Why Can’t You Buy a DreamBox Learning CD?
Recently, a friend of a friend who had reviewed our offering wrote to me and said, “Overall I find the business model of a monthly charge very strange for a children’s learning software. Usually one buys a book or a CD/DVD for a one time price and can use it indefinitely. DreamBox’s offering basically means that now parents need to pay over and over again if their kids want to revisit lessons or if they are just slow learners. A more appropriate pricing model would be to sell the service per lesson or grade level. That would appeal a lot more to me. Think about it. I have to spend $100 for one year of service and after that I basically lose access to the learning tools unless I continue paying. For $100 each year I get many learning software on CD/DVDs or books and I can keep them forever. That is a very easy decision in my mind.”
His comments highlight one of our big challenges at DreamBox communicating how different DreamBox is from other products people are familiar with and this seems like a good forum to discuss it! Because we offer a web service instead of a CD or software that downloads to your desktop, DreamBox is able to customize every aspect of the experience to your child’s specific actions in the game and learning needs.
A Math Game that Adapts Dynamically
A CD starts every child at the same point, and they all work through the same lessons in the same sequence, progressing to the next level if they’ve passed them all some children will be successful with this model while others will quickly become either overwhelmed or bored. By contrast, DreamBox places children in the curriculum so they skip the material they already know, begins them where they’re ready to learn, and constantly adjusts everything from the hints and instructional feedback, the pacing and sequence, level of difficulty and more. So each child is always challenged at just the right level, it holds their interest and they can go much further.
Furthermore, learning doesn’t happen in a linear way, and kids really benefit from the opportunity to explore and learn with more self-directed freedom than the typical school curriculum allows. So kids may be in several different parts of the curriculum concurrently and in fact most kids will be learning material from more than 1 grade at any given time. They may be ahead in number sense but still practicing in the computation area of the curriculum. And parents can see this as they follow what their children are learning in the parent dashboard and through the progress report emails that we send.
So it really is highly individualized learning our customers are buying, a service, not simply a static set of lessons or a piece of software!