Press Release: June 10, 2020
Canberra, Australia, June 3, 2020 - Canberra learning technology company, Skoolbo Australia, which recently launched a writing program called Writing Legends , saw a surge in uptake from elementary school teachers across the globe who have been struggling to effectively conduct classes online.
Assisting educators in teaching writing - free access
Featuring hundreds of activities for students in grades 3 to 6, Writing Legends leverages technology to creatively assist educators in teaching writing. Initially launched in Australia and New Zealand on 26 February this year in association with Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand, Writing Legends brought forward its global roll-out to 17 March as part of their Assistance-for-Schools response to the coronavirus pandemic which saw closure of schools in more than 190 countries and classes going online. Provided free of charge globally through to
July 31, 2020, this complimentary access has garnered over 16,094 teacher registrations globally. Within weeks of the launch, Writing Legends reported student submissions on their platform totaling over 20 million words.
“We want students to genuinely enjoy writing and thinking of ideas. Teachers tell us how much their students love using Writing Legends and we are especially proud to hear of its success in engaging reluctant writers. The vocabulary tools are specifically designed to help close the word gap and teachers appreciate the ability to set activities and provide individual feedback using this digital offering,” said Shane Hill, CEO of Skoolbo Australia and the founder and creator of other educational tools which include Mathletics , Spellodrome , World Math Day as well as Skoolbo and da Vinci Decathlon.
See how students are constructing their writing
Elementary school teachers tasked with teaching writing already face a number of challenges including students’ lack of vocabulary, poor grammar and spelling, student readiness and lack of access to reading material. This has been compounded by the current outbreak requiring them to adapt to a totally different skill-set of teaching online including retaining student attention and engagement, remotely.
Writing Legends blends technology with captivating writing prompts and modeling to dramatically improve teaching and learning. Both short and longer focus activities are supported by annotated exemplars.
One of the most exciting features is the Student Replay which enables teachers to replay student responses and view exactly how students constructed their writing. This helps them in encouraging and rewarding student reflection and editing instead of only assessing the finished output. The latest UNESCO data indicates 100 countries have yet to announce a date for schools to reopen. While several have fully or partially reopened, this digital tool can certainly augment teaching efforts.
What help can spelling analytics provide?
Teachers have lauded that Writing Legends has enabled better analysis of student writing, allowing them a deeper understanding of writing trends and gaps. Writing Legends released the ‘Spelling Analytics’ feature last week, bringing with it added benefit to both teachers and students. Students are provided a breakdown of common spelling mistakes enabling them to work on their individual issues. A practice area that is continually evolving, ‘Spelling Analytics’ was developed by analysing over 15 million words written by students and reviewing over 5,000 of the most common mistakes made.
“Collectively, our learning communities are accessed by tens of millions of students. We accelerated our efforts to meet the challenges of the current pandemic and believe Writing Legends is uniquely positioned to assist with the teaching and learning of writing. Over the coming weeks, we will be rolling out more enhancements within the teacher dashboard to further streamline feedback and activity setting. We will also provide teachers with the ability to choose and adapt from a preset list of feedback comments. With ‘Spelling Analytics’, we are already seeing the database of common mistakes expanding with usage of the platform. This will further assist research and development efforts in relation to spelling,” Hill
elaborated. For more information on the Assistance-for-Schools response and the offer valid till July 31, 2020 visit blog.storyathon.com/assistanceforschools
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About Skoolbo Australia
Skoolbo Australia Pty Ltd is a learning technology company. Passionate about helping children reach their potential, they are the makers of Storyathon, Think Curiously, Skoolbo, ChuChu School and Chess Squad Academy. Writing Legends was launched in February 2020 for Australia and New Zealand in association with Oxford University Press (ANZ). Writing Legends accelerated its global roll-out to 17
March as part of their Assistance-for-Schools response to the coronavirus pandemic which saw the shift to remote schooling. Writing Legends is a comprehensive writing program containing hundreds of activities for students in grades 3 to 6. This digital tool enables teachers to guide students through their writing development, providing writing prompts, tools and opportunities for timely feedback. For more
information, visit www.writinglegends.com
About Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. OUP Australia and New Zealand is the oldest continuous educational publisher in Australia, supporting Oxford University's objective of furthering excellence in research, scholarship, and education in the region
since 1908. We believe that education changes lives, and the right learning resources can make a positive difference for learners of all ages.