Tablet-based education is on the rise in Latin America

Latin America sees growth in educational app sales.

Latin America has seen a rise in tablet sales during the last couple of years. The market research firm International Data Corporation predicts that emerging markets such as Latin America will grow to 51% of the worldwide market by 2017. With that in mind, it can’t come as a surprise that tablet-based education is on the rise in the region.

In countries like Panama, the government is running an ambitious tech campaign “Bring Your Own Device”. In the meantime Intel is considering bringing many new tablets models to the Latin American market. The development can be felt also subtler ways: for example in the online app sales.

English apps are among the most popular. That can be felt from developers across the globe. One of the leading worldwide educational providers is the Danish-based firm Savivo. Currently the company’s Preschool English application is number 1 in the Costa Rican educational iTunes store and can be found on the Top Ten lists in several Latin American countries.

Stephan Stephensen, CEO of Savivo, has recently seen a significant growth in sales of educational apps in Latin America. In his opinion, digital education is affordable and easy to use and it has the potential to bring education to as many children across the world as possible.

“The philosophy of Savivo is that education is for everyone. With the booming market of tablets and educational apps, we might be a step closer to that reality.”

The spread of tablets in the region has given occasion to a rise in downloads of educational apps. If anyone benefit from this development, it’s the children.
The combination of ease of use and comfort makes the discovery and use of suitable apps ideal for education in Latin America.

Download press release as PDF here.

Educación a través de una tableta esta teniendo lugar en América Latina

América Latina ha visto un aumento en la venta de tabletas desde hace un par de años. La investigación de mercado de la firma internacional Data Corporation percibe que los mercados emergentes como América Latina crecerá en un 51% en el mercado internacional en 2017. Teniendo eso en mente, no es sorpresa que una educación a través de tabletas esté creciendo en la región.

En países como Panamá, el gobierno esta llevando acabo una campaña tecnológica ambiciosa “Bring Your Own Device” (Trae tu proprio Terminal). Al mismo tiempo Intel está considerando traer numerosos modelos nuevos de tableta al mercado latinoamericano. Este avance se puede percibir de forma más sutil: en las ventas online de aplicaciones.

Las aplicaciones de inglés son de las más populares y así es percibido por desarrolladores en todo el globo. Uno de los proveedores de educación líder a nivel mundial el la firma danesa Savivo. Hoy día la aplicación de la compañía Preschool English es número 1 en el ranking de iTunes Costa Rica y también se puede encontrar en el top10 de en los iTunes de varios países latinoamericanos.

Stephan Stephensen, CEO de Savivo, ha visto últimamente un crecimiento significativo en las ventas de aplicaciones educativas en América Latina. En su opinión, la educación digital es asequible y fácil de utilizar, y tiene el potencial de llevar la educación a cuantos más niños posibles en todo el mundo.

“La filosofía de Savivo es la educación para todo el mundo. Con el florecer del mercado de las tabletas y aplicaciones educativas, es posible que estemos un paso más cerca de esa realidad.”

La difusión de tabletas en el continente da la ocasión de incrementar la descarga de aplicaciones educativas. Si alguien puede aprovecharse de este desarrollo, so los niños y niñas latinoamericanos. La combinación de uso fácil y confort hace ideal el descubrimiento y el uso de aplicaciones adecuadas.

Descargue el documento pdf aquí

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.

The smartwatch war begins, which is why your child should be able to tell time

It has been brewing for a long time, the battle of the smartwatches. When the Pebble, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign earning a record-setting 10.2 million dollars, breathed new life into the concept of watches with the capabilities of a small computer, life was at the same time given to a new battle for the consumers’ favor. A battle Samsung seeks to win over Apple.

As reported by Bloomberg, Samsung is getting ready to present their new smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, at their press conference the 4th of September, ahead of the IFA consumer electronics tradeshow in Berlin. This will surely force Apple to present their coming smartwatch, nicknamed iWatch, too.

Can you tell time?
What does this mean? There are the obvious benefits, like being able to check mails, messages and more without ever needing to pull out your smartphone. You just need to peek at your watch and all your information needs are satisfied. But it’s not just pure technological bliss. What happens to the regular watch as a cultural and shaping element, for example?

According to a YouGov survey, almost 60% of 16-34 year olds use their phone as a timepiece instead of a watch. At this point, with smartphones and digital watches as the primary way to keep time, why should young people learn to tell time on a traditional clock? In short, because the analogue watch is a valuable part of our cultural heritage.

Jokes and expressions
We don’t need to mention all the various analogue clocks set up across the world. Famous clock towers, clocks at train stations and so on. The modern man will probably be exposed to analogue clocks at the very least twice every day, even if he might not notice it.
An aspect of clocks that might not be immediately obvious is how they have shaped our language. In English, German and a number of other languages expressions such as “clockwise” and “counterclockwise” describe turning. In military brevity code, a unindentified radar contact (a Bogey) is described according to clock positions.
These things are worth preserving, as they are a vital part of our lingual and cultural history. If the analogue clock is allowed to become some sort of arcane knowledge, a part of our history is lost. Jokes, like the one between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (“11 o’clock!” “What happens at 11?”), loses all meaning.

Apart from changing all clocks around the world to digital ones, and judging from the outrage BBC got for their 1980 April Fool’s joke that won’t be happening anytime soon, the only other thing to do is to preserve the analogue clock.
Here at Savivo we know the importance of knowing the analogue clock. The advent of smartwatches shouldn’t be ignored, but by giving children and young people the skills to decipher the analogue clock, smartwatches won’t cause us to lose part of our culture.foto 1Mingoville Fun Clock is created to make it easy to teach children how to tell time on an analogue clock. Some adults are even using it to learn how to tell time in different languages.
Fun Clock is available on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and Amazon Appstore.

