ALO7 grew out of Saybot Information Technology, Ltd., which was founded in Boston in 2004 by digital pioneer Professor Nicholas Negroponte, and the father of e-mail, Professor Leonard Kleinrock, along with several international venture capital investors.
In 2010, the ALO7 Network Technology Co., Ltd launched its own education brand — ALO7, servicing students between 3 and 15 years old. ALO7’s goal is designing "entertaining and efficient" tailored products for Chinese students.
ALO7 is a multi-dimensional learning product for young English learners, combining innovative educational methodologies with the latest technologies. ALO7 products include printed textbooks (ALO7 Student Books, Craft Books, Work Books, Storybooks, Phonics Readers, and ABC Readers), fun and interactive courseware (ALO7 Courseware), an after-school learning platform where students practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing (ALO7 Learning Platform), an online home-school contact platform to improve communication and management (ALO7 Learning Feed for Parents and Teachers), foreign teacher-led tutorials via online classrooms (ALO7 Online Tutoring), and a variety of other educational products.
ALO7’s cross-platform products form the ALO7 digital ELT ecosystem making ALO7 a leading company in the field of education. ALO7 is the largest K12 digital English Language Teaching (ELT) content producer and solutions provider. ALO7 has more than 12 million registered users and over 500,000 paying users, and supplies digital English Language Learning (ELL) and ELT materials to well-known English training institutions, such as New Oriental, Only Education, Best-Study Education, Bond Education, and Daqiao Education.
"ALO7 Courseware" (ALO7 English Teaching Courseware) contains 400 efficient, systematic, and engaging multimedia courseware sets, greatly enhancing efficacy and interactivity in classrooms. ALO7’s well-designed courseware creates exciting and engaging classrooms, combining ALO7's English curriculum with animations, audio, activities, and games. Through listening, watching, speaking, and imitating various characters, students learn to respond and think in English naturally. Activities and games provide learners with ample opportunities to demonstrate mastery of new knowledge in a stimulating setting.
"ALO7 Learning Platform" (ALO7 English Learning Website) is tailored for children between the ages of 3 and 15. Experts and scholars from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invested heavily in utilizing advanced technology and strictly prescribed teaching methodology, providing more than 500,000 listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises, along with 300 interactive leveled readers and various learning applications. This interactive online homework platform is entertaining and effective, enabling children to learn English instinctively and to improve while enjoying the learning process.
"ALO7 Online Tutoring" is a set of solutions for providing foreign teacher-led online classrooms. Through its careful selection and management of professional EFL foreign trainers, it overcomes the difficulty of recruiting and managing foreign trainers, a prevalent problem for English training institutions. Furthermore, institutions can easily combine their offline classroom teaching with online courses. This enlarges the scope of students enrolled, increasing the conversion rate of students for institutions, helping ALO7 to seize the numbers for its oral English training market from China's population of over 1 billion.
"ALO7 Learning Feed" (ALO7 Online Home-School Platform for teachers) is designed to optimize management for teachers, as well as provide a convenient method of correspondence between homes and schools. It improves teaching methodology, and allows teachers to accomplish more, in less time.
"ALO7 Learning Feed" (ALO7 Online Home-School Platform for parents) is a platform for parents to communicate with teachers in real-time and to supervise students' learning. It helps to align communication between teachers, parents and students, enabling parents to directly oversee their child's learning progress, and reduces communication costs.
"ALO7 Assessment" (ALO7 Learning Entrance Assessment App) is a creative English assessment tool, designed especially for Chinese students. We have innovatively applied a scientific assessment model — the Adaptive Assessment Model, which replaces traditional paper-based tests, to effectively measure the competency of English learners. This assessment model is embedded with exercises and vocabulary from ALO7's key curriculum, assessing different skills from reading and writing, to listening and speaking. It helps schools, institutions, and groups to accurately and efficiently provide suitable teaching content to students. This scientific assessment method has been widely adopted by an increasing number of schools and institutions.
"ALO7 Principal" is an effective operation and management tool for school or institution management team. Four main functions cover the core management process in schools, forming a comprehensive standardized management system. Therefore, school management team, teachers, students and home-school communication can all operate through ALO7 apps, and thus realizing information-based management and enhancing operation effectiveness and efficiency.
