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’s 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’s 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’t 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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Educational resources to enrich learning experiences!

The Learnathon is well and truly underway! Children from around the world are taking on the challenge of answering 1,000 literacy, maths and language questions, which is resulting in fantastic improvement in essential foundational skills. These superstars of learning are being encouraged by family and friends who are pledging their support in their thousands! And remember, 100% of funds raised goes directly to the participant’s teacher in the form of credit to spend in the new educational resource shop.

We thought it was now time to give you a little taster of some of the fabulous classroom resources that will shortly be available for teachers to spend their Learnathon credit on. We are working with a number of top educational companies to bring you resources that aim to both enrich the learning experience of students and save valuable planning time.

Ensuring that children develop higher order reading skills, and really get the most from their guided reading sessions, can mean long hours spent on planning. Now that task is easier with these incredible ready-made reading resources from children’s newspaper publisher, First News.

The team of educators and journalists at First News have created a brilliant range of focused, levelled tasks based on real global news stories. Like authors, journalists play with language, so news ‘stories’ are rich nuggets of text to investigate. Children will need to use the higher level skills of inference and deduction to understand in depth what is being reported.

News reports are unique non-fiction texts that naturally engage students, helping them to develop their knowledge and understanding of the wider world. The reports are ideal for short, focused comprehension or discussion activities. They provide children with the opportunity to find fascinating facts and to recognise and appreciate the opinions and viewpoints of others.

First News has been producing their original children’s newspaper for over ten years. From reluctant readers to high achievers, First News leads to deeper thinking, stronger classroom debate and real improvement in literacy skills.

Where every student thinks like a scientist

The team behind the discovery of the wreck of RMS Titanic are on a new mission – to inspire and educate students everywhere through real science and exploration.

JASON Learning provides curriculum and learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) and high-quality professional development for teachers.

JASON Learning’s award-winning curricula places students in challenging, real-world situations where they are connected with and mentored by leading STEM professionals. The organisation has developed the only major science curriculum built around real-world phenomenon and guided by practising scientists and there are some pretty exciting resources to help teachers excite their students and deepen understanding. And there is a wide range of topics to choose from. We’ve given you just a little taster below –

Not on board yet?

Don’t worry, it’s not too late to join the Learnathon and it’s completely free to take part.

If you have already have a Skoolbo account, simply sign in to your teacher dashboard to print your letter to parents then get your students playing. It’s that simple!

If you don’t yet have an account, then register for free here. It only takes a moment!

Calling all parents – pledge your support!

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We are always looking for new and exciting ways to motivate and reward great learning, and now you can too with Learnathon!

Did you know that 94% of children master a new skill after only 20 minutes on Skoolbo? During the Learnathon your child will be challenged to answer 1,000 maths, literacy and language questions, providing the opportunity for securing many of those essential foundational skills. And now you can provide some vital additional motivation by pledging your support.

Every cent you pledge will be converted to credit for your child’s teacher to spend on amazing resources in our new educational resource shop. This means that not only will your child receive recognition from you for their efforts and achievements, you will also be making a direct positive contribution to the learning resources available to them.

There’s a little extra motivation for players too! The Skoolbo team have created some exciting digital rewards that students can earn during the Learnathon. For example, answering 1,000 questions will be rewarded with a fabulous hypersonic jet!

How do I pledge my support?

Your child has their own dedicated fundraising page which shows how many questions they have answered so far and the amount they have raised through their efforts. All donations are handled safely via Skoolbo, so it couldn’t be simpler!

If you have been sent a letter by your child’s school then it contains the link to your child’s fundraising page. The letter is also available to you on the homepage of your parent dashboard.

Don’t have a parent account?

Then sign up for one today! It’s completely free and only takes a moment to set up. You’ll just need your child’s username and password.

Spread the word! Why not invite family and friends to pledge their support too! Remember 100% of funds raised will go to your child’s teacher.

Let the Learnathon commence!

Learnathon is here!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Skoolbo Learnathon – an innovative and exciting way to improve educational outcomes for learners while, at the same time, raising extra funds for their classroom!

Students are challenged to answer 1,000 reading and maths questions. Family and friends can pledge their support and 100% of funds raised go towards teaching resources. There is no administration for teachers involved and all donations are handled safely via Skoolbo – it could not be simpler!

All funds raised will be given to participating children’s teachers as credit in the new Skoolbo shop. Just take a look at some of the outstanding providers we have teamed up with!

And we have added a little extra motivation for players too! The Skoolbo team have created some exciting digital rewards that students can earn during the Learnathon. For example, answering I,000 questions will be rewarded with a fabulous hypersonic jet!

Sign in to your Parent or Teacher dashboard and see what it’s all about!

Or register for free!

Great learning deserves great rewards!

 

 

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 – 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 – 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’s 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 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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