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.

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

Nature’s calling – Go Fishing and Do Some English Spelling

It’s so beautiful on the country side and it’s so healthy for the kids to get a lot of fresh air. It’s time to get out of the city and into the Nature. This week, we release two new activities in Mingoville Virtual World. The first activity is a new Nature map where the kids learn English while playing with Esmeralda and exploring the Nature. The other English activity is a new educational game that takes the kids fishing for English words. It’s all about fun English learning.

Explore Nature and Learn the English Words
On Mingoville’s new map Nature, the kids can now enjoy the fresh air out in the nature together with Esmeralda. Go practice English words about natureEsmeralda is Bob and Candy’s aunt in Mingoville. Esmeralda will take the kids on a tour around Nature. The activity is developed to let the kids practice the vocabulary learned in Mission 4 in Mingoville School; Nature and Season.

Esmeralda will ask the students to go and find different words that relate to Nature and Seasons – that could be fire camp, flowers, clouds, skies, trees, etc. If the students are good, they will get a reward for their effort. It’s kind of a treasure hunt as they have to find their reward in the end by guessing the hint from Esmeralda.

The English exercise is based on both listening to the word as well as recognizing the words in order to be able to find them. We recommend that the students work with the English exercises of Mission 4 in Mingoville School prior to exploring Nature in Mingoville Virtual World.

Go Fishing and Do Some Spelling

In Nature, the kids can also learn English going on a fishing trip. When fishing on the Mingo Lake, the students have to catch the fish in the water with their fishing rod. For every fish they catch, they earn points. However, some fish have a letter in the Go fishing and practice English spellingstomach. If the kids can spell the word illustrated in the upper left corner by catching the fish with the right letter, they get bonus points. If they catch other things like boots, they lose points.

The game is on time and the student has to reach the target – it means, they have to reach the goal set within the time frame which is typically between 60-120 seconds.

The Fishing game has several levels. In the first level, the kid can get around with “just” catching fish to reach the target. However in level two or level three, they cannot reach the target without catching in the bonus – they need to spell the word to go to the next level. The higher the level, the tougher it gets.

All words to be spelled are from Mission 4 in Mingoville School; Nature and Seasons. If the kids cannot spell the words, we recommend they complete activity 1-8 in Mission 4.

We hope you have a lot of fun – if there is something you don’t understand or have suggestion on things we need to do, feel free to comment

New English Sudoku for Kids in Mingoville Virtual World

We have worked on the English Sudoku game for a while now. The game was originally developed for our SuperLearners as they needed some more advanced English games to further develop their English skills. However, we liked the game so much that we decided to release it to all kids in a lighter edition. The Sudoku for the SuperLearners is made for the more advanced English learners.The New English Sudoku Game for Kids

Educational wise, the Sudoku game strengthens the listening, reading and word recognition skills of the students. Normally, Sudoku is about numbers. We use English words. The game is based on the different English words practiced in the Mingoville Missions. Each game of Sudoku uses 6 English words that are repeated throughout the game. Besides practicing the English vocabulary, the kids also practice traditionally Sudoku puzzle skills of logic and combination.

The new English Sudoku is not a beginner game. You need to reach a certain English level within Mingoville Virtual World to play the Sudoku.

The number of feathers indicates your level. A higher level gives you access to more maps and English games.

To play the Sudoku game, you need to have the Mingoville mobile phone. You can get the Mingoville mobile phone when you have 20 feathers.

Tip:
1.    If you do not have 20 feathers – go practice more English in e.g. Mission 6. All comple

ted exercises give you feathers. When you have enough feathers, you can go fetch the mobile phone

2.    If you do not have the Mingoville mobile – go find it (hint: there is a plane nearby)

3.    Then find the Sudoku (hint: you can help to Jeff)

How to playHow to play Sudoku

Do you play Sudoku? If not, here are a few guidelines: It’s like a puzzle. You have to make sure that only 1 example of the word appears in each row, each column and each 2×3 grids inside the game. All cells are to be filled out to finish the game.

