The 21th century classroom on a budget

 

Yesterday we stumbled across Ubi, an American company producing software that can transform “any surface into a multi-touch display”.

Kinect+Projector+Computer=Interactive whiteboard
The technology alone is interesting enough. Using a combination of a regular projector, a Kinect for Windows a Windows 8 PC and Ubi’s software, you can make your own huge scale multi-touch display. The simplicity of the concept is appealing but it is the educational value of the technology that really gets our blood pumping.

The cost of upgrading the classroom to modern standards can be overwhelming and the reason why some schools haven’t adopted the new technologies, despite the advantages. Especially interactive whiteboards have, according to some studies, the ability to boost the educational impact on students. This, of course, requires the teachers to be familiar with the technology before the optimum teaching experience is reached. If the teachers do have the technology readily at hand and have experience using it, both teacher and students can benefit from it.

A more affordable classroom
This could be where Ubi enters the scene. The combination of generally cheap, commonplace components, and Ubi’s software could usher in a more budget friendly version of the 21th century classroom. By saving 30 to 50 percent on hardware, the amount of classrooms getting mordernised grows.

As an educational software developer, Savivo has briefly delved into the territory of interactive whiteboards and consider the technology promising. The way activities and exercises can take on a collaborative aspect is really interesting, and a way to break the mold of rigid education in new ways. The way not only the participants but also an audience get to take action makes the hardware an obvious part of future education.

The future of educational technology is bright!
Ubi’s software and the hardware solution necessary looks to be quite sensible and we applaud any technology that gives teachers and educators new possibilities and tools. We hope to see more inventive and highly usable solutions in the future!
Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 12.12.45 PMOur English Word Battle game, for use on interactive whiteboards.

Mingoville: The safe virtual world

The other day, Letterbox posted an infographic about how young people grow up with social media. This infographic tells, among other things, that of all children using Facebook, nearly 42% of them are 12 years or younger, even though the sign-up age is 13. That’s about 5 million children. These children are growing up in a world where even the farthest reaches of the globe can be accessible through the computer and information is only a click away.Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 10.02.17 AM

Despite the advantages, the Internet can also be unsafe
Parents’ fear of strangers exploiting their children is reflected in the answers given. According to the infographic, 72% of the parents worry that their children are revealing inappropriate information to strangers. Without keeping a watchful eye on their childrens’ web usage, which 72% do, it can be hard to keep completely updated on which sites are visited. Only half of the parents have installed parental controls on their computers, letting them fully control what is accessed on the Internet.

But wouldn’t it be nice if the children could visit a website and chat with other children, without worrying about who your children talks to and what they’re saying? So thought we. And when we made our Mingoville virtual world, where children can chat with other children from across the globe, this was something that required much planning.

The Solution
The solution we came up with was our Safe English Chat. This system allows the children to communicate, using only pre-approved words. Names aren’t in the database, neither are numbers. Certain combinations of words aren’t shown. If you try to write a word that doesn’t exist in the database, it shows up in red in your text field and won’t be sent.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 8.53.56 AMIn a single stroke, the amount of inappropriate information being accidentally sent back and forth is eliminated. And if the child isn’t comfortable writing on its own, it can use several pre-defined phrases and sentences. Using the build-in dictionary, the children can pick phrases from ten different categories, like Numbers and letters and Sports and media. This ensures that the language and content discussed in the virtual world is completely safe and without inappropriateness.

If a word doesn’t exist in the database, we get a notice. In case it’s a word we’ve overlooked, it gets added to the approved list.

This system works and we’ve run Mingoville virtual world for four years where the safety and wellbeing of our young users were in the forefront.
We’re still working on Mingoville, improving it and making new features. Our ambition when we started is the same as it is now: Creating a safe game world where children can learn English alone or with others, having fun while they are doing so.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for a free trial on Mingoville.com!

Gamification and the educational video game console

At Savivo, we’ve worked with combining the educational elements with games. The goal is making games that capture the imagination and interest of children, making them learn while having fun. That is part of our company philosophy and studies show that so-called gamification enhances the learning experience and provides a higher level of engagement in the students. The effect of gamification applies to all age groups, from children learning math and English, to medical students learning about various tasks such as making geriatric house calls.

With that in mind, Marcus T. Wright wrote an interesting article on Huffington Post, about a dedicated educational video game console. Seeing as how the Flipped Classroom is gaining momentum, a video game console would seem like the obvious end goal for educational games. Indeed, shifting the attention of the student towards the medium of learning, letting the teacher take on a guiding and supervising role looks to be the culmination of the development we’ve observed for a while. Of course, this idea is not without its challenges, but until it can be realised, we’re continuing to develop and expand on our various educational games, from our math learning suite Mondiso over our Fun Clock app, to the Mingoville English programs.
We firmly believe in the potential of gamification and fun educational games, and we’ll be ready for an educational video game console, with a host of quality programs and apps for children.

