Become a Skoolbo SuperSchool!

SuperSchool

Has your school got what it takes to be a Skoolbo SuperSchool?  Could your students achieve one million answers on Skoolbo?

248 schools have done just that and made it into the Million Club Hall of Fame. With over 50,000 schools playing Skoolbo worldwide, there’s no doubt that this is an elite club but also one that comes with exclusive member benefits. Our SuperSchools show an average improvement of 34% in literacy and maths skills, proving that the more children play, the more they learn!

Every question answered on Skoolbo represents a challenge, a chance to make mistakes, learn and improve, with a healthy dose of fun thrown in! Just think what rewards a million answers could bring your students…

  • One million learning opportunities
  • One million challenges overcome
  • One million smiles

 

 

You’ll need everyone on board but this is learning that can happen at home as well as school. Every answer counts, wherever and however your students access Skoolbo.

Answers ONE MILLION questons

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Could reading for pleasure be a game-changer?

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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 maths
  • 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 as despite increased focus, and in many cases 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 a greater percentage of primary than secondary aged children view themselves as ‘a reader’ and a greater proportion of primary aged readers (than secondary aged) and non-readers believed that their friends saw readers as happy and people with a lot of friends.

It seems that the argument in favour of reading for pleasure has been won and 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 so 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 recognise within approximately three seconds. Amazingly, fifty percent of our written material is made up of one hundred of these most frequently used words and this is where game-based learning can help. Games like Skoolbo enable children to learn these words effortlessly and in 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 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 when very young they are often very happy to read aloud. 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 practise 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, recognising where previously unnoticed 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, involving them in their child’s learning. 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 favourite place with a well-thumbed, slightly shabby, much-loved paperback but it can go a long way to helping us develop the skills necessary to get there!

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

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10 million answers!

Congratulations to all9,000,000 total answers

What an amazing few days we have had! Children from around the world took to Skoolbo in their thousands in a bid to secure victory for their country. Sadly, there could only be one winner and for the second year in a row the winner was…

Team Australia!

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Children from across Australia collectively answered a staggering 938,658 maths and literacy questions! They were so close to achieving one million answers during the four days of the competition. On behalf of Team GB we’d like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to you all! Second place went to Team USA, with Team GB and Team New Zealand making up third and fourth places respectively.

Of course everyone who took part gained from the experience. We’ve heard wonderful stories from teachers about children encouarging and supporting each other during the challenge. Children clearly enjoyed learning about team spirit, camaraderie and aiming high, all while improving their literacy and maths skills. There were also valuable lessons about world time zones, with UK children quick to pick up when Australia and New Zealand were sleeping so they could try to catch up.

We’ve enjoyed some wonderful images of children engrossed in their learning. Bells Farm Primary School were active on Twitter, rallying support during the challenge.

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Cronton CE Primary also shared some wonderful photographs. We love the festive hats!

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And here are the children from Year 5 in St John Primary School Coleraine celebrating a very special Super class award during the challenge. Congratulations!

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Thank you to everyone who took part and played for Team GB during the 2016 Skoolbo World Cup, whether it was just for a day or for the whole challenge. Every answer counted towards our pretty spectacular total of 720,454 answers!

Let’s take a look at the final leader boards. Congratulations to Harris Primary Academy Coleraine Park, Leigh Church of England Primary School and Knockloughrim Primary School!

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We didn’t manage to get the Union flag on to the top ten of the class or pupil boards on the final day. Australia,in particular, were just too strong!

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We hope you all enjoyed participating the challenge as much as we enjoyed watching it unfold.

Bring on 2017!

The final day is here!

This is it – the final day!

Team Australia had a magnificent final day and will be tough to beat but come on let’s give it our best effort!

Team USA will also be the ones to beat, as don’t forget the time difference means that they’ll still have plenty of playing time long after we’ve gone to sleep! We need to get our score as high as possible to stop them sneaking past us!

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We know that Team GB is made up of lots and lots of hard working children and so we’d like you to meet three lovely students from  Thorndown Primary School’s Chameleon Class. They’ve been helping Team GB in the Skoolbo World Cup, in fact they are on Skoolbo all year round.

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We were recently contacted by their teacher Mrs Burke who wanted to let us know that their Skoolbo Super Champ trophy was looking a little deflated.

“At Thorndown Primary we have a weekly competition to see which class has scored the most Skoolbo points. The winner receives the inflatable trophy. My Year 1 Chameleon class has worked very hard and won the trophy! The children were thrilled. They kept touching the trophy and holding it up like champions. After the week the trophy looked a bit deflated, so we pumped it up and took it back to assembly. The next week we won again. More holding of the trophy ensued and by the end of the week the trophy needed lots of blowing up. Following even more hard work Chameleon class won the third week in a row. In assembly the head teacher asked what had happened to the now totally deflated trophy and my only reply was that ‘we loved it too much’.” Claire Burke

We’re glad you’re on our team!

