Spotlight on our partner collaborations

This term we have focused on working closely with our partner schools to ensure our reader and game apps are both easy and fun to use. We have also been building collaborations with children’s authors and publishers who have agreed to contribute some fantastic work to our reader digital library for use during the upcoming pilot in schools.

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

We wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing summer!

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Naming and trialling the apps

We have made some great progress on both the reader and game apps. One important task was to decide on a name for each apps, so we would like to introduce you to Amigo Reader and the Navigo game.

Pupils at our partner schools have been trying out an early version of our Amigo Reader, which we have loaded with a small number of the digital books we have collected (see below for more info about these). The children were very quick at identifying bugs in the app and also made some great suggestions about how to improve it further.

        

The Navigo game activities have been refined extensively in the last few months through our ongoing school visits most recently in the UK and Spain, with teachers commenting about how far they have progressed since the early prototypes. We are now working hard to integrate the games with the actual content and also will soon be improving the instructions and feedback provided within each game activity.

   

Partnering with authors and publishers

We are very happy to be working with several talented authors and publishers who have kindly agreed to contribute some of their stories and poetry to the Amigo Reader digital library. These texts will be read by thousands of school children across Europe during our upcoming pilot. To date we have joined forces with eight fantastic authors and publishers who include:

  • Fiction Express and Alex Woolf (English)
  • Text Project (English)
  • Mark Lowery (English)
  • Sergio Andricaín (Spanish)
  • Ursula Rickli (German)
  • Ramon Besora Oliva (Spanish)
  • Patakis Publishers (Greek)
  • Pratham Books and Storyweaver (multiple languages)
    

You can find out more about them and their work via our web page:
https://iread-project.eu/partners/iread-authors-and-publishers/

Teacher workshops in the UK and Sweden

We have been running several workshops this term to provide chances for teachers to inform the Navigo game design and also to share back some of the relevant findings from our research with existing reading games.

The University of Gothenburg team organised a workshop at the #PopUpDig conference in Sweden last month for around 40 teachers. The teachers were introduced to both the Navigo game and Amigo Reader as well as to how they facilitate personalised learning. Thereafter, the teachers were allowed to play some of the game activities and provide their feedback on them.

With the aim to understand the opportunities offered by learning analytics to improve teaching activities, the UCL team organised two workshops with primary school teachers to explore what insights teachers would like to have from data generated by the iRead apps. They used a design tool called ‘Inspiration Cards’ to collaboratively to design new possibilities and inquiries for the data generated by the Navigo game.

Most recently the UCL team in collaboration with Learnus organised a series of teacher workshops focused on existing tablet-based reading games for primary school children. The workshops provided the opportunity for teachers to share their own experiences using reading games as well as trial, evaluate and discuss several commercial reading games for themselves using the iRead analytic framework, which is now available to download from our website in the teacher resources section.

    

Consortium meeting in Athens

Last month NTUA hosted a two-day iRead Consortium meeting at their campus in Athens (28-29 June). It was a good opportunity to share our achievements in the different areas of the project over the past 6 months as well as discuss upcoming challenges and potential risks during the final stages of development before the evaluation period starts in 2019.

It was great to meet together as a whole team to find out about the fantastic progress that has been made (and sample some delicious Greek cuisine!) but also to get the chance to discuss some of the trickier issues that we are now facing including the game/content integration, sourcing appropriate content for the reader in all languages and finalising our evaluation design.

GDPR clarification

After seeking further advice with regard to the recent (and complex!) GDPR legislation we now understand that it is not mandatory for existing newsletter subscribers to re-confirm their subscription as everyone currently on this mailing list has a “legitimate interest” in the iRead project. In line with this legislation we have also added a privacy notice to our website detailing our use of personal data, which you can read in full here.

Please note however if you no longer wish to receive updates about the project you can unsubscribe at any time via the link at the bottom of this newsletter or by emailing the iRead team.

In other news…

  • The UCL team presented work on feedback in early reading games at the CHI conference in Montréal, Canada in April. Read about it here.
  • Fish in a Bottle and UCL jointly presented a seminar at the UCL Knowledge Labon the game design process – you can watch the seminar recording online here.
  • The University of Ioannina presented work on the effect of linguistic complexity on reading/sentence comprehension at the Language Disorders in Greek in Athens last month. Find out more here.
  • Manolis Mavrikis (UCL) demoed the iRead apps as part of the interactive event at the Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) Festival of Learning conference at the UCL Institute of Education.
  • The University of Barcelona team have had poster on “Digital games and young learners’ reading skills in L1 and L2: The role of feedback” accepted to the EuroSLA conference and will present it in Münster, Germany in September.
  • Check out the new look Dissemination section of our website where you can can find descriptions, slide decks and videos of our past presentations as well as links to recent publications, project deliverables and resources.

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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