Learn Albanian The Fun Way

By: Valon Xoxa    December 7, 2014

News

ODA Lab is  excited to announce the release of its first product HIRUSHJA, an interactive learning app for children of Albanian descent. HIRUSHJA will become available to Android and IOS users on Feb 15, 2015. Hirushja will be one of the fairy-tails released under Lepuroshi Learning Center which is a collection of interactive activities that allows your kids to play and learn at the same time while enjoying classic stories and games

About ODA Lab

ODA Labs is an international digital services company with touch points in United States, Switzerland and Kosova, where we house our main production facilities since 2013. We specialize in web and mobile application development, product design and digital strategy – delivering end-to-end solutions to our clients and consumers globally.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of computer scientists, graphic designers, marketing specialists, business strategists and human factors researchers. Having a diverse team enables us to form a deeper understanding of industry pain-points and formulate comprehensive, transformational ideas.

We strive to be a holistic, socially conscious enterprise, which means that the products and business solutions we put out into the world must align with our core values – generating profits while enhancing the lives of individuals and strengthening communities.

A Message From Our Founders

We founded ODA Labs with a mission to give back to our community by utilizing the skills and knowledge we have obtained while studying and living abroad.

We are group of globetrotters, with origin from Kosova. Since we left the country of our origins we have established ourselves as professionals around the glove, thanks to the great opportunities awarded to us through higher education and stable economy. Several of us have recently returned home to continue our lives and professional development in Kosova.

With most of our family and friends residing in Albania we still feel a deep connection to our native community. Throughout our many visits home, and to surrounding territories, we have uncovered that economic barriers prevent people from participating in newer technologies. This exposes them to the dangers associated with the digital divide, which perpetuates socio-economic inequality between the rich and poor countries.

Our mission is to help alleviate the technological gap by creating digital resources with purpose of increasing interactive way through use of latest technology and by working with government officials to solve obstacles around access, connectivity and content availability. We established ODA Lab because we believe that our mission is achievable if we apply creativity and innovation to incorporate digital solutions.

Technology is a powerful tool that has the capacity to change the way people communicate, learn and operate their daily lives. Our long-term vision is to work across cultures and industries to build tech products that improve the lives of the people and strengthen communities.

We begin this journey through our first offering HIRUSHJA, a digital learning tool that allows kids to play and learn at the same time in Albanian.

HIRUSHJA 

A fun way for children to learn and interact with technology, while enjoying classic stories and games in Albanian.

Description

HIRUSHJA is an Albanian app for learning recommended to children age three to eight. It offers a collection of fun activities that are designed to improve literacy through interactive games around classic children’s literature and familiar puzzle challenges such as the Rubik’s cube.

Concept 

The idea for this product originated out of a real, personal need. I am one of the founders of ODA Labs and a father to a seven-year-old girl. Every summer I send her to my parents’ house in Kosova to make sure that she is exposed to Albanian culture and language. I noticed that shortly after she returns from the trip, she begins to loose everything she has learned over the summer months, because the young mind needs to stay active in order to retain the vocabulary.

Like most modern kids my daughter loves to spend time on her tablet. It has been a great challenge, as a parent, to find meaningful activities for her to engage in during the screen time. As I searched for apps to help her stay connected to the Albanian language, I realized that while there are plenty available to the English-speaking children, there isn’t the same pool of resources for Albanian children to learn interactively. My partners and I decided to put our head together and create a tool that would allow kids to learn in a fun way in Albanian.

We didn’t want to cut into a child’s play time, in fact, our goal was to make kids feel like they are playing rather than learning and this is why we purposefully created a non-academic interactive tool that is free of drill-based exercises.

Out team dedicated the past year to researching and testing various learning techniques with focus to build out a technology that is effective, visually engaging and easy to use.

During our research we realized that learning to use technology itself is an essential skill for children growing up in today’s tech driven world. This is why, in the coming years, we plan to expand this product by developing a collection of resources for teachers that will enable them to implement technology as part of the school curriculum.

Valon Xoxa

Valon Xoxa is a staff member of Kosovodiaspora.org. He holds a bachelor degree from Westminster College (MO) in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. Currently resides in Prishtina, and is a freelance contributor and editor at KosovoDiaspora.org. With an interest in contemporary culture, he seeks to find and incorporate articles from the Kosovar Diaspora that would shed light upon the interesting characteristics of this important global community. He has published a research article through UNDP’s School on Human Development titled “Mobility and Public Participation: A Case Study of the Kosovar Diaspora”, where a rather interesting Andersonian perspective is taken at understanding the Internet as a national identity creation medium.

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