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Here are the rankings as we go into the last day –

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Let’s get a few more Union flags on those leader boards!

Join in for the final push!

Follow the challenge #SkoolboWorldCup

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Or register now!

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Day 3 and Team GB make the half million mark!

It’s the start of day three here in the UK 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!

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

We have passed 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 UK schools into the top ten. Here’s how the leader boards looked this morning –

schoolAustralia’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!

Team GB have Harris Primary Academy Coleraine Park in seventh position. These students are experienced challengers, having been absolute stars in The London vs NYC challenge last year.

Northern Ireland’s Knockloughrim Primary School are only just behind them in eighth place. These marvellous students have answered over 66,000 questions so far and show no sign of slowing down! They took these wonderful photographs of students participating in the challenge. What an inspiration, keep it up guys!

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Comp 2

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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 –

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Go! GB Kids Go!

Follow the challenge – #SkoolboWorldCup

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Or register here –

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Day 2 is underway! Go! GB 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 our little island is ready for the challenge!

Scotland’s Kirknewton Primary School have rolled up their sleeves and are getting down to some serious maths and literacy learning with the added motivation of playing for Team GB!

Kirknewton

We’re really glad to have them on board and making a valuable contribution to Team GB’s score.

We asked Principal Teacher and Skoolbo advocate, Ms Anderson to give us the low-down on why students from Kirknewton are enjoying their learning so much. They are so taken with their Skoolbo avatars, they wanted them shown here!

“Fun For Friends and Family!” Heather

“I think Skoolbo is a great website because it lets you compete around the world!” LukeCameron

“I think skoolbo is great for children because it encourages children to enhance their learning in a fun way. You also get certificates for every 1000 answers you get right. You can add friends but you need to be sitting next to them to do it because you need to put in the other persons code but it only comes up on the other persons screen.” Cameron

“It helps you with all your subjects. This is one good game for adults and one great game for kids! Skoolbo is really good for learning and it is fun. It also helps if you are a little bit competitive because there is a leaderboard for your class, school, region, every school, every class and the whole world! We got to the top of the leaderboard, see if you can climb to the top!” Mia

“It is a good game to challenge yourself and is helping your maths.” Rhiannon

“This is a good app for everyone: Adults, Children, Teachers and it’s fun for toddlers. Fun for friends and Family!” Taylor

Kyle

“I think that Skoolbo is a very fun game to do your maths and languages and we have been first in the leaderboard 1 time it is the best game ever! “ Kyle

“I think Skoolbo is great as it helps you learn and also has lots of variety of games. You can do maths, literacy and languages. Our class were first on the leader board.” Leela

“Skoolbo is an amazing experience as it helps you learn and makes your skills better. Skoolbo is one fun game for adults and one amazing experience for kids Owen

Ella

“This is a good game for alien but a great game for humans. But overall a great game for all kinds and parents can relax with a good safe game.” Ella

“I think Skoolbo is a very good game because you can learn a whole variety of skills like spelling times tables and more!” Callum

“Skoolbo is a great game it makes learning fun! Our class has been the of the leader board and it means that our class plays it a lot and we get smarter every time we play it. 2, on Skoolbo you can play language games, maths games and literacy games it teaches you everything in a fun way.” Elspie

“It’s an amazing game to play for maths, language and spelling (I’ve improved so much!!!)” Heather

“I LOVE SKOOLBO! It is a great game for everyone, every age, anywhere I think that more schools should be using Skoolbo to help children’s learning across the world! (Thank You to Ms Anderson who helped us get involved!)” Beth

We are thrilled to have this wonderful school competing for Team GB!

Team Australia passed the half million mark while we were snoozing and so there’s no time to waste!

Go! GB 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 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 1 and we have already surpassed the global one million answer mark! Fantastic!

Day 1

Team GB, this is your chance to gain some ground while they sleep down under! Team USA will be waking up soon so let’s give it our best shot!

Here in the UK, we are lucky to have some schools that rank as ‘big hitters’ when it comes to racking up high scores. The students of Kings Lodge Primary School are Skoolbo veterans and have wasted no time in helping to set the Team GB totaliser whizzing.

Kings Lodge

 

We asked them for an update on how things are going at one of our favourite schools. Here’s what they had to say –

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“At King’s Lodge, we have enjoyed playing Skoolbo for several years.  We have quite a few champions in our school who have managed massive high scores – and won trophies. Our Year 4 are doing particularly well at the moment.”

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“We go on once a week in school and the children then go on it as their homework.  They enjoy really it.”

 

“I enjoy getting messages that tell me how well the children in KLS are doing! Keep it up, Team KLS!”

