Skoolbo Powerhouse Beverley Manor Recognized by Local News Station

The students of Beverley Manor Elementary School in Staunton, VA, have been on our radar ever since the very first Skoolbo World Cup held in December 2014. They blasted onto the scene by placing 3rd overall in that inaugural competition, and have been a force to be reckoned with on the Skoolbo Leaderboards ever since.

A big thumbs up from students at Beverley Manor Elementary School!

This past month, the students once again came in 1st for Team USA in the international competition, with a 2nd place overall finish! We are so proud of the massive, school-wide effort put forth by the students, teachers, and principal, and we are so delighted to see their accomplishment recognized by their local media outlet WHSV Channel 3.

Check out this video clip from the interview!

According to the principal, here is the secret to their success:

“I think it’s our staff being so excited about it, and building the kids’ enthusiasm, and giving them an opportunity to feel success with something like that. Then that just builds upon itself.”

-Principal Miranda Ball

Click here to read the entire article.

We have to agree that Beverley Manor’s consistently high performances and presence on the leaderboards speak to the wonderful leadership at the school.  The coordinated efforts and enthusiasm at Beverley Manor Elementary can serve as an inspiration and blueprint to other schools just getting started with Skoolbo.

We look forward to seeing what wonderful things BMES can achieve in 2017!

Skoolbo Awarded the Coveted TWA Certification

Teachers-with-apps

Skoolbo is proud and honored to announce that we have received the prestigious TWA Certification! According to the Teachers with Apps website, this special Certification Program was designed to recognize and applaud apps and connected tools that are exemplary in educational content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience. We had the great opportunity to chat with Jayne Clare, CEO and Co-Founder of TWA, and this is what she has to say about Skoolbo:

Skoolbo is an all-encompassing educational tool for students, teachers, and parents covering basic reading and numeracy skills through student-driven gameplay. Teachers With Apps highly recommends this outstanding program for its ease of use, quality content, and engaging nature! A rare find.

Thank you, Jayne, for the kind words! With TWA’s seal of approval, we’re sure that we will now be able to reach even more students in the USA and fulfill our dream of every child learning to read and gaining confidence with numbers.  

We also want to take this moment to thank all of our teachers, parents, and children who play a key role in making Skoolbo the game that it is today! We know that you have unlimited choices when it comes to educational programs for your children, so the fact that you chose Skoolbo over all of the other apps means a lot to us. It is the motivation that keeps us going everyday. We appreciate you!

Are you new to Skoolbo and would like to learn more about the game? Click here to find out more information.

Could reading for pleasure be a game-changer?

Reading for pleasure (3)

It is widely accepted that learning to read is an essential life skill, even if there is not total agreement about how this skill should be taught. Once acquired, reading is used everyday but it seems that fewer and fewer people are choosing to read in their leisure time. This decline is not restricted to adults who arguably have less leisure time at their disposal. Children are also choosing to read for pleasure less often.

But is this important? If children have the ‘basics,’ does it matter what they do outside of school? How can immersing yourself in a good book be beneficial, especially in a day and age where ‘reading for pleasure’ feels like a thing of the past?

There is a growing body of educational research evidence that links a number of benefits of children reading for pleasure. The key findings include:

  • Reading for pleasure is important for both educational purposes as well as personal development and it has positive emotional and social consequences;
  • There is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment;
  • There is a positive relationship between reading for pleasure and attainment in a wide range of educational areas, including math;
  • Reading enjoyment may be more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status.

This last point is of particular interest because despite increased focus and, in many cases, increased funding, a child’s socio-economic background stubbornly remains the single biggest indicator of a child’s future educational outcomes. What if developing a love of reading holds the key to levelling the playing field for so many children?

The research also examined children’s perceptions of readers. It concluded that elementary-aged readers and non-readers believed that their friends saw people who read as happy and as people with a lot of friends.

It seems that the argument in favor of reading for pleasure has been won — so how can we encourage children to choose to read in their own time? One of the reasons cited for children avoiding books is a lack of reading confidence; thus, removing some of these early barriers becomes essential. Introducing children to picture books with simple vocabulary is a great start.

We know that once children can read a wide range of common words by sight, they are more likely to go on to become confident, fluent readers. These common words are those that children typically recognize within approximately 3 seconds. Amazingly, 50 percent of our written material is made up of these 100 high-frequency words and this is where game-based learning can help. Games like Skoolbo enable children to learn these words effortlessly and in a hugely enjoyable way. Children love games and are fascinated by new technology. Teaching these early reading and spelling skills in an exciting interactive learning environment allows children to get more from their reading. This builds confidence, freeing them to tackle more challenging words and focus more on the story or poem’s meaning which, in turn, leads to increased enjoyment.

Confidence, however, can be fragile and fleeting if we are not careful. Children love sharing books with friends and trusted adults and they are often very happy to read aloud when they are very young. Reading silently or ‘in their head’ is a skill that develops much later, but reading to an adult in a formal school setting can be daunting for some children. It introduces an element of judgement and can result in a drop in confidence. Innovations in educational technology can help children develop as readers independently and free of judgement until they are ready.

