In April 2014 we reported on Skoolbo’s exciting new partnership with Soft Power Education (SPE). SPE are a British registered charity and Ugandan NGO working with communities in Uganda to improve quality of life through education. Skoolbo’s Chief Operating Officer, Colin Brown, had the pleasure of visiting SPE, twelve tablets in hand, to launch an exciting and ground breaking pilot in two of the schools they were working in. You can read more about the launch here –
An African Opportunity
Children aged 4 to 6 years from Buwenda Pre School and Kyabirwa Children’s Centre (KCC) in the Jinja area were introduced to Skoolbo and over the coming months were enthusiastic particpiants in the pilot.
We thought it was time to check back in with them to see how the children are progressing.
Like many schools in the area there is no internet connection in either school and limited sources of power. This has meant that the classrooms have, up until now, been effectively technology-free environments. As a consequence many of the class-based adults were unfamiliar with using educational software to support and promote learning.
Skoolbo has been developed to overcome such barriers. The children in the pilot are able to play Skoolbo in ‘offline’ mode. The tablets are taken to SPE offices every few days for charging and to establish a connection in order to sync data. The experience for the children is identical to that of a child playing ‘online’ in the UK. Children’s avatars are matched with opponents in the warp room in the same way and they then compete in exciting racing games. As Skoolbo is designed for independent learning, the supporting adults require very little training.
It was great to hear that the technology worked so well but what did the children think and what progress did they make? Well the reports are highly favourable. The teachers tell us that the children really look forward to their sessions and as the learning algorithm sets the curriculum for each individual child, the volunteer adults rarely need to intervene.
It’s all about the improvement…
The independent nature of learning with Skoolbo is vital as in Uganda teacher to student ratios can be 1:100 which can obviously make it very difficult to ensure children secure basic literacy and numeracy skills. We are therefore absolutely thrilled to report that the children using Skoolbo have made an amazing average improvement of 112% across Literacy and Numeracy!
We know that usage equals progress and were therefore delighted when the 116 SPE students topped the school UK leaderboard!
and they even made it to second in the world!
The pilot is ongoing and we’ll be checking back regularly to see how it is progressing. In the meantime we’d like to leave you with this fabulous photograph of Samuel from KCC which we think speaks volumes –
Well done Samuel and well done to the amazing students of Buwenda Pre School and Kyabirwa Children’s Centre!