Learning capacity is the combination of learning ability, motivation, attitude, and creativity, making it the most important gift to us as individuals. ALO7's ultimate goal is to help children acquire lifelong learning skills. ALO7 combines the latest scientific technology, groundbreaking educational ideas, and endless creativity. ALO7 revolutionizes the methods of English learning by providing a multi-faceted educational system, enhancing students' learning capacity.
ALO7 means "Hello, world!" ALO7 aims to open windows for children to learn about the outside world and cultural diversity, fostering global citizens and future leaders with the knowledge and the ability to bravely say "Hello!" to the world.
Childhood is the best period to develop learning capacity. Rote learning destroys the passion and potential of children. The concept of "educational play" has not been adopted in China's style of education. ALO7's responsibility is to cultivate innovative learners who are able to maintain lifelong learning practices. By balancing education and play, ALO7 awakens and encourages children's passion for learning, letting them love to learn and teaches them how to learn.
"Five loves" reflects ALO7's core spirit of self-realization, teamwork, and social contribution. A pioneer in the online education industry, ALO7 emphasizes the spirit of "giving before taking." ALO7 values its organizational ideals and its effective collaboration, along with the principles of self-motivation, self-study, and innovation. Our mission is to be the leader of using cutting-edge technology to benefit society by creating high-quality learning products and services.
In 2004, after his graduation from MIT, Dr. Pan returned to China to start a business using advanced technology to improve the help Chinese improve learning languages. He made use of speech recognition technology to create the Saybot Player. However, the online education market did not mature until several years after its release. Dr. Pan was disappointed with his experiences in the English language learning market. At the same time, Andrew Shewbart, then Academic Director of Disney English (DE), was frustrated at the inefficiencies he saw in the classroom and looked for a chance to improve the situation. In 2008, Dr. Pan sent his son to DE to study conversational English. There he met Mr. Shewbart and the two felt like old friends from their first meeting. They made full use of their individual strengths to develop a multi-faceted English teaching and learning system: ALO7 English for Kids. After a 8 year process of growth and transformation, ALO7 was able to provide a total solution for training institutes, from curriculum design to educational methodologies, artistic design, technology support, and teacher training. These two pioneers of Chinese children's interactive ELL created the perfect combination of technology and education.
Pan Pengkai is an internationally renowned children's educational expert. After his graduation from Zhejiang University, he studied under Prof. Nicholas Negroponte, the famous digital master, and received his doctorate from the MIT Media Lab.
During his Masters and PhD studies, Dr. Pan achieved groundbreaking results at MIT's Media Lab. He has published dozens of papers on a variety of education and technology topics. In 2003, he was awarded an international student prize given by Chinese Ministry of Education and met with then Premier Wen Jiabao. In the summer of 2004, Dr. Pan established ALO7 (formerly Saybot), with the support of Harvard University.
Dr. Pan was invited to Harvard University, Stanford University, and Geneva educational conferences to deliver speeches regarding the future of education for children.
Mr. Shewbart holds an MA from the University of York in Teaching English to Young Learners and a BA from Vanderbilt University. He was certified by Columbia University Teachers College in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Children. He is also an author of Columbia University Teachers College's TEFL-C module "Teaching through Technology," and is mainland China's sole examiner for the program. Mr. Shewbart is the leading consultant for CCTV's educational English programming. He is an internationally renowned expert on children's ELL production, teaching theory, practical teaching, and using technology to empower teachers, children, and parents in the digital age.
Before joining ALO7, Mr. Shewbart founded and operated William Language Schools, a chain of 17 ELL schools in Taiwan. Seeing new opportunities to help a larger group of students, he came to Shanghai, joined the DE team, opened the first four DE Learning Centers, was a leading creator of DE's content, and hired the first 100 local and foreign DE teaching staff. Mr. Shewbart was the first employee of the DE joint venture and the first Academic Director. With two decades of teaching experience in China, Mr. Shewbart understands the problems that Chinese children encounter while they are learning English. He has applied advanced teaching theories, leveraged many years of practical teaching experience, and employed cutting edge technology in the research and production of ALO7's entire product range.