Zippy Shine is one such innovation which allows children to practice and record their reading independently. In this reading and performance app, children can choose from a range of exciting adventures with familiar characters or they can try their hand at telling a joke, re-recording as many times as they like until they are happy with their performance. As they listen back to their own reading, they instinctively self-assess, recognizing where previously un-noticed punctuation may have indicated a pause or change of intonation. They begin to have an awareness of audience and develop their performance accordingly. Children remain in control of their own reading development and only share their performance when they feel they are ready. Teachers will soon be able to receive recorded performances via their online teacher dashboard, providing opportunities for encouragement and informing planning for the next guided session. Similarly, parents will soon be able to listen to the recordings in their parent dashboard, which will give them the opportunity to work directly with their child on their reading skills. It can also be a great source of pride and enjoyment for both parent and child.

Technology may not be able to replace that special time curled up in your favorite place with a slightly shabby, much-loved paperback but it can go a long way to help our children develop the needed skills to get there!

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

codie footer for LP 2

It’s Day 3 – Can Team USA pass the half million?

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!

1

However, here at Skoolbo, we firmly believe that anything is possible so come on Team USA, let’s get ready to take on the Aussies!

We are so close to the half million answer mark and now that Team Australia and Team New Zealand are sleeping we have a chance to cover some ground and get more US schools into the top ten. Here’s how the leader boards looked this morning –

school

Australia’s 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 -

class

Go! US Kids Go!

Follow the challenge – #SkoolboWorldCup

7

Or register here –

button-register

 

Day 2 is underway! Go! US 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!

Day 2

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 the USA is ready for the challenge!

This is how the leader board looked yesterday –

Leaderboard 1

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 -

Leaderboard 2

Irma Dru Hutchinson Elementary pulled out all the stops to also edge their way into the top ten for Team USA - incredible effort! Can Team USA lift themselves off the bottom? We think we can!

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

Go! US Kids Go!

Just hit ‘PLAY’

7

Or…

button-register

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

gif 4

The wait is over, the 2016 Skoolbo World Cup has commenced!
Team Australia and Team New Zealand have made a flying start, although the time difference has given them 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!

Day 1

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. This has all been happening while Team USA sleep so make sure you eat a good breakfast. it’s your turn now!

Leaderboard

Team USA, let’s make an awesome start!

7

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

button-register

Skoolbo partners with major Chinese educational player

Skoolbo partners with Century Innovative Technology, a major Chinese educational player, to deliver award winning learning platforms to millions of children.

Skoolbo will be working with Century Innovative Technology Limited (CIT) to launch co-branded products in China.

Skoolbo_CTI

Shane Hill, CEO and Founder Skoolbo and Poman Lo CEO and Founder CIT.

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

 

Since the Skoolbo launch in 2013, Skoolbo has been a runaway success that reaches over 200,000 classrooms, worldwide. Skoolbo has localized versions in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, India, Mexico and was recently launched in Canada.

 

Shane Hill, Founder and CEO of Skoolbo: “Our mission is to transform the educational outcomes of millions of children across the globe and with 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 goal. The partnership brings together the complementary strengths of both companies – CIT has the number one rated TV show in China for children 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, ­ founder and CEO of CIT:  “I couldn’t be happier with a partnership with CITL_1Skoolbo. I have huge respect for Shane and his team who have shown they are world leaders in education. CIT and our award-winning brand ‘Bodhi and friends’ will be integrated into Skoolbo products and rolled out in China and other territories. CIT will drive distribution in China and leverage our extensive network and channels. I look forward to our introduction of an amazing digital experience for Chinese Kindergartens.  We shall 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 is to inspire young minds and nurture innovative leaders across the world and we have just taken a big step forward”.

 

 Skoolbo Logo-PNGRoxanne Mankin Cason, President of Skoolbo USA: “It’s been a very successful few weeks – we signed our partnership with CIT, we won the CODiE Award, the equivalent of the educational Oscars in America, for Best Game Based Solution.   In addition, we are excited to share the fantastic news that for the last two months in the United States, we have seen over thirteen thousand new schools onboard Skoolbo. We expect similar success in Canada where we launched last week with a localized version. This is what Skoolbo is all about – motivation of children, have fun and experience dramatic improvement in learning”.

 

Skoolbo Holiday Fun Challenge | Make the Break Count!

Holiday Fun Challenge

The holiday break is coming and teachers, parents and kids around the world are gearing up for the festive season. I don’t know about you, but we here at Skoolbo love this time of year and get really excited every time it comes around! This year, we’ve decided to make the holidays even better by introducing the Skoolbo Holiday Fun Challenge for your classroom! The game is really easy to pick up and teachers can encourage students to play it as a way of promoting continuous learning of literacy, numeracy and languages over the holidays.

