Skoolbo 2.0 Launches

We are delighted with the response to Skoolbo 2.0 which has launched on both the web and PC. Already over 50,000 Snazzimals (the reward for completing a Daily Challenge) have been achieved.

Skoolbo 2.0 represents a major expansion with the inclusion of step-by-step lessons as well as new content in Writing, Languages, Science, Geography, Art, Music, Financial Literacy and Brain Games. We are especially excited about the Skoolbo voice analyzer which decodes what children are saying when reading or completing speech and vocabulary activities.

There is still much to launch over the coming weeks as Skoolbo 2.0 fully releases for students, teachers and parents. We appreciate your understanding while these enhancements come into place. We can’t wait for everyone to enjoy the great new materials!

Please be aware that once the iOS, Android and Mac versions are fully released we will be shutting down the older versions of Skoolbo. This will require homes and schools to upgrade across to the newest version of Skoolbo.

Happy learning!
Team Skoolbo ūüôā

Skoolbo 2.0 – The Snazzimals are Coming!

Look out for some great new additions to Skoolbo in September when we release Skoolbo 2.0!

  • Early Readers:¬†The inclusion of over 500 levelled early reader eBooks ideal for taking beginning readers through to being able to read chapter books. Teachers and parents will be able to list back to the child‚Äôs reading to help give further guidance and see improvement over time.
  • Narrated Lessons:¬†Hundreds of narrated lessons helping teach fundamental concepts.
  • Content for Preschoolers:¬†The inclusion of a wide range of new learning materials specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds. There is a special focus on vocabulary development.
  • Expansion of Languages:¬†The inclusion of hundreds of lessons and songs to aid the learning of Spanish and Mandarin.
  • Snazzimals¬†– New Reward Structure Centred Around Daily Quests:¬†The addition of the wonderfully cute Snazzimals which students will collect as a reward for completing a daily learning quest.
  • Learning Songs and Brain Breaks:¬†Hundred of songs specifically designed to aid learning and promote activity.
  • Brain Games:¬†The addition of purpose built cognitive games designed to aid logic, spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, concentration and memory skills for young children.
  • Web Browser:¬†A revamped web browser experience which is especially important for the nearly 40% of students who access Skoolbo via the web. The browser and app experience will be fully integrated.
  • Free for Schools:¬†We are delighted to confirm Skoolbo will remain free for schools. There will however be the addition of inexpensive family accounts (approximately $8 per month) for home use.

The Skoolbo team are super excited about the launch of Skoolbo 2.0 and we can’t wait to share the many wonderful new learning materials with everyone come September!

Why learning through play is revolutionising our classrooms

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Living in the Digital Age means technology has become a necessity that has been woven into our lives and routines. The education sector is no different! Utilising digital tools and games for teaching reflects the shift to a more efficient learning structure within modern classrooms. Blended learning – the education program that integrates technology into the bulk of content delivery and classroom instruction – has been rapidly on the rise. Among these digital tools lies the often untapped potential of educating students through game-based learning.

Think of the smash hit Angry Birds and how the game mechanics work – you try to knock down buildings by projecting spherical objects with a slingshot. Now think about how – if applied to a physics class – students might be able to learn about the physics behind projectile motion, velocity, and acceleration. The ever-popular Minecraft game operates with the simple premise of world-building using blocks. This innately allows children to develop their spatial recognition and complex planning skills all while playing a game! Similarly, Skoolbo offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a virtual world, where they watch their personalized avatars race and dance as they answer literacy and numeracy questions. The enjoyment children get from playing results in true engagement with their own learning. Before they know it, students are mastering skills ranging anywhere from vocabulary and sentence creation to telling time and multiplying.

Furthermore, Skoolbo fosters motivation and teamwork through its fun competitions. The Duelbo feature allows students to challenge a peer to beat their top score – an engaging way to promote some healthy competition among classmates. Involving friends gets children excited about what they are doing, and it motivates them to continue playing. Skoolbo also features Classbo, a tool that allows teachers to set benchmark goals for their classes. This compels all the students to work collectively to reach those targets! The big event everyone looks forward to is the annual Skoolbo World Cup, where students get to compete against their peers from around the world!

 

MOTIVATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT

A big challenge in education is figuring out how to motivate reluctant learners. Common recommendations include praising students, rewarding positive behavior and finding ways to nurture intrinsic motivation within the student. Game-based learning allows students to feel enthusiastic about their learning experiences. Skoolbo allows students to customise their avatars so that they can have a personal connection and – by extension – will forge a special bond with their in-game character. This makes the game more meaningful for students overall!

