New educational website for children activities
Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Culture and Business Affairs opened the new language learning website Icelandic Online Börn in Veröld – House of Vigdís on 18 April, the first day of Reykjavík Children’s Culture Festival 2023.
Icelandic Online Börn is an interactive and playful learning material in Icelandic as a second language for children of preschool age and in the first grades of elementary school. The website has seven courses of various difficulty levels. The target group are children whose mother tongue is a foreign language and Icelandic children who have grown up in a different language environment and are starting to read. The material can also be used as supplementary material for mother tongue learning. The course is within the framework of Iceland’s main curriculum for kindergarten and elementary school, and uses the Icelandic Online platform, which is suitable for both computers and smart devices. The website can be accessed at https://born.icelandiconline.com. It is free of charge and open to everyone. The project received funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Friends of Children Society, the Áslaug Hafliðadóttir Fund, the Development Fund for Immigration Issues and the Educational Materials Development Fund.
Chief editors and project managers of Icelandic Online Börn are Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir and Halldóra Jóhanna Þorláksdóttir. Software and programming manager is Úlfur Alexander Einarsson. Scriptwriters were Halldóra Jóhanna Þorláksdóttir, Þorgerður Anna Björnsdóttir and Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir. Art director and graphic designer was Bjarney Hinriksdóttir and Davíð Hólm Júlíusson was the video and sound producer. Together with the scriptwriters, Branislav Bédi, Kolbrún Friðriksdóttir and Úlfar Bragason were members of the editorial board. Other staff members were Anna María Steingrímsdóttir, Guðlaug Agnes Kristjánsdóttir, Gunnar Dofri Viðarsson, Júlía Hermannsdóttir, Saga Rut Sunnevudóttir, Sara Ósk Þorsteinsdóttir, Sigurður Birkir Sigurðsson and Þröstur Almar Þrastarson. Jón Bergsteinn Auðarson, Kristín Jónsdóttir, Rebekka Þráinsdóttir, Þorgerður Anna Björnsdóttir and Þorri Elís Halldóruson were voice actors. Bergur A. H. Jónsson and Diljá Þorbjargardóttir assisted with proof reading and testing. Hulda Karen Daníelsdóttir, Renata Emilsson Pesková, Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir and Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttir were on the advisory committee, and experts at the Directorate of Education also provided advice on the material. The website is hosted by the Language Center of the University of Iceland.
In her speech at the opening ceremony of Icelandic Online Börn, the Minister of Culture and Business Affairs acknowledge the website as an important step in online language education for children and emphasized the importance of Icelandic langage learning and support for multilingual children. Jón Atli Benediktsson, rector of the University of Iceland, and Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir, professor emerita, project manager of Icelandic Online also spoke at the event, which was led by Valgerður Jónasdóttir, events manager of the Vigdís International Center. Special guests at the launch of Icelandic Online Börn were shool children from the 5th and 6th grades of Landakotsskóli, who performed two songs and examined the new website.