The idea of the game is to give students a 7-day window in which to navigate a step-based board game through playing Skoolbo. Once you’re back in the classroom, students can all compare answers and see how they each approached the game.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Give each student a copy of the board game and get them ready to start on a Sunday, which is when the Skoolbo weekly leaderboards begin. The game must be completed within 7 days of starting it.
  2. Start at “Day 1” on the far left of the board and follow the instructions to complete the task.
  3. Complete the task assigned to each day and follow the blue arrows through to the next day.
  4. Once your class has started, make sure students check the in-game “class leaderboard” to see how they are doing against their classmates and also the rest of the world.
  5. After you’ve returned from the holidays, review the results of each student across all the leaderboards (if students had a picture of his/her characters in supersuits then even better, but not essential!)

You can download a printout copy below:

GAmeboard EDM button (2)

 

 

A massive shout out must go to Lori Martin, a teacher at South Pekin Elementary in Illinois, who originally came up with the idea of a Skoolbo board game and whose creation served as the inspiration for our own game. If you’d like to know more about Mrs. Martin, she received a fantastic write-up in the Pekin Times which you can read by clicking here.

This is a wonderful way of keeping minds active by using a fun, new way to play Skoolbo, so check it out and don’t forget to let us know how it goes!

If you have an interesting way you use Skoolbo in class, email us so we can promote your awesome idea!

 

2015 Skoolbo World Cup Recap – What a Week!

WC Header

The 2015 Skoolbo World Cup is all over and Team Australia have brought home the trophy, beating off stiff competition from the rest of the world after a fantastic week of action-packed fun! So much great stuff happened during this world cup and we at Skoolbo would like to thank everyone for making it such a resounding success. This year, you’ve answered a combined total of 19,026,100 literacy, numeracy and language questions, with Teams Australia, USA and GB all comfortably joining the million club! Team NZ were only a whisker away from the magic million and should be over the moon with your brilliant performance! Let’s take a look at how the action went down as the world cup raged on:

Final Leaderboard

Team GB Trend Setters

Team GB came out of the blocks at a blistering pace and finished the first day on top of the overall leaderboards. They were closely followed by the rest of the world and this really did set the competitive mood for the 2015 Skoolbo World Cup. We knew you were all up for it!

Lucky Number 7

Day two passed and Team Australia struck back for the rest of the world, leapfrogging Team GB into top spot! Team USA and Team NZ were racking up some unbelievable scores and really heaping the pressure on. We were positively peachy when we saw that you guys had taken down over 7 million questions within the first 2 days. Crazy! The schools leaderboard started to take shape, too, with Meadowbrook Primary School of Team GB grabbing a lead they were never ready to give up!

Whirlwind Weekend

The action hit boiling point when world cup fever took hold of the weekend. Nearly 12 million questions were lined up and knocked down by Skoolbo superstars around the world! Team GB took back the lead from Team Australia and tried to get some distance from Team NZ and Team USA, who would just not let them get away. King-Chavez Athletics Academy were starting to make tracks for Team USA in the schools leaderboard, with Bayswater from Team NZ cranking up the pressure!

Battles for the Ages

It was getting close to the end of the world cup and epic battles were happening all across the leaderboards. Team Australia and Team GB were enjoying a titanic struggle on the overall leaderboard, followed by long-time leaders Meadowbrook frantically holding off a late surge from Beverley Manor Elementary of Team USA on the schools leaderboard. Bayswater and King-Chavez Athletics Academy were trading blows and places on the classes leaderboard, with 3 Aussie students doing their best to hold off 3 Team GB students on the students leaderboard!

The Home Straight

Over 18 million questions in and both Team GB and Team Australia joined the million club, with Team USA soon to follow and Team NZ putting in some wonderful work. A very even mix of countries could be seen across the schools leaderboard, with Meadowbrook refusing to let go of that top spot! Bayswater managed to create some distance at the top of the classes leaderboard, knowing a very capable and spirited bunch could overtake them at any time. The students leaderboard was as unpredictable as it was exciting, with John XXIII Catholic Primary School just about holding onto top spot ahead of some incredibly high-scoring competitors!

Final Whistle

They think it’s all over, it is now! A tense final day saw our overall winners, Team Australia, come good when it mattered most. On the schools leaderboard John XXIII Catholic Primary School snatched victory at the last second from long-time leaders, Meadowbrook, while Class 5 at Bayswater did Team NZ proud by taking home gold on the classes leaderboard. The students leaderboard finished with a flourish and top spot went to Team Australia via the student in Class 6 White at John XXIII Catholic Primary School, after an heroic fight to the end with a fellow Aussie student in Class 5W at St. Clare’s Primary School.

What a world cup it’s been and thank you to every that took part and made it so special. We can’t wait for next year and we hope you all feel the same!

And the Winner Is…

Final Leaderboard

The 2015 Skoolbo World Cup has come to an end and a huge congratulations to Team Australia, our new Skoolbo world champions! Over the course of the world cup, kids around the globe answered a staggering 19,026,100 questions. A massive THANK YOU to everyone that took part, we’re already super excited for the 2016 event and can’t wait for it to come around!

We’ll have more on the overall results soon, so stay tuned…