33 rising stars with dozens of globally successful Indian startups and multinationals in four global Indian cities is a remarkable opportunity,”
said Mr Jones.
The shortlisted 33 participants will take an SSE Masterclass on doing business in India then
begin the 10-day bootcamp connecting with India’s diverse startup ecosystem The companies will spend 10 days in Mumbai, Ahemdabad, Pune and Bangalore from 27th of January.
Quirky Kid has recently returned from Brazil where our co-founders met with companies interested on our products and service.
Long distance travel is often intimidating for parents. The combination of energetic kids, and prolonged periods of time in a confined space seems like a recipe for disaster. However, by preparing in advance, being flexible to change and following these tips compiled by the Quirky Kid team, your long distance travel experience can be more positive, rewarding, and fun for children and parents.
Tip #1 Let Kids Play a Role in Planning the Itinerary
Make the trip more inclusive and enjoyable for kids by letting them have a say in the kind of places they would like to visit, sites they would like to see, and activities they would like to do along the way. Letting them take part in family decision-making teaches children valuable skills as they learn to advocate for what they want, listen to others’ wishes and make compromises. It also keeps them excited and interested and gives them specific things to look forward to. Furthermore, acts as an incentive and a reward for sitting through the parts of the trip that less suit their preference.
It may not always be feasible, and children may not always come up with appropriate suggestions, but letting them select between a couple of alternatives that you deem acceptable and possible (e.g. stopping at a pool along the way, or, having a picnic at a roadside park/playground) is a great way to make the trip pleasant for all.
Tip #2 Avoid Relying on Screens to Keep Kids Busy
It is tempting to keep kids occupied with screens on long haul trips. Phones, Ipads, and laptops are easy time-fillers on the road. Dr. Kimberley O’Brien, principal Child Psychologist at the Quirky Kid Clinic, warns about the use of technology to keep kids preoccupied, particularly for long periods of time. While it may not always be avoidable, it is recommended to try all other entertainment avenues before turning on the screens, and ideally avoid using them at all when only travelling short distances.
An alternative strategy Dr. Kimberley suggests is planning for the trip well in advance, and packing a “kid-box” to keep kids entertained throughout the journey. The box can be filled with resources that are specific to each child, by asking them before you take to the road to “imagine they are on a long trip, and to think about the kind of things they would like to do”.
Here are some suggestions of fun activities for your long trip with kids:
- Activity books (such as, colouring-in or dot-to-dot books) and story books/audiobooks
- A great creative resource is the Tell Me A Story cards. These cards encourage kids to recall and retell some of their most extreme moments (“Bravest!” “Fastest!” “Highest!”), while uncovering a sense of pride in their past achievements and skills. Kids love hearing and telling stories, especially true stories, and it is an engaging and interactive way to pass the time together.
- If you want to get more creative on the road, a few erasable whiteboard markers can turn the car windows into works of art, or a simple cooking tray can be turned into a magnetic play table using assorted fridge magnets (e.g. letters and numbers) or with a magnetic puzzle to keep all the pieces stuck in one place.
Tip #3 Take Frequent Breaks
A recent study (Morris & Guerra, 2015) examined 22 000 frequent travellers’ responses, in order to explore the link between trip duration and mood during travel. Not surprisingly, trip duration was found to negatively influence mood, primarily due to rising levels of stress and fatigue over the course of the journey. To combat this, consider frequent breaks where possible. Children have shorter attention spans than adults (Cowan, Fristoe, Elliott, Brunner, & Saults, 2006) and have not yet fully developed impulse control (Tarullo, Obradovic, & Gunnar, 2009). This means they will quickly become restless, fidgety, and uncomfortable if not given the opportunity to change environments and ideally, move around.
Taking breaks on family trips with kids where possible is important for drivers and passengers, both for safety and sanity. For kids, the opportunity to get out of the car should also involve some form of physical activity to let them burn off some steam. While this may mean allowing extra travel time to reach your destination, it makes the trip more bearable for all.
Tip #4 Plan Your Snacks (and take plenty of them)
Nutritionists admit that on the road with family it is often convenient to fall back on take-away foods and processed snacks from roadside stops. Sugary and highly-processed foods are not ideal and giving kids more energy that they are not likely to use up in the car is likely to backfire. Additionally, unhealthy snack options can deplete energy levels and leave you feeling drained over the course of a long drive. Nutritious treats can be prepared at home for easy on-the-go snacking and keep everyone feeling happy and healthy over the journey. Additionally, having access to plenty of snacks while travelling, giving kids a choice as to what they want to eat, sharing and divvying up snacks as the trip goes, is often a welcome distraction.
Tip #5 Use travel as a teaching/learning opportunity (for yourself & the kids)
Sometimes a change of mindset is needed. We often view travelling with kids as something impossible and difficult, or as the kind of trip you suffer through to get to your destination. In reality, travelling is a wonderful opportunity to share exciting, new experiences as a family and learn about other places, cultures, and ways-of-life. In fact, a study (2006) conducted by researchers at Clemson University (U.S.), used data compiled from the U.S. Department of Education, and found that kids who travel over their vacation/holiday period (no matter their destination) tended to perform better academically at school (indicated by better performance on standardised tests of reading, maths and general knowledge) than peers who didn’t travel.
