San Diego — Feb. 2, 2016 — Whooo’s Reading, by Learn2Earn, is once again responding to teacher input and learning trends with two updates to its platform. The company can now help teachers integrate their Whooo’s Reading account with Google Classrooms. In addition, it has introduced an array of reading comprehension badges that add to the platform’s gamification and blended-learning elements, giving students motivation to master different reading comprehension skills sets, and the freedom to choose the manner and rate in which they master those standard-aligned skills.
The company integrated with Google Classroom in response to teacher’s expressed interest in the idea. “We have gotten a lot of feedback from teachers, in fact nearly 75 percent of Whooo’s Reading teachers shared that they would have an easier time integrating Whooo’s Reading in their classroom if it synced up with Google Classroom,” said Raphael Menko, the co-founder and CEO of Learn2Earn. “We believe that Google Classroom makes it easier for Whooo’s Reading to become a regular part of the learning week.”
The Google Classroom platform has proved extremely popular with teachers and students; EdSurge reports that within the first year of availability, the Chrome store saw 2.3 million downloads of the tool while the Android Play Store had between 500,000 and 1 million downloads. Additionally, 70 million assignments were created with Google Classroom in that same time period.
“The core benefit of integrating with Google classroom is that teachers and students can log in with their Google account,” said Menko. With the Google Classroom integration, new teacher users will no longer have to upload a roster file to add students, but will be able to automatically add their students by syncing with Google Classroom. Those students won’t have to remember another username or password, but will be able to log in with their Google accounts. Additionally, existing teacher users will be able to sync their current student accounts with Google classroom so their students will also be able to log in with their Google accounts.
With the new badges system, every standards-aligned category awards students three different types of badges:
— Focus badges, awarded for answering at least seven questions in a category.
— Mastery badges, awarded for receiving a “4” (the highest grade) from their teacher on three or more responses.
— Mystery badges, awarded for secret conditions that vary from category to category. For example, one category awards a badge if the student’s response gets one “like” from a teacher, one “like” from a parent, and one “like” from a fellow student.
Teachers who are focusing on teaching standards, such as analyzing comparisons, can look for students who have earned the Focus or Mastery badges in the relevant categories and reward them; in addition, they can identify which students need individual help in different areas of reading comprehension thus empowering them to easily differentiate their instruction. The badges are designed to be challenging to earn, and even students who regularly use the website may not earn all of them over the course of a school year.
“The goal of the new badges feature is to motivate students to become well-rounded thinkers by getting stronger in all of the platform’s comprehension-related question categories,” said Menko. “We only see improvement when we practice, and we believe focus badges will encourage students to answer more questions out of their comfort zone that will lead to greater comprehension across the board.”
Specifically designed with the motto ‘make sure the kids always win,’ the lively Whooo’s Reading platform makes reading fun by giving students the power of choice, allowing them to read fiction or nonfiction works while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives. It also encourages student to improve specific standards-aligned reading and writing skills and become more confident in writing for authentic audiences, including classmates and family members. Finally, Whooo’s Reading gives teachers the ability to assess reading comprehension skills from any device including smartphones, tablets or computers.
Learn2Earn is a young startup company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. Unlike other reading or fundraising programs, their service is child-centric rather than educator-centric. That means that everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it, on making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. In the area of fundraising, they offer something that most fundraising companies don’t: an educational platform for schools to use to raise money. Students aren’t selling; they’re improving their reading skills. For more information, visit https://www.learn2earn.org
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