A word from our CEO: How tech can overcome the world’s education problems

Header Image

A recent UN Education Agency commissioned report estimated that at least 250 million of the world’s primary school age children are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics at all. The same number of children are also struggling to improve to a functional level, and this is not a problem linked solely to developing countries.

Across the world, we are facing the very real possibility that, in the near future, the generation approaching retirement will be more literate and numerate than the youngest adults.

Shane Circle HeadshotSolving the world’s challenges or the problem of global illiteracy and innumeracy is a huge task but it’s essential if we are to improve the health, wellbeing and life chances of the world’s children.

I would argue that there has never been a better time to be in education. The technology we have available to us now means that the difficulties of the past shouldn’t constrain our future or, more importantly, our children’s future.

I believe that this is achievable and that the answer lies in making learning both accessible and efficient. The opportunities that technology opens up in this regard are just astounding and, in terms of learning, it can be of tremendous assistance.

Mastering skills such as number recognition, automatic recall of times tables or being able to smoothly blend groups of letters to form words takes time. It is therefore vital that children are motivated and engaged sufficiently to persevere.

Technology is a tool to help learning not a replacement. A number of people are of the opinion that technology shouldn’t be used in education. I fundamentally disagree. Technology can be used to improve learning. It is ubiquitous to children’s lives these days and to take it away seems false. You would not go into a hospital and say “I don’t want modern treatment, please give me what worked in the 1940s or ’50s”!

Technology isn’t just an aide to the child it can give so much to the teacher, parent, education system. Technology can help reveal to us how children learn which, in turn, enables us to teach in better ways. We are able to identify the areas of the curriculum that children struggle to grasp.

For example if you go back five years and ask most maths teachers what basic skills children find difficult and they would have flagged division as one of the hardest.

In fact the data from millions of records, in scores of countries, suggests otherwise. Subtraction is the element that children find the most challenging. Once they have mastered that area then others fall more easily into place.

Technology cannot and does not replace the great teacher but it can bring in others into the equation who can be also hugely supportive and motivational to the child.

In my experience technology that opens the door to the child’s support group to take an active role in education will have the biggest impact on learning and help us radically improve life outcomes for millions of children.

Shane Hill is a former teacher and founder of both Skoolbo and Mathletics (3P Learning). Skoolbo is one of the fastest growing reading, maths and languages learning program in the world with offices in 10 countries. Shane, who is a recipient of the Global Corporate Social Responsibility Award for his services to education, lives in Canberra.

This article originally appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald.

Another amazing school joins the 1 million club – Arahoe School

arahoe logo

Arahoe School a decile 5 contributing school, based between New Lynn and Green Bay opened with four classrooms in 1958 and now has a student population of nearly 700 students.

 

Arahoe has reached this milestone with the help of 6 Skoolbo Super champs (individuals answering more than 10,000 questions) including the very happy Levi below receiving Arahoe’s Super Champ trophy.

Here’s what they think about Skoolbo:

Sean: “You learn lots of new words and get better at maths”.

Paige: “It’s cool and fun and helps you learn things like maths and reading”.

Ewan: ”It is fun to play the games and you learn lots”.

Eoin: ”Helps me learn and it’s challenging”

Bhairvee: “Got lots of learning games and I like versing other people”.arahoe pc club

Metuli: “It helps me learn new words”.

James: “It’s cool to learn more than just one thing in a block.  I like how it swaps between maths and reading”.

Nate: “Challenge hard people”.

Arahoe School is IT savvy, along with their robotics and Code club they has incorporated Skoolbo into their homework routine, suggesting 10-15min three times a week.

Congratulations Arahoe we are very excited to have you join the 1 million club.
 

Go Arahoe school Go!!

arahoe super champ

Skoolbo is powering up teachers with NEW student reports!

student reports blog post (1)

Great news teachers!

It’s power up time at Skoolbo! We’re delighted to announce the latest addition to our website in the form of Student Reports! The data behind these simple statistics will serve to super-charge your students’ Skoolbo experience, by providing vital information that will allow teachers to prioritise the tasks and topics that matter most.

  • Stats at a glance – View students’ results from the last 7, 14, 30 or 90 days
  • Customised Leaderboards – Check out leaderboards that show the top 5 overall students in your class, the top 5 biggest improvers and also the top 5 classes in your school
  • Class Action – Discover Class Action plan items, which show the topics that students are having most difficulty with, are close to mastering and have mastered
  • Stay on track – Find out which students have and haven’t been learning on Skoolbo during your selected time frame

To find your Student Reports, simply log in to your teacher account and click on the Report tab at the top of the page. That’s it! A wealth of valuable information is now at your fingertips, so go ahead and become a Super Teacher on Skoolbo!

 report features blog post

 

super teacher registration white 2