Digi-Eskwela Project helps raise achievement with Skoolbo!

The Digi-Eskwela Project in the Philippines

Few would disagree that the advent of new technology has the potential to dramatically change educational outcomes for all children. However, children who reside in economically disadvantaged households can still lack access to these vital tools. This is where Skoolbo can help and we are delighted to report on our involvement with a very successful digital learning project in the Philippines called Digi-Eskwela.

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We are very excited by the first set of results that have have come in from the project. The data shows excellent improvement across all areas.

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This data also shows very clearly how increased usage leads to increased improvement. The students from Bitano Elementary School began playing Skoolbo first and have therefore answered more questions resulting in the greatest improvement of the two schools so far.

Tiwala Kids & Communities and The Patatas set up the project with the aim of  increasing access to learning technologies for some of the Philippines most disadvantaged children. It was hoped that this would lead to increased student engagement and academic success. The Patatas donated the hardware needed for the project and Tiwala took responsibility for the implementation of Skoolbo in the chosen schools. The project ran initially from October 2014 to October 2015 and we understand that there is strong desire from everyone involved to extend the project due to its phenomenal success.

Digi-Eskwela involved children from the following school- based urban settings;

  • Legazpi Port Elementary School
  • Bitano Elementary School

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The schools recommended students most in need of assistance and Tiwala held tablet-based tutorials in the partner schools. Thirty students were accommodated in each class with three thirty-minute Skoolbo sessions per week per child.

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Of course everyone is delighted with the improvement in essential literacy, numeracy and language skills but these fantastic testimonials from parents, students, and teachers tell us more about the wider benefits of Skoolbo. They reveal increased student engagement in the classrooms and higher motivation to learn at school and at home. The children are really enjoying using both tablets and the Skoolbo platform, which is wonderful!

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“I get motivated in always attending Digi-Eskwela because my scores are getting higher and higher. I not only learn Math, Reading, English but also learn Spanish words.” John Carl, Grade 3, Bitano Elementary School

“I look forward to playing with Skoolbo and using the tablets during my tutorial slot. I enjoy the games and the different environment I get to play in. I love Math and also Spelling.” Danica Sevillano, Grade 4, Bitano Elementary School

“What I like about Skoolbo is I learn new words and also I need to do Math quickly. I also like the rewards I receive when I get perfect score. Also I get to compete with others in the class (duelbo).” Reasty Malangan, Grade 3, Bitano Elementary School

“I find Skoolbo enjoyable because I like the graphics and also the reward system. I also get motivated to continue playing because when I get high points, I earn ‘money’ I can use to ‘buy’ stuff. Also I always get highest scores in Math and Reading.” Mark James, Legazpi Port Elementary School

“I learn new words and I can solve Math problems quicker. I also like that I can race in different worlds, and also I enjoy duelbo and being a superhero when I get high scores.” Mabeth Gonzalez, Legazpi Port Elementary School

The enthusiasm from the children is fantastic and they were not the only ones who loved being involved with the project. The parents expressed gratitude that their children were chosen to be part of the class and reported that their children enjoy attending Digi-Eskwela and playing Skoolbo.

“My child always looks forward to attending Digi-Eskwela because she likes playing with the tablet. I don’t have to remind her about it. She goes to school early in order to attend the class and play tablet games. “ Marilyn Sepato, mother of Mary Joy Sepato

“Lyka comes to school early in the morning even if her class is still in the afternoon because she enjoys playing with the tablet. I am happy that she has a chance to have fun while learning. She is very focused and does not want to get interrupted while playing the games.” Richelda Jebulan, mother of Lyka Jebulan

“I am grateful that my child is enrolled in the class. We are poor so we cannot afford to buy a smartphone or tablet. But through this project, my daughter can play and use a tablet and learn.” Aileen Labanda, mother of Jobel Labanda

The classroom teachers attributed much of the increased classroom participation to being part of the project. The teachers believed that this is because children become increasingly confident as they answer more questions in the game.

“The conduct of Digi-Eskwela in Bitano Elementary School is a big help to the children enrolled in the said project. They show interest and willingness to develop their young minds. They have shown improvement in their Mathematics and English subjects. In behalf of our school, we thank you for choosing Bitano Elementary School as one of your Digi-Eskwela pilot program.” Ms. Teresita Barbante, Bitano Elementary School Teacher

“The pupils, especially the girls, have become more participative and excel more in written work activities. They are also active when asked to do board work exercises. I noticed that their vocabulary skills improved. The could easily understand what the teacher was trying to teach.“ Ms. Margie Boticario, Legazpi Port Elementary School Teacher

“Ylaiza Arnaldo has improved in her decoding skills in reading. I could sense that she’s becoming more confident. She actively participates in classroom activities.” Mrs Marino, Bitano Elementary School Teacher

“Heidi Joyce Esquivel has improved in her reading skills. She is now more eager to read aloud in class. She has also become more confident in participating in class discussions and in spelling words.” Mrs. Teresita Barbante, Bitano Elementary School Teacher

“Bea Yape has shown remarkable improvement. She solves Math problems in class easily and shows improved reading fluency. This quarter she received an achiever merit award for doing well in class.” Mrs. Liezel Marino, Bitano Elementary School Teacher

“Jowella has become very active in class discussions. She participates in doing board work in Math and in read-aloud sessions. Her accuracy in calculations and decoding words have significantly improved.” Mrs. Marino, Bitano Elementary School Teacher

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The organisers hope to extend the project to involve more children by increasing the number of tablets available. We look forward to writing an update on how the project is progressing in the near future.