To make the most of this learning opportunity, Quirky Kid recommends encouraging children to hit the books/computers to do some research and learn more about the trip and destination before you go, and encouraging kids to keep a travel journal. This could be in the form of drawings, photos, hand-written pieces, blogs, or whatever strikes their fancy. Not only does it keep them busy and help them remember the experience, it can be shared and enjoyed with friends and family on your return. The kids will love to show it off and tell everyone about how much fun they had on their family trip.
Butler, N (2016, June 3) Eight Kid-Pleasing, Healthy Road Trip Snacks. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/healthy-road-trip-snacks
Cowan, N., Fristoe, N. M., Elliott, E. M., Brunner, R. P., & Saults, J. S. (2006). Scope of Attention, Control of Attention, and Intelligence in Children and Adults. Memory & cognition, 34(8), 1754-1768
Denny, S. (2014, January 5). 25 healthy snacks for kids. Retrieved from http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/25-healthy-snacks-for-kids
Morris, E. A., & Guerra, E. (2015). Are we there yet? Trip duration and mood during travel. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 33(Supplement C), 38-47. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2015.06.003
O’Brien, Dr. K(Producer). (2017, August 31). Children and Technology (Audio Podcast). Retrieved from: https://childpsychologist.com.au/podcast-children-and-technology/
Pantley, E (2003). Taking a Road Trip with Your Babe. Retrieved from: https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/baby-infant-development-parenting/road-trip-with-babies/#.WcG_I9Og-8U
Parker, J. L. (2006). The Relationship of Family Summer Vacation Trips an Academic Achievement Among First Graders: A National Study.
Shellenbarger, S.(2017, May 17). Dare to let the Children Plan Your Vacation. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/dare-to-let-the-children-plan-your-vacation-1494947476
Tarullo, A. R., Obradovic, J., & Gunnar, M. R. (2009). Self-control and the developing brain. Zero to three, 29(3), 31. Retreived from: https://web.stanford.edu/group/sparklab/pdf/Tarullo,%20Obradovic,%20Gunnar%20(2009,%200-3)%20Self-Control%20and%20the%20Developing%20Brain.pdf
Building on the success of our previous presentations at the Chinese Children Book Fair (2015) and the London Book Fair (2016), and with the support of the Australian Publishers Association; Quirky Kid is excited to attend the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair once again.
About the Frankfurt Book Fair
As the world’s largest trade fair for books, the Frankfurt Book Fair is an international hub of industry experts and is the most important marketplace for books, media, rights and licences in the world. This annual event sees representatives from book publishing and multimedia companies from all over the world come together to:
- Discover new trends and business areas.
- Profit from the best opportunities for further learning, training, and networking.
- Get to know decision makers from across the book, creative and technology industries.
- Gain new inspiration, and tap into new target groups.
Quirky Kid in Action
We love broadening and strengthening our skill sets and learning more about publishing from leading industry experts. Our attendance at this event is a great way to spread the positive Quirky Kid messages, and promote our evidence-based therapeutic tools, such as The Best of Friends®, BaseCamp® and PowerUp™ to a wide audience.
Our resources are currently sold globally including in Canada, the USA and Singapore. Weare keen to expand their reach to more markets and improve more children’s lives through our engaging and innovative educational developmental programs.
Quirky Kid has many new resources under development and we are keen to create a big impact on the Social, Emotional and Educational sector. You can find out more about The Quirky Kid Resources on our website or at our publishing page.
Meet with us, please use our contact page to get in touch with us.
Mount Everest. It has been a place that has fascinated me since I was a little girl, with it’s alluring beauty on one side and it’s unpredictable and commanding nature on the other. While I have always known that I would never scale it’s peaks, I’ve always wanted to hike to Basecamp, and that is what I will be undertaking in a week’s time!
In December, I attended a UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) fundraising event and met some inspiring members of the organisation who were heading to Everest Base Camp in March 2016. The mission to Base Camp is designed to raise awareness and funds for two important UNICEF projects: Nutrition programs in South East Asia and the Nepalese Earthquake appeal. After hearing about UNICEF’s amazing work and dedication to helping marginalised and poverty-stricken children and families across the globe, I asked what I could do to help. Then and there I signed up, committing to raise at least $5000 and to head up to Everest Base Camp on an 18 day trip of a lifetime!
Getting ready to head to Nepal has been a journey in itself. I have walked on average 60kms per week with boots, 10kg pack and ensuring lots of escarpment climbs have been achieved to get my body ready for the trek ahead. Walking has been time to reflect on the plight of millions of children who live in dire circumstances and who lack the things we typically take for granted, such as fresh, clean water. Training has also been a time of raising awareness of friends, family and community members have joined to support me through the kilometers! I am happy to say, I am fitter and healthier than ever and have raised over $7000 that is going directly to support UNICEF and their work.
I will be back with stories and adventures to share in a few weeks and in the meantime, I encourage you to share an act of kindness with someone around you. A small act can make a big difference!
“The smallest act of Kindness is worth more than the grandest intentions” Oscar Wild
From us: is our the personal regular blog posts from QK Staff to you.