Another benefit of learning through play is that students need not be in the classroom for this to happen! In fact, students can opt to use a learning app – such as Skoolbo – at home. This allows them to learn in a more relaxed environment, thus removing any stress associated with being in a formal school setting. Furthermore, it gives parents the opportunity to see their children actively engaging in learning while at home.

Skoolbo‚Äôs adaptive algorithm also plays a key part in ensuring student success. It scales the content difficulty depending on the student’s input, thus crafting a personally designed learning pathway for each student. This also makes sure that students won‚Äôt feel bored or stressed if the pacing is too slow or too fast, respectively.

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT TEACHERS?

Teachers have much to benefit from employing learning through play. To begin with, this boosts student morale. Secondly, teachers can see students’ progress based on how well they are doing in the game. Skoolbo’s Teacher Dashboard displays results for each student, making it easy for teachers to track how well each student is doing individually. Teachers can use that actionable data to assess and gauge where their students are compared to their expectations.

Students who learn through play experience an enjoyable and highly engaging learning process which in turn develops a natural love of learning. Game-based learning through edtech is a powerful tool for any teacher.

Want to know more about the effectiveness of  game-based learning through Skoolbo? We crunched some pretty big numbers recently, analysing key metrics of improvement from millions of children who play Skoolbo from around the world! Read the white paper!

New to Skoolbo? Register your child, class or homeschool now and join the Skoolbo movement!

 

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Skoolbo CEO Shane Hill reveals plans of soon-to-be-launched online content platform Preschool Play

Based at the Canberra Innovation Network headquarters, digital innovator Shane Hill spoke about the exciting upcoming launch of Preschool Play ‚Äď an online content platform designed to give pre-schoolers and their teachers a “really brilliant start to the day” through daily educational episodes of singing and dancing.

Preschool Play is a modern take on the famous Sesame Street, developed for television in the United States in the late 1960s to provide research-based and fun educational content to children in America.

The global team at Skoolbo has spent the past 12 months building the platform, writing, composing and filming more than 1,000 educational songs. The team has also worked closely with Hi-5 Director Jonathan Geraghty, who is an investor in Skoolbo.

A very recent success story integral to the development of the program has been a $4 million funding boost, which will enable the launch of Preschool Play into classrooms internationally in February 2017. The team will continue to build out the Mandarin version, being produced in conjunction with Hong Kong-based multimedia company Century Innovation Technology.

For a small fee, preschool teachers across the world will be able to download episodes and play them in the classroom as a fun and active way to start the day.

Photo: Karleen Minney
Photo: Karleen Minney

According to Mr. Hill, Preschool Play has been a phenomenal effort by a truly global team:

“The Canberra team – there are eight of us ‚Äď does writing content and the graphics, so we do a lot of the fun stuff; while the teams in Singapore and Vietnam do the web programming, and all the filming is done in the United States.”

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 in the Sydney Morning Herald.

2016 Skoolbo World Cup Fun: John XXIII CPS

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While we all continue to revel in the aftermath of all the Skoolbo World Cup excitement, we figured it was a good time to share some snippets of the sentiments and action on site – at our schools.

Many¬†thanks to¬†John XXIII Catholic Primary School¬†¬†our 2016¬†World Cup Leaderboard topper – for sharing some wonderful thoughts as well as some fantastic snapshots of their students playing the tournament…

 

Dear Team Skoolbo,
This event is a highlight of our year, and we love the timing of it. The World Cup boosts the motivation of our students and keeps them engaged in learning right to the end. We are thrilled to have won two years running and have set ourselves the goal of passing half a million points next year!

 

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“My students were so energetic and enthusiastic towards their learning for the duration of the World Cup.” (Teacher)

“This is awesome fun!” (Student)

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“It is fantastic to see the team spirit that comes from our classes competing against each other. There is a lot of friendly banter, and the students encourage each other to do better.” (Teacher)

“It was great to compete with students on other continents. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to see where we were placed as a class, school and country.” (Student)

 

Thank¬†you,¬†John XXIII Catholic Primary School,¬†for sharing your experience with us! We’re so happy that Skoolbo and the World Cup add so much value and fun for your teachers and students!

At Skoolbo, we always welcome people¬†to share their¬†Skoolbo experiences through photos, videos and thoughts. After all, it’s your feedback that keeps us relevant and motivated, so keep them coming!

Skoolbo World Cup 2016: Action-Packed Fun!

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Yes, it’s over – another high-speed, action-packed Skoolbo World Cup has just come to a close, and the winner is for two years in a row, our reigning champions, Team Australia! Well done, team! You did an awesome job to stretch out far ahead of your competition for most of the contest! By just¬†Day Two, you were way ahead of the race, so you can¬†be proud of yourselves!

