All posts by iCL Admin

Breaking The 1000 Mark!!!

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Breaking the 1000 mark!

We are pleased to announce that last week one of our trial schools broke the 1000 mark. Let me clarify – one child read over 1000 pages in a week and logged this via the iCanRead Reading Log. A stellar performance that would ensure he was top of his class for the week.

Given the National Literacy Trust’s report published this week on reading which examines the habits of children inside and outside of school, there are a number of links we can make here. Firstly, the child who logged this reading record was a boy. The report identified the reading gap was widening between boys and girls, even though the general trend was positive increases across the board. Secondly, the report indicated that access to technology in the home is increasing with 77% of KS2 having access to a tablet and remarkably 58% having their own smartphone. Access to smartphones or technology to use an app is less in question now than ever before.

This helps to prove our hypothesis: Children’s engagement in reading outside of the classroom increases when we combine interactive reading technology with parental involvement, and blend with an element of competition. This is an early view on what iCanRead can do; the mission now is to increase adoption across schools and record even more 1000+ scores in a week.

Early Years Reading 

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In my opinion as an early years practitioner I feel that early reading is paramount to a child’s success in education.The focus should primarily be on enjoying books in a child’s pre school education, which may occur at home or within a pre school or nursery setting. Listening to different stories, rhymes and poems is a wonderful start to a child’s reading career with a view of teaching reading strategies rapidly as the children enter Foundation Stage 2.

I also feel that having positive adult role model has a huge impact on children (especially boys) and to see individuals whom a child looks up to reading and more importantly enjoying books is so important in giving children an excellent start in reading.

Finally, parental support at home has an enormous impact on children’s reading . Practise really does make perfect and with the full support of schools through reading and phonic workshops, this really can be a match made in heaven.

 
Sian Farrelly – Early Years Lead Practitioner

Reading and Education

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Good Early Years’ practitioners  will always prioritise early acquisition of reading skills as a vehicle for accessing the rest of the curriculum and being ready for the next phase of education. This has also been recognised by all 6 approved providers in the new baseline assessment.

Allyson Ingall, Education Consultant

Next Government to Prioritise Action to Improve Early Education

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Today the National Literacy Trust published the below article in collaboration with ‘Read on. Get on.’, ‘The Power of Reading’ and the IFS, and the findings are interesting and further the case of the importance of early reading. iCL are also firm advocates of “encouraging the public to join the drive to get all children reading.”

http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/news/6575_read_on_get_on_calls_on_next_government_to_prioritise_action_to_improve_early_education

The importance of reading, at any age, cannot be underestimated, however this research crucially highlights the importance of prioritising early reading. Reading is key to a child’s development and underpins all their learning and therefore, in turn, paves the way for future success.

Reading is also the cornerstone for success for all children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Success and progress in reading allows these children to close the gap and catch up with more advantaged peers and improve their educational outcomes and life chances. It is also vital that we remember that this is the job for everyone, the child, parents and schools, to work together and tackle this issue.

With the upcoming election, education is once again high on the agenda, and many organisations are calling for future governments to invest more in early years education, with a specific focus on improving reading levels, ensuring all children leave school able to read and have the best skills to succeed in life.

The stark “fact that 1 in 3 disadvantaged children leave primary school unable to read well” is worrying and unfair and only fuels the iCL fire to help in any way we can to tackle this and give all children engagement, fun and education through the power of reading.

iCanLearn + The Story Emporium

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Exciting news!!! iCanLearn is pleased to announce an exclusive partnership with The Story Emporium. Both share a simple principle to make reading enjoyable and extend learning beyond the classroom.

Our initial trial schools will be given free whole school licenses to the Story Emporium’s parent-school package and also exclusive offers and deals which can be viewed in more detail at http://www.thestoryemporium.co.uk/what-we-offer/

We are also pleased to announce that we are extending this offer to new customers who purchase iCanRead for their schools, please contact us at sales@icanlearnapps.co.uk for more information on these offers.

We’d like to thank the Story Emporium for their partnership with us and we look forward to working together to revolutionize learning in school and at home.

Exciting times ahead!

iCanRead and the Solar Eclipse

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Millions of people witnessed the solar eclipse yesterday and in some schools iCanRead was in the thick of it. Many schools focused their learning yesterday around the eclipse using science, maths and literacy lessons to explore the phenomenon.

A number of children in our trial schools began retreating the topic using non-fiction, science books and what did they use to accompany this and deepen their learning? iCanRead.

Many children used the audio phonic dictionary to decode tricky, technical eclipse words, and then supplemented their understanding using the comprehension questions, asking each other questions about this topic.