And until this future is here, all our products are available on iPad, Android tablets and PC. Please visit our website at Savivo.com, where you can read about or product range.

Uma melhor educação a cada clique

10.000 pacotes gratuitos de software de inglês para o #ChangeBrazil

Copenhague – A empresa educacional dinamarquesa Savivo doa 10.000 pacotes gratuitos de ensino de inglês online para apoiar o movimento #ChangeBrazil

Inscreva-­‐se nos 10.000 pacotes educacionais GRATUITOS
para aprender inglês online em: http://changebrazil.mingoville.com/

ChangeBrazilFacebook

Centenas de jovens encheram as ruas de São Paulo para apoiar o movimento #ChangeBrazil (Muda Brasil). Motivado pelos altos preços do transporte, o protesto abordou temas tais como a corrupção, os altos gastos com a Copa do Mundo e as Olimpíadas e as condições precárias da educação.

Stephan Stephensen, CEO e fundador da empresa educacional dinamarquesa Savivo, acredita em educação gratuita e de qualidade para todas as crianças. O conhecimento de Inglês é crucial para permitir que as pessoas vivam suas paixões de acordo com o lema das Olimpíadas de 2016 no Rio, Viva Sua Paixão. É por isso que a Savivo está iniciando uma campanha que oferecerá 10.000 inscrições gratuitas ao curso online de inglês Mingoville.

Stephan Stephensen ainda diz que: “Sabemos que estes números são como gotas no oceano, mas se todos ajudarem, nós podemos tornar o #ChangeBrazil uma realidade. Nenhuma criança deve ficar sem educação e, assim, espero que os patrocinadores locais queiram nos ajudar a levar educação às crianças brasileiras.”

Campanhas similares já foram realizadas com sucesso em outros países da América
Latina. Em 2009, o Mingoville foi escolhido pelo Presidente e pelo Ministério da Educação do Chile para ajudar a combater o analfabetismo da língua inglesa no Chile. O software tornou-­‐se gratuito para todos no Chile, a fim de promover oportunidades iguais. O programa teve um sucesso imenso e ganhou bastante cobertura da mídia local (CNN Chile, Chanel 13 Chile, El Mercurio, LUN, elvacanudo.cl) garantindo, assim, a atenção do público. Mais de 350.000 chilenos se inscreveram e juntaram-­‐se aos mais de 2 milhões de usuários do Mingoville.

“Na Dinamarca, educação gratuita é normalmente tida como certa. Porém, nem todos têm esse privilégio e a filosofia da Savivo é que toda criança devea ter acesso à educação gratuita e de qualidade.” Stephan Stephensen espera que outras empresas participem de sua iniciativa. Ele acredita que quanto mais empresas socialmente mais responsáveis investirem na educação dos jovens, maior serão as chances de fazer a diferença e # #ChangeBrazil.

“Isso é um apelo à ação. Digam às pessoas que elas podem aprender inglês gratuitamente,” implora Stephan. “Eu espero que outras empresas vejam isso e ajudem a mudar o Brasil.”

 

Better Education with Every Click

10,000 free English software packages to #ChangeBrazil

Copenhagen – The Danish educational company Savivo donates 10,000 free English online education packages to support the #ChangeBrazil movement.

Sign up for 10,000 FREE English Online Education Packages at: http://changebrazil.mingoville.com/

ChangeBrazilFacebookBannerGBShare our Facebook Cover and help us spread the news about the initiative!

Hundreds young people filled the streets of São Paulo to support the Change Brazil movement. Sparked by high cost of transportation, the protest addressed issues such as corruption, high spending on the World Cup and the Olympics and poor education.

Stephan Stephensen, CEO and founder of the Danish educational company Savivo, believes in free and high quality education for all children. Literacy in English is crucial to enable one to live their passions in the spirit of Rio 2016’s Olympics motto Viva Sua Paixão. That is why Savivo is starting a campaign that will offer 10,000 free entries to the online English course Mingoville.

Stephan Stephensen adds: “We know that these numbers are drops in the ocean, but if everyone helps, we can #ChangeBrazil. No child should be without education and I hope that local sponsors will be willing to help us bring education to the Brazilian children.”

Similar campaign has already been successful in other Latin American countries.
In 2009, Mingoville was selected by the Chilean President and the Ministry of Education to team up in their fight against English illiteracy in Chile. The software was made free for all in Chile, to promote equal opportunities. The program enjoyed huge success and it had extensive local media coverage (CNN Chile, Chanel 13 Chile, El Mercurio, LUN, elvacanudo.cl) ensuring public awareness. More than 350,000 Chileans signed up and have joined Mingoville’s over 2 million users.

