Our storyRead about our history
Our dedicated team is working to improve HiHaHo every day. We work hard to uphold our four main requirements and build on what we’ve already created. HiHaHo interactive Video has matured and is gradually becoming a new dimension of teaching. If you’re not part of our story yet, join us on this interactive video adventure.
Video Enrichment Tool
In early spring, the first operational product was released. Our hands on approach and close contact with our main users have allowed us to keep on improving our work. Companies and individuals started using our product more and more for creating interactive videos.
Our current CEO, Mark Visser, joined the company. His presence meant an acceleration of our project. Visser’s visionary eye brought us an inter-device usability of the software. Rather than just working on Windows, it now also works on Apple and Android smartphones, all computers and laptops, and even on tablets. This was added as a fourth requirement for the software. At the end of the year, a bèta version was completed.
Triple Blend Learning
A new idea arose in the company: triple blend learning. Rather than treating interactive video, plenary sessions, and online courses as separate entities, we felt that all three could be combined to achieve the most effective learning programs.
Our First Product
HiHaHo was officially established as a separate company. Our first website went online and we finished a first product which actually worked. This useable concept worked only on windows and it met all the requirements established earlier. However, it was nowhere near finished yet.
HiHaHo's Baby Steps
Videos had always been part of our programs, but this year the board started a small project called HiHaHo. From our experiences as educators, we saw that moving towards interactive videos was the next logical step for meeting our needs and desires as an educational company. The name started out as a bit of a gimmicky name for a website for instructional videos, inspired by how easy it was to do things. The name stuck. Development of a first version of a tool that could add interactivity to a video began. It was our first step to expanding this learning platform. We established three basic requirements for the product.
1) The product could incorporate both existing videos from major streaming services and also support new video material.
2) The product could be used by anyone, even those who had never worked with this kind of program.
3) The product could support SCORM and xApi, in order for it to be incorporated in most Learning Management Systems.
This was a pivotal year in our history. Not only did we reel in Icademy’s first big customers, which showed our first departure from pharmacy by being retail-related, but we also had the inspiration for our current product. After having attended a lecture by Elliott Masie, De Graaf was inspired to start working with interactive video.
A New Beginning
The company kept growing and expanded its working staff and later also moved to its current location in the city of Assen. Icademy started to take over most of Drogisterij Academy’s work, which eventually led to the disbanding of Drogisterij Academy and a sole focus on online education by means of elearnings over the next couple of years.
This year saw the establishment of Icademy, a sister company focusing solely on developing online courses. The companies digitized completely. The new company’s name came from the phrase I can develop myself: Of course, we were very fond of the coincidence with the word “academy” too. A tight cooperation between the two academy companies remained.
With Drogisterij Academy, we started doing online classes, with Marc as our teacher.
Welcome to the Internet
This year, the internet started playing a role in the company’s approach to education. We started to release a monthly news broadcast about the latest news in the pharmacy world, but there was also a switch to online learning.
De Gaper’s name was officially changed to Drogisterij Academy and started to focus on regular and supplementary training for pharmacy personnel. Eventually, the use of study books was discontinued for the supplementary courses and were replaced by CD-ROMs, just like many of the exams were already being sent out as CD-ROMS as well.
First Use of Video
This marks the beginning of videos being used in the study material. Unfortunately, linear videos showed not to be the most effective tool to improve the learning curve. The medium informed and entertained, but it lacked true engagement.
The Dutch pharmacy branch decided to switch from analog to computerized exams. They set up De Gaper, with an aim to provide an education or training for pharmacy employees by means of a telephone exam, dubbed the TeleToets, developed by De Graaf. De Gaper, meaning The Yawner, is a Dutch cultural reference to the wooden statues used on old Dutch buildings to indicate, for the illiterate, that it was a pharmacy.
Talking Telecom Technologies
In 1998, De Graaf together with De Boer founded a company called Talking Telecom Technologies. Its aim was to develop, produce, and distribute software. The company started several projects, but the development of software used by doctors’ offices for patients who need a refillment of their prescription gained most prominence and success in The Netherlands.
Our story takes off in 1997 when Anton de Boer and Hans de Graaf meet. De Boer was working with several companies to develop their first game-oriented learning program. While looking for someone to help develop software for this, De Boer’s wife introduced him to De Graaf. The project proved fruitful, as from there on, their cooperation would lead to the birth of HiHaHo many years later.
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