Supporting multiple learning styles through game-based learning

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It’s helpful to understand different learning styles to ensure that every student reaches their academic potential. As we now know, the “one-size-fits-all” teaching method can be ineffective and can quickly lead to student disengagement. So how can teachers design their lessons to ensure they are meeting the individual needs of each and every student in their classroom? A starting point is to familiarise themselves with how their students learn best through intentional observations and honest conversations. This may take some time and dedication on the teacher’s part, but it will be well worth it in the end!

There are many tools that teachers can use in the classroom to help them differentiate their lessons to suit their students’ individual learning styles. One such tool is educational technology. With a myriad of ed tech games in the market, teachers may wonder what is the best one for their students. While there is not a simple, straightforward answer to this, teachers need to take into consideration a variety of factors such as the age and experiences of their students and the desired outcome of the lesson. For example, if an elementary teacher is looking for an app to help her 1st graders gain fundamental skills in numeracy and literacy, Skoolbo would be an excellent choice for her class since it focuses on these skills for children from preK-6th grade.

Although admittedly, there is not total agreement in the education sector about the validity of Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic (VAK) theory, it is widely accepted that variety in teaching methods and styles go a long way toward keeping students engaged and learning. Incorporating this variety into lessons will not only ensure all types of learners are catered to but will also encourage individuals to engage with learning in different ways.

Below we look at the three major learning styles of VAK theory and examine how ed tech games, such as Skoolbo can support each style.

Visual Learners
These types of learners need to see the lesson that is being taught. So, for instance, if they are given instructions, they are better able to follow these instructions if the instructions are written on a white board rather than being told to them. Ed tech games, such as Skoolbo, really play to this learning style with their visually stimulating characters and backgrounds. Also, games like Skoolbo have students answer questions that are displayed right on the screen, which is very beneficial for visual learners.

Auditory Learners
Similar to visual learners, auditory learners also use one of their senses to learn. For them, they need to hear what is being taught. Auditory learners learn best through oral teaching methods, such as talking through a topic or singing a song. Skoolbo and many other ed tech games are great for these types of learners because they can hear the questions being spoken out loud, and they get verbal reinforcements throughout the game.

Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners like to put their learning into action. They often use their hands to “talk” and to touch things around them, and they also enjoy moving around. One of the features that is included in Skoolbo, Zippy Shake is fantastic for these types of learners because it gets them movin’ and groovin’.

 

Game-based learning has the capability of scaffolding the learning process for all of these types of learners since they focus on multiple learning styles. Such games also help make a teacher’s life much easier as teachers will not need to rely on many different types of edtech tools to help each of their students. And above all, students enjoy playing games, so engaging them in games that are both fun and educational at the same time is attacking two birds with one stone!

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The Mega Minds Challenge is here! Can your class master the Mega?

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We’re proud to introduce the Mega Minds Challenge. Can your class achieve the collective goal of answering 25,000 reading and maths questions in just two weeks? Can they do it by the end of the term? Are they up for the challenge?

It will take only 30 seconds to set up a Mega Classbo. The reward? A term’s worth of pride for achieving the goal. And, what’s more, studies have shown that 94% of children master a reading or maths skill within 20 minutes on Skoolbo, so challenge your class to bring about real learning improvement!

How to get started in 30 seconds

  1. Log in to your Skoolbo teacher dashboard.
  2. Click on the ClassBo button visible on the Home tab.
  3. Select the Mega ClassBo and set a start date.
  4. LAUNCH THE CHALLENGE!
  5. Share your leaderboard with the entire school community.

You’ll be able to track your ClassBo within your teacher dashboard to see how well your class is doing.
 
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New to Skoolbo? Register for FREE here and get your class or child on board!

 


 

Why set a Classbo?

We have put countless hours of research to find out what really motivates children to learn. It has been proven that a bit of healthy competition, setting realistic and achievable goals and making it lots of fun in the process is a sure fire winner!

That’s why ClassBo is so effective. Teachers have the ability to set challenges for their students to answer a set goal of questions within a certain timeframe. It’s fun, motivating and a great team builder!

 

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A word from our CEO: How tech can overcome the world’s education problems

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A recent UN Education Agency commissioned report estimated that at least 250 million of the world’s primary school age children are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics at all. The same number of children are also struggling to improve to a functional level, and this is not a problem linked solely to developing countries.

In Australia, as in many other developed countries, we are facing the very real possibility that, in the near future, the generation approaching retirement will be more literate and numerate than the youngest adults.

Shane Circle HeadshotSolving Australia’s challenges or the problem of global illiteracy and innumeracy is a huge task but it’s essential if we are to improve the health, wellbeing and life chances of the world’s children.

