Skyward Launches Student Reward System Integrated With Its SIS Software

2/22/2013 12:00:00 AM

Skyward Launches Student Reward System Integrated With its SIS Software

Skyward Student Reward System designed to motivate students by proactively rewarding them for positive behaviors and accomplishments in a game-like environment

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Feb. 21, 2013 – Higher student motivation has been linked to better academic performance, school satisfaction, social adjustment, and school completion rates, among other benefits, according to the Center on Education Policy. Skyward, Inc., a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software, is launching a Student Reward System that uses effective, motivational methods to connect positive, real-life behaviors with rewards provided through its online software. The Student Reward System is a free integrated feature of the Skyward Student Management Suite, the first student information system on the market with this functionality.

Within the system, students can assume a virtual identity, or avatar, and earn points for academic-related activities and game play. When students accumulate points, they are able to customize their avatar, advance to new levels within the system, and enjoy other incentives, including the ability to redeem “virtual” points to purchase items from their school store. Students are able to safely share their avatars and point totals with family members and peers in an engaging and positive online environment.

The reward system is fully customizable, enabling districts to rename the program under their own brands (e.g., “Panther Points”) and to set reward parameters, point allotments and other system features to meet their needs. Educators can define point-earning opportunities, such as achieving a particular assignment score, improving their grades, meeting an attendance goal, or exhibiting other positive behaviors. Parents and teachers will be able to monitor their students’ progress through the system, while school and district leaders can analyze data by school, grade or class to spot trends.

The Skyward Student Reward System harnesses effective gaming elements for educational purposes to foster motivation and positive academic outcomes. The use of game-based applications is accelerating across industries from healthcare to education as more organizations and individuals experience success. According to game designer and author Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., games instill desirable qualities, such as resiliency in the face of failure, curiosity, determination and optimism. And, bringing gaming elements, including emergent feedback, visual progression and collaboration, into schools can help learners gain these “gamer superpowers.”

“Because our student information system is the focal point for daily school operations and student progress monitoring, it provides an ideal platform for education leaders to implement a student reward system that promotes positive reinforcement,” said Scott Glinski, president of Skyward. “We are partnering with several of our customers to refine the game-based system this summer and bring the only offering of its kind to schools worldwide next school year. We are encouraged to see that the state superintendent of our home state, Wisconsin, recognizes the value of game-based interaction to improve student performance.”

Skyward will provide a sneak peek of the Student Reward System to attendees at its iCon user event, February 27-March 1, in Orlando. The system, which is in its final development stages, will be widely available at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. In future product releases, Skyward plans to expand its platform and add educational games that supplement classroom lessons in partnership with game developers and providers.

For more information on Skyward K-12 administrative software, visit www.skyward.com.

About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, the Skyward School Management System™ is used in more than 1,600 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to statewide implementations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the United States. To learn more, visit www.skyward.com.

Media Contacts
• Ray Ackerlund, Skyward, Inc., 800-236-7274 x1319, ray.ackerlund@skyward.com
• Kristen Plemon, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-216-7300 x18, kristen@cblohm.com

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