“In Denmark, we often take free education for granted. But not all have that privilege, and our philosophy at Savivo is that every child should have access to free and high quality education.” Stephan Stephensen hopes that other companies will join his initiative. He believes that the more socially responsible companies invest in the youth education, the bigger is the chance to make a difference and #Change Brazil.

“This is a call to action. Let people know they can get free English education for their children,” implores Stephan. “I hope other companies will see this and help change Brazil.”

 

Gamification: Getting children to spend more time learning

By combining learning with gamification, we have increased the amount of time a child spends learning by 300%

At a company making educational games, finding ways to get children to learn more is part of the spirit of our company. And one of our tasks is to find new ways to make children motivated. If a child is very motivated and is having fun, it is more likely that the child learns something.

How could we do this?
In our English learning game Mingoville English, we had a traditional word seach game.
word-search1This game is a classic in language education, as it teaches children how to recognize foreign word amidst a grid of random letters, improving their word recognition skills. Our task was to increase the number of words the children recognize, by playing the game. The more time the children spend playing, the more words they are likely to recognize.

By adding these four elements, we managed to do it:

  • Points
  • Time limit
  • Levels
  • Lives

Points
One incentative is by giving out points. The faster a child manages to find a word, the more points is awarded. Besides giving the child the instant gratification of being awarded by doing well, the points also let the child compete with itself and others.

Time limit
The time limit pressures the child to perform, basically. The child will try to find as many words as possible, before the time finally run out. The time limit also ties in with the next element.

Levels
For every four words the child finds, the game becomes a little harder. The time the child has available grows shorter. During the first level, the child has 30 seconds per word, but this steadily decreases. In the end, the child only has a few seconds to find each word.

Lives
In the beginning of each game, the child starts with three lives. Every time the child fails to find a word within the time limit, they lose a life. Once all three lives has been spent, the game is over.
birdwordThe addition of these four elements has transformed the basic word search into a addictive game. Even parents playing the game are having fun, as the level progression, time pressure and constant battle for the high score makes for an enjoyable experience for all ages.

It is important to keep in mind that our goal with the game hasn’t changed. To train children in recognizing English words, giving them a better knowledge of the language. Nothing about the learning process has been compromised. However, by gamifying the exercise, we’ve been able to make it more approachable and make children spend up to 300% more time doing the exercise.
And by spending more time playing, the child spends more time learning. And that is the whole point of our vision.

Savivo can make the education and technology “match made in heaven” marriage merry

In this highly spot-on and interesting commentary on Huffington Post, the author raised a few thought-provoking questions about the “match made in heaven” between education and technology, and at Savivo, we have the answers. So, hear, hear.

The author asserted: “We’re taking an awfully long time to adjust. There is a growing number of education Apps out there now but there is no unity. All of them are different. I’m not saying they’re poorly structured, some of them are very useful indeed, but there should be a coherent syllabus to follow.”

At Savivo, we embrace a unique learning philosophy in our innovation, with learner-centered and self-directed learning pedagogies underpinning our e-learning products. Savivo’s flagship products – Mingoville English Virtual World and Mondiso Math are designed by school teachers with a structured holistic curriculum in mind.

While creating Mingoville English (http://mingoville.com), we saw that online educational content was and is but still very fragmented. A virtual world e-learning platform will enable a cohesive and holistic online learning environment to meet the learning objective of expanding a child’s English capacity in a fun, communal and smart way.

Within our e-learning games, there is dedicated areas for teachers and parents to also track a student’s learning progress and be involved in a child’s learning. This sets our products apart from being just another educational game but positioned as the preferred companion for parents and teachers in educating a child.

The author also asked, “So why not introduce free or ‘pay to view’ online learning? It makes sense. Almost everyone has access to a computer, a tablet, an iPad, a smart phone, so why not provide a medium for everybody to use? It can be classroom based or ‘out of school hours’ but following a curriculum.”

In 2013, we launched the Mondiso Math Youtube classroom with this in mind so that every child can gain access to Math learning for free. The Math online world games, apps and assessment can simply be purchased by schools and parents via http://mondiso.com or iOS appstore or Google Play Store!

Today we see more than 30% school children in Denmark have access to our innovative and holistic learning platforms, which is a testament to the credibility of our products and our brands. This on top of our partnerships with governments and businesses across the world, Savivo is clearing well in the game.

Visit http://savivo.com to learn more about us!

Huffington Post: Technology and Education: A Match Made in Heaven?

Integrating education technology

As leaders in advancing education technology, Savivo understands that integrating tech into your classroom can be an overwhelming experience.

With 30% of school children in Danish schools have adopted our e-learning products into their school system, we certainly pride our products as the preferred teachers’ companion!

We have found a useful guide to help #schools  and educators identify ways and strategies to roll out technology in your classrooms. To learn more about Savivo’s range of e-learning products, visit http://savivo.com!

Edudemic: How To Properly Integrate Education Technology