Use the “check” button to see if the words are correct – if the cellsturn red, you need to Buttons on Mingoville mobile phonechoose another word for these cells otherwise the puzzle can’t be solved.

To change words and to move between cells, use the arrows and the “select” buttons on the mobile phone. The faster you finish the Sudoku, the more points and coins you gain.

Have fun!

Also see decriptions on the other games: Quiztalk, SuperStar, Lettergame, Boat Race, BalloonBlast

Santa Claus Has Prepared Calendar Gifts for All English Students in Mingoville Virtual World

As some of you may have noticed we have kept Santa Claus very busy the past month. Since November, Santa and his elves have worked hard to make sure all the English learning kids in Mingoville could get a new Christmas gift every day. In order to help the kids learn English by e.g. practicing the dates in English, we asked Santa if he had time to help us out. The plan was to make sure all kids would get a new gift every day, if they could find the date of the day.

We asked Santa to help us because the legend has it that he brings gifts to the homes of good children the day after Christmas Eve December 24th. There are so many good children in Mingoville devoted to learning English. We wanted to reward their effort and hoped Santa agreed with us – luckily he did 😉 Thanks to Santa we now have gifts to everybody entering Mingoville in December.

The Mingoville Christmas Calendar runs until December 25th. The dates are scattered around Mingoville and it’s all up to the children to explore the different areas and find the date of the day. When they step on the number, they get the gift which they can enjoy all of December.

We have heard that Santa lives in the far North, in a land covered by snow. Some says it’s the North Pole some says it’s in Finland. In Denmark, we believe he lives in Greenland. Where ever he lives, we know for a fact that Santa enjoys a few weeks of rest on his own Island in Mingoville before he kick starts his reindeer sleigh and begins his cruise to bring out gifts to all the nice and lovely children around the world. One of the coming days, the kids get an opportunity to visit Santa Island – when and where, is still a secret they have to discover for themselves.

Santa Island in Mingoville

Some people oppose teaching children to believe in Santa Claus. According to Wikipedia some Christians say the Santa tradition detracts from the religious origins and purpose of Christmas. Other feels it’s an elaborate lie and thus unethical to teach the children to believe in him. Truth is, without consideration of any religion and without any intentions of offending other religions, we think it is a nice and cozy tradition that gives us an opportunity to spoil our dedicated students in English and reward them for their effort to learn English. At the same time, we teach them the English dates in a fun and engaging way. That’s all there is to it.

We wish you all a merry Christmas and see you at Santa Island in the near future. Santa sends his regards.

How Do You Learn English While Boat Racing in Mingoville Virtual World?

That is a good question but nevertheless it’s possible. All games in Mingoville Virtual World are educational and developed to teach kids English. That goes for the Boat Races as well. Prior to this blog post, I described the learning possibilities in the social MMO games; Quiz Talk and SuperStar which are based on interaction and content produced by the students themselves in the form of songs or recorded words from the interactive dictionary.
The Boat Races are competition games. The students race against one another on time.

Multitasking Games

There are three types of Boat Races; 1-player, 2-player and 4-player races.

1 player Boat Race4 Player Boat Race2 Player Boat Race

All Boat Races are built upon speed and English word recognition. The boat is controlled using the arrows on the keyboard. The students’ ability to recognize the words have been build up in the theme based missions, where the students spell, read, listen and practice the pronunciation and meaning of the word in different contexts. In the Boat Race, the students have to quickly recognize the words, collect the right items and still maintain speed around the corners of the racing track, which will strengthen their coordination and multitasking skills as well as the ability to recognize the words they learned in the missions.

The GameBoat Race Game Racing on time, the student needs to collect the right items. He or she receives points based on the numbers of “collected” items as well as time spent in total. In all games, the points are converted to coins that the student can spend in Mingoville drinking coffee or renting a fishing rod.

After the games, the score list will appear and the student can check his or her position on different parameters, e.g. Today among all the users of Mingoville, or this Week among the kids of his or her own country, or perhaps All Time for the whole world.

