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.

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.

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

Are we already nearing the end of iPads in classrooms?

This month, Google introduced to the world Google Play for Education, positioning android devices to potentially challenge the current domination of iPads in classrooms.

And what does that mean for education apps and elearning games developers like Savivo?

While invitations have been splashed on across the industry for apps development studios to develop and submit their education apps, Savivo, we are already ready.

Our Preschool English app that had rocked the charts in China app store is making its way to its android version. So is our bestselling web-based Mingoville English virtual world that has already over 2 million registered users!

Without a doubt, we cannot wait for the party to start as, Google, you can count on us to turn up in our best suits no less.

TechCrunch: With Google Play for Education, Google Looks To Challenge Apple’s Dominance In The Classroom

Preschool triumphs in China

COPENHAGEN, 15 April, 2013 – We have knocked out the dominating Chinese panda education series app in the iPad App Store in China with our latest Preschool English app.

Starring baby Flamingo, Andrea, the animated and interactive Preschool English by Mingoville app was pre-launched 10 days ago just for the iPad. The versions for the iPhone and Android mobile devices will be available upon its full launch.

The app was quickly picked up by Apple, and awarded a new product feature spot in the China App Store in less than a week. It then gradually overtook the commanding presence of the panda in the education category and finished in pole last Sunday.

“Our developers have worked extremely hard to develop a quality, savvy and fun educational app for preschool kids, we are only pleased it has been so well received in a foreign market as massive as China”, said Mingoville CEO Stephan Stephensen.

Stephan added: “We knew from our success with our flagship product, Mingoville English virtual world, we have the right innovative formula and pedagogical approach to develop a winning digital educational product, and we will keep on creating.”

About Preschool English by Mingoville

Using native real voice actors and animation, kids will be on a mission to grow their vocabulary tree as they enhance their word recognition skills while playing the app.

For their tree to grow, kids will have to complete several “missions”, each comprising of 12-15 interactive games and over 500 words to give them a sturdy foundation to learn English especially as a Second Language.

Preschool English by Mingoville is at present free for download on iPad with in-app purchases but with the first mission made free-for-all to play.
Copy - No 1 in China

Mingoville Commentary

Can Schools Really Be Locked Out In Today’s Digital Age?

In the midst of the on-going schools lockout in Denmark, we received an interesting email from an inquisitive 6th grader this week, Albert Einstein, he candidly calls himself.

Little “Albert Einstein” writes: “Hej Skolemat. Jeg synes at overslag hos buller er lidt for svært. Min far og jeg var nød til at være sammen om at lave den med en lommeregner og papir. (han er ingeniør) jeg ville bare lige sige det.”
Skolemat emailWhat struck me was the commanding level of critical inquiry in his email even if his feedback remains subjective to each his own but, it reveals how a child does not take his learning journey any less serious just because it is not in a “school”.

This brings me back to the bigger questions: What exactly does a school lockout mean in today’s digital age? Can teachers – and education – really be locked out?

Schools compounds may be locked up, teachers may be denied from teaching, but in today’s digital age, “school” never closes because what is “school” is no longer clearly defined by mere human, physical compounds and boundaries.

For all the policy debate ensuing in Denmark, the irony is that, education is not locked out even as teachers are. It actually reveals a paradigm shift in motion.

Since the schools lockout, Mingoville has seen a surge in interest, downloads and purchases in our educational apps on the iPad in particular – as of today – more than 30% of the Top 20 iPad apps in the Danish Education Store belongs to us.

“It tells us that with a schools lockout, parents in Denmark are left to proactively seek out for their kids alternative learning means or should we say, alternative teachers to facilitate learning”, reveals Mingoville’s CEO, Stephan Stephensen.

At this point, it is critical to point out that a schools lockout is not uncommon elsewhere in the world, though, for very different (often unforeseen) reasons.

Just a decade ago, the SARS outbreak in Asia had forced schools to be closed, then there was the H1N1 epidemic just a few years back that had schools shutting too.

I was teaching in a pre-tertiary institution in Singapore when the H1N1 epidemic called for a school “lockout”, and the lockout had to happen in less than 24 hours.

Fortunately, I was teaching in a digital education-ready school. Instructions of e-learning plans were sent to teachers right away. For the rest of the week, lessons and assessments were conducted digitally, teachers simply “worked” from home.

In a digital education age, the role of teachers ought to have taken a big shift. And perhaps central to the debate should be about such paradigm shifts in Denmark.

Stephan said: “The lockout reveals to us that even as 30% of schools in Denmark are using our digital learning products but the role of teachers have not shifted to truly facilitate the digital age. There is a gap between rhetoric and practice.”

Instead, burden has fallen on parents to stand in the gap to work out contingency plans for kids, as we saw a massive surge in private purchases of our products.

“This intrigued us as one would expect schools in today’s digital age to be better equipped to ensure learning will not be disrupted. All it would have taken was a digital-learning contingency plan and the teachers to facilitate it,” he concluded.

While adults fight their battles, let us not undermine a child’s ability to be serious self-directed digital learners — if this should add perspective to the debate, too.

Because in today’s digital age, education never stops. The show will go on.

Then what – really – are we fighting about?

Jan Lin jl@mingoville.com

Gamification in Education – Unveiling its Potential

Mashable recently published an intriguing article on the use of “gamification” in education, highlighting its success, which sits perfectly with Mingoville’s learning philosophy in creating our “learn-through-play” e-learning products that are used in classrooms in several countries today.

As advocators of (virtual) gamification in education, Mingoville embraces a learning philosophy where learning is both self-directed and learner-centered in designing our e-learning platforms – Mingoville English and Mondiso Maths – both have tasted success.

However, while Mingoville English and Mondiso Math universes both had gamification applied in their development process, we went one step further, and have found the success of our platforms to hinge on the high quality of animation characters and real voice actors.

Developing them, took over a million dollars but we believe it’s worth it. As it currently stands, our belief stems from understanding how gamification in education offers a holistic and cohesive learning approach as online learning materials are often fragmented and text-based.

Our cohesive and dialogue-based game design approach not only enables a learner to begin to take ownership of their learning at a young age but is also an excellent trigger for focus and for lifelong learning. True learning is often inspired, gamification in education can do just that.

Yet as one of the pioneers in virtual gamification in education, we say to reach the full potential of gamification, virtually at least, requires for game developers to pay attention to the quality of the multi-sensory experience in developing its equally high quality cohesive content.

Mashable.com: Does Gamification Help Classroom Learning?

The Evolution of Technology in Classrooms

I remember when I was growing up, heading to the school’s computer room for an hour of IT activities each week was a highlight of my school week.

Fast forward two decades on, it is interesting to note that not only do students find having a tech-savvy day at school a luxury, teachers are buying in to “actively using technology to make their work more effective”.

Technology has evolved from being an extra-curricular activity to what teachers are using to “facilitate and enhance the learning and teaching processes”. This evolution aligns with Mingoville’s heartbeat no less.

When we launched Mingoville e-learning English virtual world in 2007, it was the beginning of our commitment to position our products as the preferred literacy development supplementary tools for teachers across the world.

We achieved a milestone in 2009 when we teamed up with the Chilean Ministry of Education to implement Mingoville English e-learning in schools.

If you are from a school, a city, a province or a country searching for tech tools in your classrooms, we may have exactly what you need. Write to us.

NBCLatino: Get to know the tech tools used in your child’s classroom