Mind the Gap Campaign

Skoolbo UK is proud to support the Mind the Gap campaign launched by the eLearning Foundation and Quibly.

Speaking the language of the digital world is essential for the 21st century learner.

Mind the Gap Campaign is trying to bridge the gap between the people that do and don’t have connectivity. Getting children online is critical to equip them for adulthood.

Valerie Thompson, Chief Executive of e-Learning Foundation

Holly Seddon, Editor & Chief at Quibly, talks about the necessity of children having access to internet both at home and in school. Being online allows them access to worldwide resources, quality learning experiences as well as having fun. They will grow up in a future where technological literacy will be expected and they need to be prepared for that.

Holly Seddon, Editor & Chief at Quibly

Leaders in Education Technology

Simon Pridham, Director at Aspire 2Be, is the former Executive Head at Casllwchwr Primary School, which received the Third Millennium Learning Award and was highly commended for the UK Impact Award at NAACE National Conference in 2012. Simon is a member of the Welsh Government Practitioners Panel, National Digital Learning Council and the WG ICT Steering Group. Simon was the Manager of the LIFE programme in Swansea.

Simon Pridham shares his vision that education should mirror society. Technology has transformed the way we live and educationalists need to embrace this change.Teachers need to prepare for 21st century learners, integrating literacy and numeracy in interactive software.

Simon Pridham, Director at Aspire 2Be
 

Valerie Thompson, CEO at eLearning Foundation, talks about the importance of children having access to technology and more specificity to great content, that will engage them with learning both at school and at home.

Valerie Thompson, CEO at eLearning Foundation
 

Martin Bailey, Director of Animate 2 Educate talks about how inspiring children using a range of apps can bring the curriculum to life. Using technology to maximise teaching can provide children with a transformational learning experience.

Martin Bailey, Director of Animate 2 Educate
 

Chana Kanzen, UK Curriculum Writer at Jewish Interactive talks of the benefits of digital learning technology and its ability to enhance and individualise learning, make it fun and bring it into the 21st century.

Chana Kanzen UK Curriculum Writer at Jewish Interactive
 

 

Educational App Store’s review on Skoolbo

EAS independent review on Skoolbo Core Skills

“Where do we start? This app has over 50,000 questions to get through on the subjects of literacy and numeracy. The sheer number of possibilities for learning and playing means that you will be using this app for months and months (at least!). When you consider that this gem of an app is free, well- best not to bother reading on… what are you waiting for to download this app!?

This app is a multi-topics app that combines numeracy and literacy for children between the ages of 4 and 10. One of the great things about this app is that you can work through the levels and progress with your learning as you work your way through the different activities within the content. Furthermore, the app is algorithm based so that it adapts to the child’s level regardless of their age. As the learner works through the app, the algorithm is constantly re-assessing and adapting to his/her needs so the app delivers and ideal mix of new content, not yet mastered content and revision content. Furthermore, teachers also have the ability to customise the program and set specific curricula for their pupils.

From a learning outcomes and curriculum perspective, the app covers all the main concepts from key stages 1 to 2. On the literacy side kids will learn how phonics and phonemes as well as learning further sound integrations, blending, listening to words that are very similar and then choosing the right word spelling, vocabulary, spellings and basic grammar in the form of nouns, verbs, adjectives and then making sure that sentences are grammatically correct. All of the subjects within the app act as the foundation for all key stage 3 learning in the UK. Teachers will be able to use this app to support their lessons in a very consistent manner as the exercises are like a work book with a little magic added (more on this later!).

On the numbers side, kids will go through basic arithmetic (speed is taken into account), multiplication (up to 12) and division are also included. We really liked the fact that the questions are phrased in different ways so that sometimes you are being asked to divide something and sometimes you are asked to problem solve and figure out for yourself that you have to divide. In addition to these topics, at a higher KS2 level (or for whenever your kids reach this level) the app introduces the topics of percentages, time mentals, fractions, powers, prime numbers and decimal multiplication.