Skoolbo Welcomes Erwin Huang

Skoolbo is delighted to have the valuable support of our new local partner Erwin Huang.

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Erwin is a well respected e-learning and social enterprise pioneer and graduate of Boston University. He also studied at Occidental College, MIT, Harvard Business School and Beijing’s TsingHua University.

Erwin started his prestigious career at Apple in the US and in 2009 he participated in a Hong Kong reality TV show where he was able to experience first hand, the impact that poverty was having on people. As part of the show he worked as a refuse collector earning HKD 50 a day in a densely populated residential area, consisting of several large public housing estates. This greatly influenced his subsequent career and today he is well known for his passion for promoting and extending the use of technology to improve people’s livelihoods, particularly in helping the elderly and the disadvantaged. His many notable achievements include –

  • Founding CEO for the ‘Bridge the Digital Gap’ social project “WebOrganic” in Hong Kong which provided low cost technology solutions to create a level playing field for over 300,000 disadvantaged families
  • Helping to found eLearning Consortium, a non-profit association of IT companies,  education content publishers, educators and parents brought together to work as a bridge between stakeholders of the Hong Kong Government’s eLearning initiative
  • Helping to found Senior Citizen Home Safety Association (SCHSA), a self-financing social enterprise and charitable organisation in Hong Kong that offers 24-hour personal care and emergency assistance services to the elderly and others in need through the use of technology and people-oriented services. The contribution of SCHSA has been recognised locally and worldwide.

We are very happy to announce that Erwin is now busy flying the Skoolbo flag in Hong Kong.

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Happy 15!

Recently Erwin introduced the ‘Happy 15’ project to a packed audience of students, parents and teachers. The project aims to alleviate inter-generational poverty problems and provide upward social mobility opportunities to underprivileged children. By improving children’s English language skills it is hoped that there will be an increased interest in learning, leading ultimately to greater academic achievement.

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The 15 minutes a day of fun, motivational learning on the Skoolbo platform is already having a positive impact on children’s enjoyment and engagement with learning.

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Although it’s still early days, results are looking very good with the participating schools regularly featuring in the top ten on the weekly live leaderboards

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This is absolutely fantastic! Keep checking back with us as we’ll be updating you on how the students from these five schools are getting on.

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The participating schools are

  • Father Cucchiara Memorial School
  • PLK Dr Jimmy Wong Chi-Ho (Tin Sum Valley) Primary School
  • Baptist Rainbow Primary School
  • Lam Tseun Public Wong Fook Luen Memorial School

Introducing ClassBo, the ultimate classroom motivator!

We have some great news for teachers! Skoolbo has just added a brand new feature that we know you’re simply going to love:
ClassBo is a fantastic way to accelerate the progress of your students. You set exciting challenges for your class and they have enormous fun while mastering essential maths and literacy skills. You can challenge your students to answer 5,000, 25,000 or 100,000 answers over a period of two days, two weeks or three months respectively.

 

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!”.

This short video provides a step-by step guide –

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 two tasks per topic for some extra practice . You can even set a ClassBo challenge over the holidays so your students can keep learning wherever they are.

You can keep parents informed of how well your class is doing by embedding 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! 

 

‘High five’ to Highfield School, now a SuperSchool!

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Answering one million questions on Skoolbo is an outstanding achievement and so we are delighted to welcome the students of Highfield School as our newest SuperSchool.

They join an elite group of 29 UK schools and only 153 schools worldwide!

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This kind of success doesn’t just happen and we know that reaching this level requires great determination and self-belief on behalf of the students. We’re sure that they have also had wonderful enabling support from some pretty fantastic parents, carers and teachers.

The school motto is ‘Believe we can achieve‘ and it is clear that these fabulous students apply this to everything they do as these terrific photographs and quotes demonstrate.

“It’s absolutely fantastic for learning English and Maths. I love becoming a superhero.” Emily Bate – 10MW

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“Skoolbo is great and I have just got my 34,000 answer certificate. I have such a good score because I like to do it at home.” Hannah Edwards – 11SN

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“It’s really fun.” Charlie Clark – 9SC

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What a great way to display those well deserved Skoolbo certificates!

Of course learning can only happen in this way if there are wonderful teaching and support staff providing the opportunities. Therefore we are always thrilled to hear from the adults too –

“Skoolbo has been a huge success at Highfield School. Our students have been able to overcome barriers to learning and demonstrate progress that they otherwise would have struggled to show. It has been incredibly effective in engaging our students in their numeracy and literacy learning and lots of our students play and learn at home. My students loved the fact I put in my own avatar so they could compete against me within the game and they took great pleasure in informing me when they had beaten me.” Michael Warren – Head of ICT

It sounds as though the students really enjoy meeting Mr Warren’s avatar in the game!

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“Parents have commented on how enjoyable the students find Skoolbo and how nice it is that they are so keen and enthused in learning outside of school.” Sarah Skidmore – Year 7 Form Tutor

“It has been really encouraging to observe the levels of engagement in learning through Skoolbo in our school. Students are proud of their achievements, speak enthusiastically about the challenges and there is healthy competition between class groups to be top of the leader board!” Pat Marshall – Headteacher

It is marvellous that the whole Highfield School community; teachers, students, parents and carers enjoy working together to promote and celebrate learning in this way. It’s little wonder they are so successful.

Congratulations Highfield School and thank you for getting in touch.

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The Governors, Staff and Students at Highfield School share the vision to develop an outstanding school to cater for those vulnerable young people with special educational needs who require an environment which nurtures and develops their skills and talents, celebrates their individuality and supports them to become as independent as they can be and prepared for the next stage of their lives.