 

The Final Count

 

Many¬†congratulations to the¬†Aussie schools¬†that made it possible. First, up, John XXIII Catholic Primary School, well done for topping the overall World Cup Leaderboard; you’ve really done Australia proud! Also contributing significantly to the winning¬†count were¬†St Clare’s Catholic Primary School,¬†St Michael‚Äôs College (Primary campus)¬†and¬†Penguin District School (Birth to 10).

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We at Skoolbo would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed, not just in Australia, but across the globe – you’ve really made our annual event a resounding success. This year, our participating schools collectively answered close to 10.5 million questions, with Teams Australia, USA and GB coming out on top! And Team NZ, you were just a whisker away from the Bronze, so you deserve a pat on your backs for such a brilliant performance!

Once again, thank you all for a fun-filled, challenging and nail-biting World Cup. Three cheers to all those who participated around the world! Hurrah!

See you again next year!

 

It’s the last day! Let’s win this!

This is it – the final day! Team Australia you’ve got this!

Since the first day, you have been awesome, you just need to keep going a little longer.

Team New Zealand, Team GB and Team USA will all be doing their best to overtake you so we can’t relax just yet.

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Keep playing!

#SkoolboWorldCup

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Or if you’re not registered, it’s not too late!

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It’s Day 3 and Team Australia dominate!

It’s the start of day three and the leader boards reveal that Team New Zealand, Team GB and Team USA are fighting a close battle but it is Team Australia who are seemingly impossible to topple! We rule!

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However,¬†we mustn’t take our eye off the prize¬†so come on Team Australia, let’s get ready to pull even further ahead!

We¬†are¬†getting close to¬†the¬†one million answer mark and now that Team¬†GB and Team¬†USA are sleeping we have a chance to cover some ground and get more¬†Australian schools into the top ten. Here’s how the leader boards looked earlier today –

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Our very own John XXIII Catholic Primary School and St Clare’s Primary School are looking comfortable at the top with St Michael’s School sneaking into fourth place. Team USA had a good day and have four schools in the top ten. Beverley Manor Elementary are continuing their good run as are Irma Dru Hutchinson Elementary and Melba Elementary School. Spring Creek Elementary are also up there flying the Stars and Stripes!

Don’t be fooled by Team New Zealand’s¬†temporary absence on the schools leader board. They are holding on to second place overall and have some dedicated classes determined to oust Team Australia and claim glory but we won’t let that happen will we?

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Go! Aussie Kids Go!

Follow the challenge – #SkoolboWorldCup

9Or register here –

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Day 2 is underway! Go! Aussie Kids Go!

By lunchtime yesterday, children from across the globe had collectively answered over one million questions! We thought that was pretty amazing until we took a look this morning…over three and a half million questions!

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This is an awesome achievement and everyone taking part has every reason to feel enormously proud. Of course it is made all the more special as every answer given represents another step a student has made towards mastering a new maths, literacy or language skill!

Whilst we are delighted with our collective performance, it is the accomplishment of individual territories that will determine the overall winner and Australia is ready for the challenge!

This is how the leader board looked yesterday –

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The amazing effort by St Clare’s Primary School on day one meant that they managed to hold on to the top spot despite a strong performance from Team GB’s Knockloughrim Primary School. Team New Zealand’s Greytown School and Papakura Normal School did well and secured prestigious places in the top ten as did Team USA’s Beverley Manor Elementary. The seemingly unbeatable Roseville Public School, St Michael’s School, John XXIII Catholic School and Yugumbir State School stayed in the top ten but it was ‘all change’ only hours later –

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John XXIII Catholic Primary School¬†pulled out all the stops to soar into a strong lead for Team Australia – incredible effort! And, what’s more, Team Australia passed the half million mark!

Team GB and Team USA have their work cut out – watch this space!

Go! Aussie Kids Go!

Just hit ‘PLAY’

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Or…

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3, 2, 1, Go! The World Cup Has Started!

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The wait is over, the 2016 Skoolbo World Cup has commenced!
Team Australia have made a flying start, although the time difference has given¬†you a few more playing hours (as it stands). But it’s only day¬†one and we have already surpassed the global one million answer mark! Fantastic!

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Australian schools have dominated the leader boards on the first day, although Team GB have nudged their way into the top ten. As it stands, St Clare’s Primary School are looking hard to beat but a concerted effort from Roseville Public School could topple them. The other two of the four top spots are being held by St Michael’s School and John XXIII Catholic Primary School. It’s all still to play for…

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Team Australia, you have made an awesome start, let’s aim to continue¬†the momentum tomorrow!

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Are you ready to take on the world? Play now or register free!

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