So, what of the “magic” that we mentioned earlier..? Well, it is in the graphics and layout of the questions! Your kids will think of this app more like a video game rather than an app that becomes a chore because they have to “learn”. Real kudos has to go to the design team of this app as you enter fantastical 3D worlds. You can choose (and dress up your character) so that he/she matches you or an imaginary person. Your character plays other characters that are chosen at random from within the app and you have to beat them in a race. The more questions that you answer correctly, the further your character runs! In some games your character is running against others, in other games your character drives a space ship.

Furthermore, the more games that the child plays, the more badges that he/she earns. These translate into points and prizes which really bring out the competitive spirit in the learner and make him/her interested in playing (learning) more.

One of the great things about this app is that parents and teachers can go into the “back-end” of the app and see (and receive) detailed reports on how the kids are getting on. This section details how long they take to complete the assignments as well as how proficient they are becoming in each topic. This is fabulous so that when the time comes to return to the classroom, teachers can reinforce those topics and then get the kids to return to the app in order to consolidate learnings.

Overall, this is a great app and we hope that you get a lot out of it too.”

To read the full review and find out more about Educational App Store please click here.

DENISE LEWIS – Skoolbo Ambassador

A big Skoolbo welcome to Denise Lewis as a Skoolbo Ambassador!

Denise Lewis OBE is a retired British athlete, who specialised in the heptathlon. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She was honoured as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours. Since retiring from athletics she has undertaken various television and media work, and is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television, including during London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Skoolbo Ambassador – Denise Lewis OBE talks about Skoolbo

She was educated at The Regis School in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, later to become The King’s School (Church of England). A £1 million Sports Hall was later built there and named in her honour.

ADRIAN TURNER – Skoolbo Ambassador

Adrian Turner is a former Olympic swimmer who was five-times British Champion, double British Record Holder, semi-finalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics and a silver and bronze medallist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Adrian is now director of Total Swimming Ltd which has revolutionised the delivery of swimming lessons in the UK. In a country which has a serious problem with an increasing population and a decreasing number of state-funded swimming pools, research in 2013 by the national governing body revealed the shocking statistic that for the first time in recorded history the majority of primary school children in England now do not know how to swim. Adrian’s company tackled this problem by taking temporary swimming pools to children in deprived areas and building it inside their very own sports hall or in their playground. His company has now taught over 40,000 children to swim in this way. As Adrian says “These exclusive pools used to be only for spoiled Olympians like me! Now they are for the poorest youngsters in the country to be given a chance to learn to swim.”


Adrian Turner talks about Skoolbo
 

Adrian has a degree in psychology from the University of Manchester and learned Italian at night-school as a distraction to training for the Olympics. After retiring from swimming he attended the Universita` per Stranieri di Perugia in Italy, where he studied a post-graduate course in the history of Italian theatre from 2004-2005. Following this he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, completing a Masters in Text and Performance from 2005-2006.

As well as various theatre, film and commercial roles in 2010 he joined the cast of BBC drama The Cut in a recurring role as Coach Reynolds. Since then he has played Championship footballer Danny Deans in the BAFTA nominated video-game I Am Playr which was nominated for a BAFTA in 2012 and won the Cannes Leone D’Or Award the same year.He is as passionate about children learning to read as he is about them learning to swim “The chance to work on Skoolbo felt just right. I’ve always been a book-worm and throughout my life I’ve been at my most content when studying. In fact throughout my swimming career I definitely gained from the capacity of education to provide a counterbalance to the intensity of an elite sporting life.” He continues “I think it is as much a human right that someone teaches you to read as teaches you to swim. But in both cases by far the best way to achieve this is by making it fun. If it’s fun the learning experience – whether in the pool or in class – is practically guaranteed.”

Originally from Manchester, Adrian now lives in west London with his partner Abigail and their two young children.