High Score List for the Boat Race

The Boat Races are popular games because it’s always fun to compete against your friends. Besides, the games are based on basic English words which make them ideal games for the beginners. In some of the other games, the student is required to have some understanding of English in order to play or at least to win the games.

A way of using the Boat Races actively in the classroom or at home is to challenge the students for a race against their teacher or parent. I have to give you a warning. If you are not a regular gamer, it’s not easy to navigate the boat – I’m not a hardcore gamer and I have a hard time controlling the direction of the boat. I get beaten by youngster all the time. I really have to practice my navigation skills to keep up with the kids. However, it’s fun and it boosts the kids’ self confidence when they beat you. In the name of fun and positive learning, we dare you to challenge your students or your child.

We’d love to hear the results. As always you are welcome to comment and make suggestion to new features.

Win the SuperLearner Championship of Mingoville Virtual World!

Championship trophyWe invite all flamingos to participate in the wild race to the top of all score lists in Mingoville’s new virtual world for kids.

To celebrate the opening of our new virtual world, we give out 50 SuperLearnerships to the best English performing kids. This means that the kids that are on the top 10 ‘World’, ‘All Time’ score list in any of the games in Mingoville by July 12th, 2009 12:00 a.m. CET time win a 3-month SuperLearnership.

Who’s a SuperLearner? That’s a kid dedicated to becoming an English savvy flamingo while having a lot of fun. As a SuperLearner you can build the coolest flamingo in Mingoville, buy clothes and other things made available for the SuperLearner flamingos as they are keen on learning English. SuperLearners also get to try out all new areas before we introduce them to everybody else. Win a SuperLearnership and get exclusive access to the red carpet every time.

BillboardThe rules of the Mingoville SuperLearner Championship are simple:

By playing one of the educational games in Mingoville, the kids will get points for their performance. To get on the top 10 ‘World’ ‘All time’ high score list you will have to have one of the 10 highest scores of the game. It means that you need to beat everyone else in the world to become a SuperLearner.

InSpeed Boat challenge the Boat Race, in order to be amongst the top 10 you need to race all the laps and collect relevant English words by recognizing the images.

The Letter Game is all about spelling as many words as possible. The more difficult the word is the higher score you will get if spelled correctly.

The Concert Game is different from the other games because it requires the kids to record one of the 10 songs found in Mingoville School. After recording a song the kid selects the final version and plays it in front of his or her friends. To get on the top 10 ‘World’ ‘All time’ list, the kid has to make a lot of funky moves while the songs plays. During performance the kid may or may not receive a lot of applause from the audience depending how well he or she performs. The best moves and the ‘loudest’ applause will surely get the artist on top of the list.

competition-blog

The lucky winners will be announced July 13th – break a leg and have fun :)

June Rosendahl

Mingoville Team

Mingoville Uses Virtual World to Teach Kids English

Hello Mingovillers,

We have written a lot about the launch of Mingoville Virtual World over the past months, and about all the games where kids can immerse themselves into the English language by playing lots of fun, educational games. Now, Mingoville World is LIVE for everybody. Sign up and try for yourself.

flamingos learn English

Now out of beta, Mingoville Virtual World offers every child, teen, ESL student a chance to improve their English in a fun and engaging way all for free. Learning English doesn’t only take place inside the classroom any longer. It takes place everywhere on the Internet, and especially in social media.

Kids share, develop, and create their lives and relationships in social media. At Mingoville, we go a step further with our new virtual world based on Massively Multiplayer Online Games, turning social networking and gaming for kids into social learning for kids. As you may know, the number of children in virtual worlds will grow tremendously over the next years.

Creating a virtual world that combines teaching English for kids with games and socialization is the best way to obtain an immersive yet effective learning environment on a platform that is so familiar to the kids already. Adding a virtual world to our interactive English program also gives us the opportunity to provide better ESL education for everybody, regardless of their limited access to education and learning resources in their home country. Although it requires a broadband connection and a PC, everything is stored online so the children can login from anywhere 24/7. This is social learning when it’s best.