I would argue that there has never been a better time to be in education. The technology we have available to us now means that the difficulties of the past shouldn’t constrain our future or, more importantly, our children’s future.

I believe that this is achievable and that the answer lies in making learning both accessible and efficient. The opportunities that technology opens up in this regard are just astounding and, in terms of learning, it can be of tremendous assistance.

Mastering skills such as number recognition, automatic recall of times tables or being able to smoothly blend groups of letters to form words takes time. It is therefore vital that children are motivated and engaged sufficiently to persevere.

Technology is a tool to help learning not a replacement. A number of people are of the opinion that technology shouldn’t be used in education. I fundamentally disagree. Technology can be used to improve learning. It is ubiquitous to children’s lives these days and to take it away seems false. You would not go into a hospital and say “I don’t want modern treatment, please give me what worked in the 1940s or ’50s”!

Technology isn’t just an aide to the child it can give so much to the teacher, parent, education system. Technology can help reveal to us how children learn which, in turn, enables us to teach in better ways. We are able to identify the areas of the curriculum that children struggle to grasp.

For example if you go back five years and ask most maths teachers what basic skills children find difficult and they would have flagged division as one of the hardest.

In fact the data from millions of records, in scores of countries, suggests otherwise. Subtraction is the element that children find the most challenging. Once they have mastered that area then others fall more easily into place.

Technology cannot and does not replace the great teacher but it can bring in others into the equation who can be also hugely supportive and motivational to the child.

In my experience technology that opens the door to the child’s support group to take an active role in education will have the biggest impact on learning and help us radically improve life outcomes for millions of children.

Shane Hill is a former teacher and founder of both Skoolbo and Mathletics (3P Learning). Skoolbo is one of the fastest growing reading, maths and languages learning program in the world with offices in 10 countries. Shane, who is a recipient of the Global Corporate Social Responsibility Award for his services to education, lives in Canberra.

This article originally appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Introducing Zippy Shine! A brand new learning app from Skoolbo!

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 **We are offering a 50% off discount to all our early bird Zippy Shiners!**

**limited offer so get in quick!**

Children who struggle in vain with reading in the first school years soon decide that they neither like nor want to read.. Gaining confidence with reading is vital to better literacy outcomes and it’s important that they are encouraged every step of the way.

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While the importance of being able to read well is not in doubt, the seemingly effortless activity described as “good reading” is actually made up of a set of highly complex, skills and abilities.
This is where our brand new reading and performance app Zippy Shine can help.

Zippy Shine is packed full of jokes and mini-stories for children to read aloud and record. They’ll be amazed as they discover their own name appearing in every story! Once their performance is perfected, they can play it back for friends and family with their avatar taking centre stage!


Zippy shine brings a range of benefits for children from 7 to 11

  • the ability to evaluate their own performance
  • develop their comprehension skills
  • develops the concepts of expression and intonation
  • recognise and respond to punctuation in a meaningful context.
  • read questions and deliver a punchline with expert timing

Zippy Shine gives children the option to link with their existing Skoolbo account to enable sharing of their masterpieces with their parents and teacher to receive valuable feedback and some well deserved applause!

Download the app for a fun, enjoyable way to help children become confident, fluent, motivated readers. Who knows you may discover that the next master storyteller or comic genius is closer than you think! 

Download now!

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Watch Zippy Shine in action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Skoolbo partners with major Chinese educational player CIT

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Skoolbo, our global elearning company founded and led by Australian entrepreneur Shane Hill is proud to announce our new partnership with Century Innovative Technology Limited (CIT), a major Chinese educational player, to deliver award-winning co- branded learning platforms across China.

It has been a terrific  few weeks for Skoolbo with this newly announced partnership with China’s CIT and also being awarded Best Game-based Curriculum Solution by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries. The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services.

Since launching in 2013, Skoolbo has been a runaway success, reaching over 200K classrooms, worldwide. Skoolbo has localised versions in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America, India, Mexico and recently launched in Canada.

Shane Hill, who founded Mathletics and Skoolbo announced,Our mission is to transform the educational outcomes of millions of children across the globe and in CIT and Poman Lo their CEO we have found our perfect partner. Our companies have the same mission to educate millions of children and have forged similar paths towards the same aim. The partnership brings together the complementary strengths of both companies – CIT has the number one rated TV show in China for young people as well as very strong relationships with many important players in both the public and private sectors in China. Skoolbo has proven in country after country that our learning platforms are loved by children, teachers and parents

 

Poman Lo ­ CEO and Founder of CIT saidI couldn’t be happier in partnering with Skoolbo. I have huge respect for Shane and his team who have shown they are world beaters. CIT and our award-winning brand ‘Bodhi and friends’ will be integrated into Skoolbo products as they roll out in China and other territories. CIT will drive forward distribution in China leveraging on our extensive network and channels. I am looking forward to bringing an amazing digital experience to Chinese Kindergartens which will help redefine learning and transform preschool education. Our music game app ‘Careok’ has been promoted by the Chinese Ministry of Education in schools across the whole of China. My dream to inspire young minds and nurture innovative leaders across the world has just taken a big step forward”.

