New TVOKids.com designed for single screen future

- Popular kids' website re-launched with expanded content and advanced usability

TORONTO, June 23 /CNW/ - TVOKids.com, the popular online destination for kids from ages 2 to 11, presents a new and evolved website with the single screen universe in mind. Along with improved usability features, the new TVOKids.com responds to the increasing number of kids who use the website as an alternative to watching TV and those using both platforms simultaneously.

"The way children consume content is changing rapidly," says Pat Ellingson, Creative Head Children's Media at TVO. "Traditional television continues to be a powerful draw. We are not decreasing our focus on providing a unique broadcast offering. However, the tastes and wants of the "kid" audience are changing and web-based entertainment is part of this change. Our research shows that kids 2-11 years old and their parents are spending more and more time online. We wanted to stay ahead of the curve and not just keep up with what others are doing but anticipate what kids will need and be there first."

Every facet of the TVOKids.com redesign was based on the Ontario school curriculum and tested by kids, parents and educators to make sure the site reflected the needs and wants of the end users. The first thing website visitors encounter is a simplified splash page with two streams to choose from: Ages 11 and Under designed for school-aged children and patterned after The Space, TVOKids' afterschool programming block; and Ages 2 to 5, designed for preschoolers and their care givers and featuring themes and characters from Gisèle's Big Backyard, TVO's programming for preschoolers.

One of the key features you will find throughout the new site is an even larger video-on-demand offering with over 800 - and growing - videos including favourite shows, exclusive series, video blogs, stories from intrepid kid reporters, and more that can be viewed on a new 16x9 media player or full screen. Finding the content you want to watch is much easier with videos sorted by themed category tabs such as Arts and Music, Science and Math, Health and Sports, etc.

Games continue to be the core of TVOKids.com. Favourite games are easier than ever to find through a variety of methods including front and centre promotion on the homepage, well defined categories in the games section and a strong search engine.

Other examples of content found only at TVOKids.com include live stream web events such as Homework Hotline, where a real teacher comes into the TVOKids studio and answers children's homework questions with a focus on math and science. Kids can also call the TVOKids Hotline with their questions on sensitive issues like bullying, racism, and starting school. A counsellor from Kids Help Phone is live on the line responding to questions in real time, offering solutions and comfort.

The new site also makes finding contests and events simple by placing them in one location; includes a Create and Share area that allows users to share content they create online, at home or at school; and provides a download page where kids can print activity sheets and listen to or download their favourite songs.

TVOKids.com promises to be a dynamic destination for kids and their parents with web-exclusive videos, games, polls and surprises on a daily basis!

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information, visit tvo.org.

Where to find TVO

Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265, Shaw Direct channel 353.

SOURCE TVO

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Paul Ginis, 416.484.2600 ext. 2445, pginis@tvo.org; Lesley Horlick, 416.484.2600 ext. 2281, lhorlick@tvo.org


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