It was great to see iCanRead in action and having the flexibility to be used in lessons and at home helping children and parents share and learn about current events.

With events ranging from Easter to the general election and the Rugby World Cup all on the horizon, iCanRead can be used more and more to help children and parents depend their understanding by reading all sorts of texts on these topics.

The Kids Have the Power

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iCanRead always had the intention of engaging children with reading through technology.

In one trial school this has been taken to the next level. One trial school was conducting a mid-way analysis of the data and wanted to take the next steps to further the impact of iCanRead across the school.

So how did they tackle it?

In discussion with the iCanLearn team, a decision was reached to hand responsibility over to the children, to make them the experts and teachers. This may have appeared risky, but actually was the most powerful action they took.

Children are remarkably ‘tech savvy’ more so than we give them credit for and many children have grown up using apps and mobile devices and these things become intuitive of them. Over the next few weeks the children took ownership, showed their parents (and teachers in some cases!) how to use the app, how they were using it at home and in schools.

Slowly more parents across the school become more involved and shared the experience with their children and the school began to see impact at the increased levels at which they had aimed.

This was valuable feedback for all involved and many trial schools now are operating similar models with the same success. The children truly do have the power and they are the best advocates for iCanRead; the power of technology is indeed engaging them in reading.

Can we say mission achieved? Not yet… There is a long way to go, but we can certainly say mission launch, successful.

660 and Counting……

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When we setup iCanLearn and started to develop iCanRead we coined a phrase that was simple and aspirational at the same time; ‘If a child reads one more book as a result of using iCanRead, we will have fulfilled our aim’.

Well today, we experienced first hand that we have achieved this aim. It proved that this project is heading in the right direction.

One of our Directors went to St Joseph’s School in Guildford to interview Andy Stear, assistant Headteacher and what he told us left us open-mouthed. Andy pulled up the iCanRead Electronic Reading Record for his class – he reviews the Reading Record with the children every Friday by projecting it onto the big screen so the kids can view and celebrate their personal reading progress. At the top was a girl who had read 660 pages in a week and of course gained her platinum medal and every sticker going. We questioned this, ‘well she has clearly filled it in herself’, but Andy corrected us and said she had upped her reading to this level to compete and be the best in the class. Her usual reading level is around 100 pages.

There are many other positives that came from this meeting. Please watch this space for the video we shot on-site at St Joseph’s. We cannot guarantee every child will increase their reading more than 6-fold but we are hearing that boys respond well to the technology used and the competitive nature. Another real positive was that this made the teacher’s life easier. No more paper reading records and an additional tool to use in the classroom that drives results.

Currently, we are running trials at half a dozen schools like St Joseph’s and we are incredibly excited about collecting and publishing the results. If you would like to trial iCanRead, please contact us through sales@icanlearnapps.co.uk.

iCanRead trials start soon! See what Guildford High School has to say…

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After being contacted by Adam to discuss his new app [iCanRead], designed to support early reading, we were excited to hear more, having recently started to integrate iPad technology into all areas of our curriculum. We had a really encouraging meeting with Adam and Dom, in which we were shown the prototype of the app and given some more information about how the app would support reading and its home school relationship. The colourful and child-friendly interface, along with the variety of activity options immediately appealed to us and we could see straight away the potential benefits of using an app such as this. We are excited by the prospect of teachers being able to tailor advice and communicate it easily and effectively with parents. We suggested the possibility of broadening the scope of different users to include teaching assistants as well, who are fundamental to the pupils’ development of reading skills. Because the app is still being adapted and developed, with advice from a collection of Technology Partner schools, this gives iCanRead even more potential. We are looking forward to trialling the app as we are about to start distributing individual iPads in Reception and Key Stage One classes.

Jodie Rowell – Teacher – Guildford High School – Guildford, United Kingdom

iCanLearn Technology Partner Programme

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iCanLearn’s success will rely on the valuable input from the three key stakeholders at which these Apps are aimed: StudentsParents and Teachers. We want our Apps to be the BEST they can be for our users, so we are reaching out to you for your feedback.

We want a core of users to come on this journey with us and give input directly into product development. We have set up the Technology Partner Programme and we need more people to join us. Initially, we will open this Programme to schools who trial the beta versions of iCanRead, and we plan to expand this initiative onto all of our Apps as they come.

We invite you to participate in our bi-annual User Groups. Be the first to trial our new products before they are released! You will receive inside updates on iCanLearn’s upcoming plans and special promotions. If you are interested in being a part of our Technology Partner Programme, please contact us through sales@icanlearn.co.uk.

The iCanLearn Team

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