Frequently Asked Questions
What is Always Icecream?
Always Icecream is an educational and entertaining website for girls from kindergarten through eighth grade. Always Icecream is unique in the way the site motivates girls to learn. Always Icecream is the "sister site" to Clever Dragons, a site specifically for boys.
How is Always Icecream different from other fun learning sites?
Always Icecream offers much more than just a selection of fun learning games. Our site provides an integrated environment that includes a powerful incentive system for children, elaborate parental controls, moderation of all user-generated content, and an optional set of social features that provides a Facebook-like experience for kids, all in a safe, controlled setting.
Why do you have separate sites for boys and girls?
We strongly believe in equality between boys and girls when it comes to academic achievements. Therefore, both Always Icecream and Clever Dragons offer the same educational content. However, when it comes to social interaction, and expression through play and artwork, many children enjoy being in a "girls-only" or "boys-only" environment. On Always Icecream, this allows for open "girl talk" that would not happen in a co-ed environment. This is similar to the tried-and-true experience of "boys scouts" versus "girls scouts."
How does Always Icecream motivate girls to learn?
By completing the learning materials and videos girls earn ice cream $coops - the virtual currency on Always Icecream. This currency can then be used to play games or access other fun content, including designing furniture and clothes and selling it to other members! If parents enable the “social” features of Always Icecream, girls participate in fun competitions based on their achievements. Always Icecream is the first website that combines all these aspects of online usage in an educational and safe format.
What is the parents’ role on Always Icecream?
Parents can play an active role on Always Icecream. Parents receive weekly email reports on the learning progress of their daughters. Through their complimentary account, parents can enable or disable the “community features” that enable girls to communicate with other members. In addition, parents can customize the educational content that is presented to their girls. There is also a unique way in which parents can use our site: Girls can be rewarded “$coops,” the site’s in-game currency, for accomplishing “real world tasks” such as practicing piano or exercising.
With an upgrade to a Premium Parent Account, parents can use the site even more systematically for their children's education. A Premium Account offers goal-setting, time-tracking, testing, and documentation of learning progress through customized reports.
Do you recommend a particular browser or computer?
The Always Icecream team tests our site using recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer on PCs running Windows 7 or later and Firefox and Safari on Macs running OS10.6.8 or later. While many areas of Always Icecream may continue to work on older systems, we regret that we cannot support these older platforms.
Do you have apps for iPhone/iPad and Android smartphones and tablets?
95% of our learning games can be played on a tablet or a smartphone by using the browser and by directly accessing the website.
In addition, we're offering a growing number of dedicated apps for individual games that offer even better performance and don't require online access. Some of these apps are available now for iPads and iPhones through the App Store. More apps, including dedicated apps for Android devices, will be offered in 2013.
Who created Always Icecream?
Dr. Johannes and Swenja Ziegler, co-founders of Always Icecream, have three young daughters and two sons. Both Johannes and Swenja were educated in Europe, Asia, and the United States and highly value a solid education for their children. With their own children they gathered a wide range of educational experiences ranging from homeschooling to various forms of traditional and alternative education. They came up with the idea for Always Icecream when they watched the enthusiasm with which their daughters were playing online games At the same time Johannes and Swenja were concerned about the safety and the educational value of existing sites. Being the CEO of Miaplaza Inc., a company with extensive experience in creating social websites, Johannes assembled a team of educational experts and award-winning software developers to create Always Icecream.
The site continues to grow and evolve rapidly. Many of the features that were introduced within the last year originated from the input of parents and children who were using the site.
Can boys join Always Icecream?
We recommend that boys use Clever Dragons (www.clever-dragons.com), the boys' equivalent of Always Icecream. Some boys may prefer Unicorns over Dragons and pink over blue. In this case, we recommend to choose the "educational-only" version of Always Icecream that allows boys to access the learning games, but not to interact with other members.