We release new features every day and develop new games and activities constantly to keep the kids interested. The more they play and learn English, the bigger the reward of coins and feathers to play with. It offers them an incentive to learn.

Over the next weeks, we will go more into depth with the different games and their educational elements in order to give you parents, teachers and interested people an idea of how we see education for the 21st century. Sign up freely to RSS feed to be notified.

Stephan Stephensen

French Kids Have Fallen Under The Spell of Mingoville! Magical!

We want to admit that one of the most important things at Mingoville is knowing that somebody is actually  using and benefiting from what you develop. We are so thrilled and excited to share on our blog what our users from France are saying about Mingoville.

English fun games

“Marie-Catherine Capel, School tutor at the multimedia center of Boulingrins, 95490 Vauréal, France

As part of an initiative from the Collège of Vauréal (French middle school or junior high school) to support teenagers (11-16 years old) having difficulties with their homeworks, I created a multimedia workshop in foreign languages (English and German) from scratch in 2007.

In 2008, I discovered Mingoville. …

I immediately fell in love with Mingoville. Some of my favourite features include:

  • the high quality & the realism of the animations,
  • the fantastic voices and great English pronunciation,
  • the colourful images,
  • the eccentricity of the characters,
  • the variety and progress of the missions,
  • its perfect match with both for the linguistic program of the 6ème and 5ème,
  • and an ESL refresher course for teenagers who dropped out at some point in their education (college or further).

We have been interacting with an adorable and very helpful person, Malene Jensen, whom I would like to acknowledge and thank in her commitment and support with our Mingoville implementation.

I truly believe that this program is quite remarkable with its high quality and well thought details and a very precious tool for teachers and students.

Mingoville : Work or play? It’s both with lots of fun!!!!! Definitively the winning formula!

One of our students in 6ème, Theresia says: “When I go home, I work and play on Mingoville, and since then, my little sister has also fallen under the spell of Mingoville and knows everything by heart! Magical!

Bravo and thank you! Long live to Mingoville and its flamboyant flamingos!!”

Interactive English course

Well, just wanted to share it with you and as always have fun learning English.

Vladimir Chen

Mingoville Launches A Virtual World For The Scandinavian Kids To Learn English

Our virtual world is finally LIVE in Denmark as the first market. After days and even nights of testing, testing and testing, we have launched our Mingoville World to the Danish kids. Now they can learn English while they play fun games, meet new friends and talk to their classmates.

Concert in the Virtual World
It was a great moment when we launched, with lots of cheering as we welcomed our first kid in the Mingoville World, but also a moment with some anxiety. Would the kids find our educational games entertaining and would they use our Safe English Chat? Similarly, would they understand how to use the coins and feathers they earn by completing the learning exercises in the Mingoville School? Well, we had nothing to fear. The kids have lots of fun playing the games while also chatting in English.

Picture this; 8 year old Peter is sitting very concentrated in front of the computer singing the same song over and over again, practicing his English pronunciation which has to be perfect. He is recording the song for the concert he is giving in the Mingoville World tonight. A concert, he has invited all his online friends to go to. On the other side of the world, 9 year old Alexandra is logging in to the Mingoville World. She is looking forward to going to the concert with her Danish friend Peter.
Menu in MMO

Actually, the more you practice your English and the more English exercises you complete in the Mingoville School, the more feathers and coins you get in the Mingoville World to play with. To give a concert requires that you record an English song which in return gives lots of feathers and coins to dress up your flamingo or buy a drink in the Café.

Register your kid in the Mingoville World (Only Danes for the time being)

We have tested the Safe English Chat feature. NO offensive words can be used, trust us.

Mingoville World is in beta as we continue to develop it by adding new exciting games and features thus assuring that the kids never get bored when learning English. We welcome you to explore the new virtual world together with your kids when it comes out in June.

Please feel free to comment or share your ideas and experiences with Mingoville. We are always open to your suggestions.

Sign up now for free and be notified when the Mingoville World is available in your country

June Rosendahl
Mingoville Team