“It’s really fun.  I play it nearly every day.” Caz

 

 

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 “I like it because it is a different way of practising.” Mia

“I think it is fun to play and you should play too because it is fun and helps your learning.” Harvey

 

Picture3“I wanted to go on Skoolbo but I was only allowed to go on for 20 minutes; but I got flashing lights and a well done message for breaking a record!” Serenity

“I do my maths every single day; I love it!” Amy

Don’t worry Serenity, our research has show that it only takes 20 minutes on Skoolbo for 94% of children to master a new skill!

 

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

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Aldermoor Farm will be flying the flag for Team GB!

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The children of Aldermoor Farm Primary School have shown that they really have what it takes to excel. One of our early-adopter schools that came on board in 2014, they are truly dedicated ‘Skoolbo-ers’. Take a glance at the UK leader board and you will usually see them occupying a top ten place, as this snapshot from last week shows –

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We are always on the look out for schools who believe in leading by example which is why we have chosen Aldermoor Farm Primary School in Coventry to be the first of our ambassadors for the upcoming 2016 Skoolbo World Cup.

This year we are shining the spotlight on class 1TC who have recently earned their Super Class Award for collectively answering 25,000 questions! They may be some of the youngest children in the school but they have shown that together they are a force to be reckoned with. Next stop the ‘Spectacular Class Award’!

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Here’s what these wonderful superstars have to say about their learning with Skoolbo –

I like flying games because they make me learn numbers and counting.” Suber

I like to race so I can learn not to crash and it helps me numbers and letters.” Julija

I go on Skoolbo because it helps me learn take away and add, numbers and addition.” Sanvi

I go on Skoolbo because it is fun and also helps me to learn and become better at maths and writing.” Isaac

The children of Aldermoor Farm Primary School will be pulling out all the stops for Team GB to give us the best possible chance of victory. Are you ready to join them?

Start practising now so you’re ‘match fit’ and ready to play. Bring it on!

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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 for FREE and join the Skoolbo movement!

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Supporting multiple learning styles through game-based learning

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With back-to-school season well underway, many teachers are embarking on the task of ensuring that every student in their care reaches their academic potential. As we now know, the “one-size-fits-all” teaching method can be ineffective and can quickly lead to student disengagement. So how can teachers design their lessons to ensure they are meeting the individual needs of each and every student in their classroom? A starting point is to familiarise themselves with how their students learn best through intentional observations and honest conversations. This may take some time and dedication on the teacher’s part, but it will be well worth it in the end!

There are many tools that teachers can use in the classroom to help them differentiate their lessons to suit their students’ individual learning styles. One such tool is educational technology. With a myriad of ed tech games in the market, teachers may wonder what is the best one for their students. While there is not a simple, straightforward answer to this, teachers need to take into consideration a variety of factors such as the age and experiences of their students and the desired outcome of the lesson. For example, if an elementary teacher is looking for an app to help her 1st graders gain fundamental skills in numeracy and literacy, Skoolbo would be an excellent choice for her class since it focuses on these skills for children from preK-6th grade.

Although admittedly, there is not total agreement in the education sector about the validity of Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic (VAK) theory, it is widely accepted that variety in teaching methods and styles go a long way toward keeping students engaged and learning. Incorporating this variety into lessons will not only ensure all types of learners are catered to but will also encourage individuals to engage with learning in different ways.

Below we look at the three major learning styles of VAK theory and examine how ed tech games, such as Skoolbo can support each style.

Visual Learners
These types of learners need to see the lesson that is being taught. So, for instance, if they are given instructions, they are better able to follow these instructions if the instructions are written on a white board rather than being told to them. Ed tech games, such as Skoolbo, really play to this learning style with their visually stimulating characters and backgrounds. Also, games like Skoolbo have students answer questions that are displayed right on the screen, which is very beneficial for visual learners.

Auditory Learners
Similar to visual learners, auditory learners also use one of their senses to learn. For them, they need to hear what is being taught. Auditory learners learn best through oral teaching methods, such as talking through a topic or singing a song. Skoolbo and many other ed tech games are great for these types of learners because they can hear the questions being spoken out loud, and they get verbal reinforcements throughout the game.

Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners like to put their learning into action. They often use their hands to “talk” and to touch things around them, and they also enjoy moving around. One of the features that is included in Skoolbo, Zippy Shake is fantastic for these types of learners because it gets them movin’ and groovin’.

 

Game-based learning has the capability of scaffolding the learning process for all of these types of learners since they focus on multiple learning styles. Such games also help make a teacher’s life much easier as teachers will not need to rely on many different types of ed tech tools to help each of their students. And above all, students enjoy playing games, so engaging them in games that are both fun and educational at the same time is attacking two birds with one stone!

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