A salute to the “dumb” phone

At Savivo, we have always been working on as many digital devices as possible. Almost all our products are available across Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, with a few available on Windows too. Just last month, we proudly released the Android version of our popular Mingoville Preschool. Our programmers tirelessly work on implementing new technologies, more efficient code and more functions, and new potential platforms for our products are always considered.
With this in mind, seeing a headline called The Death Of The “Dumb” Phone Is Near made us stop and reminisce for a while.

Trip down Memory Lane
Back in 2008, Savivo (under the name of Mingoville) released the first non-web based product, the Mingoville English Sudoku game for mobile phones. The game was inspired by the Sudoku game from Mingoville English and had three levels of difficulty. The game was designed to improve English listening skills, through listening and recognizing English words.


Similarly, a math Sudoku game was produced to tie in with Mondiso. The principle was the same: By letting the children have a fun game on their Flash-supported phones, they could learn English and math everywhere! With almost 20.000 combined downloads, the games were received well.
These two mobile games weren’t the last. A series of SkoleMat games was produced, each around a specific mathematical discipline.

And now, it seems like the old phones, cruelly called “dumb phones” to distinguish them from the smartphone, are on the decline. Research company Gartner expects smart phones to sell 1.82 billion this year. For the first time ever, more smartphones have been sold than traditional mobile phones. It is especially Android smartphones that is responsible for the decline.

The Silver Lining
But every cloud has a silver lining. In this case the silver lining is the possibilities smartphones give our developers.
Multitouch screens allows for more natural interaction with the games, more powerful mobile processors makes the games more beautiful and more advanced, while the various functions of modern smartphones open up for new options.

Let’s not mourn the passing of the old mobile phone. Instead, let’s celebrate the brave new world the smartphone has created. We are working on several new products, all taking advantage of the capabilities of smartphones, and we are looking forward to sharing them with you!Sudoku_wrong.jogIf you’ve got a hankering for playing our Sudoku game, it is available on both iOS and Android phones. Do try it out!

Doing homework with Mingoville

Edutainment and educational games are on the rise. But one thing is to find a game that educates children, another is to find a game that supports homework and evaluation of the students. Mingoville does both things. It teaches children English, all the while giving teachers the ability to assign and evaluate homework.

If you are signed in to Mingoville.com as a teacher, you have some additional options compared to regular users.
Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 3.46.58 PMPlanning and evaluating
With the Planning tool, you are able to assign homework to your students, with both optional and mandatory assignments. The assignments can be chosen from all the different activities and missions from Mingoville. If needed, you can assign different assignments to different children, depending on their expertise and current level of learning.

When it comes to checking the homework, Mingoville also makes that easy. Thanks to a clean and efficient interface, checking a student’s performance in a nice, graphical way has never been easier. Using our Evaluation tool, you can sort the students by Name, Scoring and assigned homework.
UntitledAdministration and use in the classroom
You can also sign up new students, assign them to teacher profiles and manage their accounts, using the Admin tool. If you are a Danish teacher, and your school uses the UNI-C login, you do not have to create new users as they are already registered.
It is simple to use and create your own curriculum using Mingoville, and both teachers and students will be able to use the software with no difficulty.

We also have various supplemental materials to use outside the computer. Bingo cards, cartoons related to the Illustrate the Story missions in the game, and downloadable versions of the karaoke songs. These supplemental materials makes Mingoville a good choice for both on- and offline education.

Remember, signing up for a Mingoville trial is easy and free. You can get started by pressing this link and press the large, green “Sign up for FREE” button.

Education on the app market

What is the definition of an educational app? We’d argue that it is a program, or game, which teaches you something you didn’t know before, or expands on previous taught skills and abilities.
But simply learning something new isn’t really enough. Most normal games teach you something, even if it just is “Touch this and it’s game over”. Having a creative content doesn’t cut it either. After all, playing with a virtual puppy or with virtual blocks might inspire you and stimulate your imagination, but downright teach you something? Probably not. For it to be an educational app, it would have to teach you something that makes you better and more productive, or gives you some necessary skills.

Little educational value
Take a look at the app market of your chosing, under the educational category. Right now, just looking at the Top 25 over paid apps, you might see at least 5 apps, which doesn’t exactly fit into the category. Some of them are simple toys without any kind of educational content, even if they are fun and creative toys.
Why, then, do these apps continue to pop up, and in some cases, dominate in the Educational Apps category?
sadmingoThe answer might be, that there’s no real control over what categories you assign your app to. No one makes sure that the app where you make sandwiches to anthropomorphic animals is indeed educational or more fitting for, say, the Games category.

Is the answer seperation?
Perhaps the real problem is, that there’s not category fitting for children games or apps. Them being shunted into Education might make some sense, from a developer’s point of view. But it does cause some problems.
First of all, genuine educational apps and games are easily lost in the heap of often well-made but not very educational apps. This makes it difficult to find the right app without wading through a sea of unrelated content.
Secondly, it makes for poor return of investment for any teachers looking for potential teaching aids. No teacher has the time to download and try out that many apps, hoping to find the burried treasure.

The solution to this problem could be a seperation of general children oriented content and educational content. I’m sure there’s some overlap between the two categories, but it would cut down on the trouble and hassle potential purchasers face, when looking for educational content for their phones and tablet.

Apple’s doing it. Google..?
Back in June, when Apple presented their new iOS7 operational system for mobile platforms, one of the, to us, major updates will be the introduction of a category for children. Instead of having apps and games for children spread across the entire App Store, they will in the future be showcased in a single, curated category.
Our hope is that Google will follow in their footsteps and introduce something similar. Google Play for Education, launching sometime this fall, might possibly be the answer to our prayers. Either way, fall 2013 looks to be very interesting for educational apps!happymiingo

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.