We are planning to introduce the option to change the color and background themes of the sites on both Always Icecream and Clever Dragons. Once this has been implemented, boys will have the option to create their own pink site on Clever Dragons as well.
What is the educational philosophy behind Always Icecream?
The core idea behind Always Icecream is that children learn more when they are motivated and in a positive mood. Therefore, Always Icecream packages drills in academic core subjects in the format of fun games. Rewards are given at all levels, including recognition of creative artwork by their peers.
Is my daughter safe on Always Icecream?
User safety is our most important concern. Always Icecream is using a wide range of methods and processes to ensure user safety and privacy. The site's content is continuously scanned for inappropriate content using both software and manual reviews. Users can also report any concerns or problems they encounter to Always Icecream staff. Furthermore, self-policing mechanisms are in place to encourage proper behavior and etiquette. Parents receive regular email reports about the activities and learning progress of their daughter. Lastly, Always Icecream has been certified by an independent third party, www.privo.com, to be compliant with the stringent requirements of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
How about topics that are controversial among parents?
At Always Icecream we try to exclude content that is contentious in some communities. There are plenty of educational subjects that are taught and appreciated by parents and teachers of any worldview. These are the areas that girls can practice on Always Icecream.
In addition, parents can opt out of any subject area that they don't want to be presented to their kids. One important example is religious education. Parents can decide whether or not they want to include games in this category.
How much does it cost?
Always Icecream is free of advertising. We never sell or rent any user data. The membership fee is $6.95 per month with a monthly subscription or $4.95 per month with a pre-paid annual membership. We also offer a lifetime membership as well as upgrades to Premium Parent Accounts. We use the funds we receive to develop, on average, one new educational game for our members every week. Your basic parent account is free of charge.
I have two daughters. Do I need two accounts for them?
On Always Icecream every girl should have her own account and yes, this means you'll need to purchase two separate accounts (but you only need one parent account for all your daughters). This way every girl can create her own artwork, track her own learning progress, raise and care for her own pets and earn and spend her own $coops. If you want to purchase a membership for more than two daughters (or sons on Clever Dragons), please contact us at email@example.com for discounts.
I have a daughter on Always Icecream and a son on Clever Dragons. Can I use the same parents account?
Unfortunately, for technical and usability reasons, you will need to set up separate parents accounts on both sites. You can, however, use the same email address for both accounts, and if you decide to upgrade to a Premium Parent Account you will only need to purchase one upgrade that will be good for Always Icecream and Clever Dragons.
How can I cancel my subscription?
If you have a monthly subscription, PayPal will continue to charge you the monthly subscription amount until you cancel your subscription there. The best way to do so is to log into your parents account and click on the "Change or Cancel Membership" link. From there you will be led to PayPal where you need to log in and cancel the subscription. If you don't have a parent account, you can cancel the subscription directly at PayPal. First, click on the "details" link next to the last payment you have made. This will lead you to the page that shows the subscription number (starting with S). When clicking on this number you will be linked to the page that offers the "cancel subscription" option at the bottom.
Can I get my money back if I don't like it?
Satisfaction guaranteed: Your child will have fun and learn relevant skills – or you get your money back! We offer you our money-back guarantee. If you’re not fully satisfied with our service, just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description about what you didn't like about your experience with the site. If you have purchased a two-month, annual or lifetime membership, we’ll then gladly reimburse you for the full membership fee as long as you contact us within 30 days of purchasing the membership. In the case of a monthly subscription, we’ll reimburse you for the last paid month.
I would like to purchase a membership for someone else, not my own kids. How can I do this?
Always Icecream and Clever Dragons are great gifts for nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or any other children. If you are not the parent, you can purchase a membership as a gift. You can find the various gift options at http://parents.always-icecream.com/giftcode.
I homeschool through a charter. Can you accept my purchase order?
If you're a homeschooling parent wishing to purchase a site membership with a purchase order from your charter school, please email us at email@example.com. We're happy to work together with you and your school to become an approved vendor if we aren't already on their list.