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Shane Hill said, “it’s been a terrific few weeks – signing our partnership with CIT, winning the equivalent of the educational Oscars in America, known as the CODIEs Award for best game based solution on the back of a fantastic two months in the US where we have seen over thirteen thousand new schools onboard Skoolbo. We are hoping for similar success in Canada where we launched last month with a localised version. Last but certainly not least I attended last week’s State of Origin to meet Class Brumbies and their parents from Gilgandra Public School who won our competition with Rotary & NSW Rugby League to attend the game as VIPs.  The challenge saw classrooms across the Northwest of NSW answer 334,640 reading and maths questions and achieve a whopping 3,686 personal learning bests! Great going! This is what Skoolbo is all about – motivating children, having fun and dramatic improvement in learning”.

Photos: Top – Shane Hill, CEO and Founder Skoolbo and Poman Lo CEO and Founder CTI.

Right – Shane HIll with class teacher Rebecca Rogers from Gilgandra NSW, who won a trip with her class to The State of Origin

Below – Northwest NSW Challenge winners, Class Brumbies from Gilgandra Public School, at the State of Origin

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Skoolbo Wins SIIA Education Technology CODiE Award for Best Game-based Curriculum Solution

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Skoolbo Earns Prestigious Industry Recognition

 
We are very proud to announce that Skoolbo has been named winner of the SIIA CODiE Awards for Best Game-based Curriculum Solution!

The winner announcement was made by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, to an audience of over 300 education, software, information and business technology leaders. 29 awards were given for products and services deployed specifically for education and learning professionals.

An SIIA CODiE Award win is a prestigious honour as each award winner was reviewed by a field of industry experts, whose evaluations determined the finalists. SIIA members then reviewed the finalists and their votes were combined with the scores from the industry experts’ to select this year’s CODiE Awards winners.

“SIIA’s 2016 Education Technology CODiE Award winners were phenomenal this year, and showed how supportive and impactful these technologies are for students, faculty and administration.” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA. “Each honouree deserves accolades and we are pleased to add our congratulations to all of this year’s CODiE Award winners.”

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. Since 1986, thousands of products, services and solutions have been recognised for achieving excellence.  For more information, visit siia.net/CODiE.

About ETIN
ETIN
(the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA) is the leading voice for 200+ companies that provide software applications, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the PK-20 sector. ETIN drives growth and innovation within the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, government relations and critical ed tech market information. For more information, visit siia.net/etin.

 

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Congratulations Gilgandra Public School on winning the Northwest NSW School Challenge!

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The Northwest NSW challenge has ended and we are proud to announce the lucky winning class! Congratulations goes to class Brumbies from Gilgandra Public School, Gilgandra NSW!

What an amazing challenge it was! The challenge, brought to you by Rotary, NSWRL and Skoolbo, saw schools across Northwest NSW go head to head to answer as many questions on Skoolbo and achieve as many personal bests to go into the draw to WIN tickets for the whole class plus parents to go to the State of Origin game one in Sydney.

During the course of the challenge, schools across the Northwest of NSW answered an astonishing 334,640 reading and maths questions and achieved a whopping 3686 personal bests! Great going!

The winning class Brumbies (years 5/6), were chosen out of the draw from over 3686 personal best tickets, which is a fantastic achievement! Well done to all! Studies have shown that 95% of children master a reading or math skill within 20mins on Skoolbo so everyone’s a winner when it comes to improvement!

We will be sending the whole entire class to State of Origin game one to be held in Sydney on the 1st June 2016. The lucky class with parents will also enjoy two nights accommodation in Sydney. We are so thrilled for them and know that they along with their community share the same excitement here are a few of the comments and great happy snaps class teacher Rebecca Rogers sent in from her classes.

“OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!” Georgia

“Are you for real, as if that happens, Really!!!”   Brielle

“I told you that those games were worth playing, awesome!!!!”     Tony

“Mum made me do my homework but I didn’t think it would pay off like this!”  Jack

“Thankyou to NSWRL and Rotary and Skoolbo for this once in a lifetime chance” Missy K.

