iRead Apps are taking shape…

The past few months have been very busy for our technical partners who are responsible for building the iRead apps as well as the infrastructure which will support them. The pedagogical partners have also been working hard on the learning designs for the apps which set out how the various reading skills should be taught and reinforced.

Below you can read more about the progress we have made over the past term as well as find out about the various activities and events project partners have been involved in.

New game activities for sentences

We have been spending lots of time on our game specifications over the past three months. This has been a really challenging task as it involves linking different learning objectives with suitable game activities across all four languages. We initially focused on word-based games, but now Fish in the Bottle have begun developing new game activities that support sentences to help children learn about syntax. Below are some screenshots of these exciting new games.

    

 

 

 

 

 

We have been testing out many of the game activities with pupils in the UK. This has given us ideas for how to design the game tutorials to help children with learning to play the game. The pupils also helped us identify some bugs within the activities as well as any parts that were not quite fun enough!

Improving the reader app visual design

UCL and Dolphin have been working together on making the look and feel of the reader app more child-friendly. We thought carefully about the font, icons and layout of each screen to ensure that it is designed not only to look nice but also to be easy to use.

The reader app prototype has now been translated and partners from the UK, Spain, Greece, Sweden, Romania and Germany have been taking it into schools. Teachers and pupils gave helpful feedback on the different features and how they might use them. This will help us in our next step to build a fully functioning version of the app.

           

 

 

 

 

 

Gamification workshops in Spain

Kay Berkling (DHBW) and her student Daria Seledtsova gave three workshops on gamification at University of Barcelona and the Center for Pedagogic Resources in Valls (Tarragona). Attendees included primary and secondary school teachers from some of the schools involved in the iRead project as well as teachers from the Consortium of Education in Barcelona and Tarragona.

They reflected together on the fundamentals of gamification and what motivates people, and then looked at some of the underlying psychological principles. This knowledge was extended into the design of motivating applications and games. Teachers contributed wonderful ideas and discussed how to gamify their own lessons.

There were over 60 attendees in both locations and it was evaluated as a highly successful workshop!

iRead project meetings – London and Athens

In January we had our third project meeting at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London. All partners attended this two-day meeting and it was an opportunity to catch up on all the great work that has been done to date. We also made some important decisions about our focus for the coming months as we now begin planning for our large-scale pilot evaluation which will start early next year.

Following on from this the technical teams met in February at NTUA in Athens to spend some more time discussing the current technical challenges and also to plan how the iRead infrastructure will link up with the different apps.

 

In other news…

  • The iRead project has been featured in the FutureBook blog – read the full post here.
  • Research on feedback in early literacy games undertaken by UCL, DHBW and University of Gothenburg will be presented at the CHI 2018 conference in Montréal, Canada on 23-26 April.
  • The University of Gothenburg team will be sharing the game with both teachers and pupils at the Gothenburg Science Festival on 17-22 April.
  • The University of Ioannina will present a paper on pilot data from the online self paced reading task at the annual meeting of the Department of Linguistics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki next month on 19-21 April.
  • Fish in a Bottle and UCL will jointly present a seminar at the UCL Knowledge Lab in June on the game design process.
  • UCL and Learnus will be organising two dissemination events in June focused on the design of feedback in reading games. We will be inviting Y1-3 teachers, dyslexia teachers and learning game developers to attend – please get in touch with us via email for more information.
Presentations and resources from our previous dissemination activities and events are available to view and download from our website, along with all of our submitted project deliverables.

Thank You!

Last but not least we would like to acknowledge the important contribution that teachers and pupils from the following schools have made to the iRead project over the last term:

Does your school want to get involved in iRead? We will shortly be recruiting schools for our pilot evaluations of the game and reader apps (Jan 2019 – Jul 2020). For more information please see our pilot information flyer – expressions of interest to participate can be made through our project website or by contacting us via email.

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