“I am a huge footy fan, NSWRL are so cool for letting us do this, state of origin is a big deal!” Tyson

“I have seen Rotary so many times, I’ve eaten their steak sandwiches at lots of places and I can’t believe they are sending us to State of Origin”  Sarah

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for these kids.  Some would never have been to Sydney before let alone to see a major sporting event and they can have some valuable one on one time with their parent, amazing.”  Laura (Teacher)
“The people at Skoolbo are wonderful, I hope they realise how amazing this opportunity is for these kids.” Garry (Community member)
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Skoolbo Named 2016 SIIA Education Technology CODiE Award Finalist

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We are proud to announce Skoolbo has been named 2016 SIIA Education Technology CODiE Award Finalist for the category of Best Game-based Curriculum Solution.

The award category recognises the best curriculum solution that uses gaming elements as an integral component of a curriculum or assessment product. Designed for PK-12 or postsecondary students to enable them to learn or apply concepts by using a compelling game environment that is academically and pedagogically sound.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries, and have been recognising product excellence for over 30 years. The awards offer 91 categories that are organized by industry focus of education technology and business technology. Skoolbo was honoured as one of 161 finalists across the 29 education technology categories.

“I am amazed by the level of innovation and creativity of the products that have been selected as this year’s CODiE Award finalists. We are happy to recognise them for their great contributions and impact they are making on the software, content and business technology industries,” – Ken Wasch, President of SIIA.

“We are proud to have been chosen as a finalist for the Codie Awards.  It’s nice to recognised by the industry for the improvement towards essential skills that Skoolbo is making. We are deeply committed to our belief that every child has the right to become a reader and confident with numbers.” – Shane Hill, Skoolbo founder

 

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Introducing ClassBo, the ultimate classroom motivator!

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Listen up, teachers! Skoolbo has just added a brand new feature that we know you’re simply going to love:

Introducing ClassBo, where you now have the ability to set challenges for your class to reach a certain number of answers within a set timeframe. You can choose between 5,000, 25,000 or 100,000 answers for your class to reach! These challenges run from 2 days, 2 weeks or 3 months respectively and represent a fantastic, new and measurable way to gauge the progress of your students.

To set up a ClassBo, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Log into your account and click on the ClassBo Challenge button on the homepage.
  2. Click on one of the three available challenges you’d like to set for your class.
  3. Choose a start date, opt in or out for email updates and click “Start ClassBo!”.

That’s it, your ClassBo has been set and the challenge has been thrown down to really motivate your students!

Supercharge your students’ learning outcomes

You can use the ClassBo leaderboard in tandem with our Results and Report tabs to easily identify what topics your students are doing really well at and where they may be struggling. Our task-setting feature on the Results tab allows you set up to 2 tasks per topic and get them practicing to improve their skills on that topic.

ClassBo is just another fantastic way that Skoolbo can motivate your students to learn, as it immerses them in a fun challenge that encourages improvement and puts them on the right track towards mastering reading and maths skills. You can even set a ClassBo challenge over the holidays so your students can keep learning, stay sharp and ensure nobody slips behind!

ClassBo allows you to set up to three challenges at once by picking one of each challenge type and if you really want to show off how well your class is doing, you can even embed the live, real-time leaderboard into your school website!

We hope you and your students enjoy using ClassBo, happy learning!

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New to Skoolbo? Register your school and class now to join the Skoolbo movement!

 

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See how Skoolbo is showing real results in improvement!

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Download our recent white paper to see why Skoolbo is showing real improvement in students’ reading and maths skills

As we’re sure you already know, Skoolbo is a highly beneficial and free eLearning tool that helps kids across the globe have fun while improving their literacy and numeracy skills. To give you an even better look at just how well Skoolbo works, we’ve put together this insightful paper outlining the Skoolbo course using data from our worldwide user base. The paper goes through the course outline of Skoolbo, detailing the sample sizes taken when collating our data for each topic. Also included are key metrics such as average improvement, average high scores and even the number of answers a student completes per minute.

With over a BILLION questions answered by 31,000 schools, students using Skoolbo have achieved over 9.8 million Personal Learning Bests in total. Given the sheer amount of answers to date on Skoolbo, it’s even more impressive that 87.8% of questions were answered correctly and contributed to an average of 28% improvement in students across the board. On such a massive number, these accuracy and improvement figures are testament to the effectiveness of the Skoolbo algorithm.

Our algorithm adapts to the individual ability of a student and provides a personalised learning experience for each. With over 250 literacy and numeracy skills to learn, students are given a challenging yet rewarding program that facilitates success and promotes a positive learning experience. The adaptive nature of Skoolbo has also yielded the mastery of a new literacy or numeracy skill by 94% of students after a mere 20 minutes of game time!

If you really want to get the lowdown on Skoolbo, make sure you check out this fantastic paper and help maximise the learning of your kids!

Download our recent white paper to see the real improvement Skoolbo kids are achieving!

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