Welcome to the new age: BOOKR Class 2.0
Launching a brand new update
Today marks a huge milestone for BOOKR Class – and the educational technology sector with all the lovely teachers in need of an engaging tool for their English lessons.
BOOKR Class is coming out with a brand new visual representation and feature set that contains these early years of experimenting and observing. Plus the valuable experience of our users who have helped us improve our product every step of the way. However, I am getting ahead of myself. You can’t get a picture of where we’re heading unless you know where it all came from. Let us take you away and travel back to 2015 just for a second with us – to when it all began.
Our company, BOOKR Kids was founded in 2015 with the mission of making reading a habit in every child’s life. Reading and storytelling is becoming underrated in our lives and the literacy capabilities of more than 50% of adults are now no better than computers.
We believe that through reading many skills are developed that are necessary to lead a successful and fulfilling life such as reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, cognitive, social and emotional capabilities.
Storytelling is common throughout all eras, cultures and backgrounds – it is a shared experience. Everyone can relate to stories, especially children.
Narratives are engaging, and can catch and hold attention, are immersive and memorable. Whether through books, pictures, music, multimedia, or the spoken word – storytelling is a crucial part of early childhood education and beyond.
Even though we started as a digital publishing company, following research in 2018 we realized that we could dedicate this unique know-how we developed to education. The research showed that our interactive e-book format is capable of raising and holding attention long term, and those who were reading with the digital books even performed 20% better on the reading comprehension tests compared to learners who were reading printed books.
How about using this knowledge not only to improve reading skills, but to help children learn a second language? So a new product was born – called BOOKR Class – with books and games in English that children enjoy while English teachers are able to monitor their performance.
In the past 5 years our team has grown from 3 to 40 employees and today consists of international children literature experts, psychologists, ESL teachers, editors, writers, illustrators, animators, developers, and so on.
Many things have changed around BOOKR Class, and our ESL/EFL app but the main pillars will always stay the same: storytelling, high quality and a mission-driven team.
So what is new then? – you might ask. Let’s go through some of the major innovations that users have never seen before.
We have doubled the number of books and games
We cherish quality over quantity: all our books are meticulously created by our team of English teachers, psychologists, illustrators and animators. We always choose to give the best quality and experience to users rather than have low quality books in the system to boost the numbers.
However, for this launch we have worked twice as hard to provide 1000+ content to our youngest readers – more than 300 exciting new stories that will captivate students.
Lexile® Framework: Find your students' level with an objective measurement method
A placement test is crucial to know which level is best for your child or student – if it’s too easy, they might get bored or not improve much, and on the other hand if the level of a book/exercise is too high, they can easily become discouraged.
What is a Lexile placement test?
When students first log in to the all, they can complete a test that depicts their level of English proficiency. Based on their score the app will place them to a corresponding BOOKR level.
The placement test results are one of the factors that determine the book recommendations in the Library ( alongside interests and assigned books by the teachers) . Educators can also use Lexile® scores as a way to measure student progress. Lexile leveling gives an objective measure, where you can see the difference among your students.
It is a great tool for differentiation, as you can assign books with similar topics and vocabulary at different levels – a huge support for educators.
Gamification is the name of the game: motivating with coins and badges
We are dedicated to helping teachers give that extra nudge to students to practice as much as possible and work on implementing gamification techniques into our Library App. Gamification is the use of game elements in applications that are not games. Our user experience experts have borrowed elements from games, such as coins and badges to motivate users by giving them small awards for their achievements – in our case, achievement is when a child finishes reading a book.
There is one area that is a challenging one when it comes to learning a new language: pronunciation. As an exciting new feature, all the learning cards are supplemented with voice recognition so that the kids practice the pronunciation and receive instant feedback.
The most wanted: an even more easy-to-use Teacher’s Dashboard
The Teacher’s Dashboard assists teachers in preparation, time optimization and differentiation with real-time reading statistics and book assignment. Via this platform teachers can track overall engagement, reading habits, assignment completion, level progression and language skill development.
Therefore they can understand their students’ performance and differentiate. In the new version, there is an even more detailed search engine and the opportunity to register all of your students with just one click that will save teachers even more time with administrative tasks and class preparation.
They can then spend more time doing what they are best at – educating the next generation of English readers. There will also be preview videos to further help teachers when selecting books, assessing how suitable the book is for students and the purpose of the class. What is more, in addition to the downloadable and printable Activity Tips and worksheets, the flashcard sets in the app are now printable from the new Teacher’s Dashboard.
Make your profile your own!
Now children are free to add their own personality to the app by choosing an avatar for themselves, selecting their interests and marking their favourite books as well. This not only adds a more personal touch, but also allows our system to recommend books that a student is more likely to be interested in based on their interests and level of English. Then again, the ultimate benefit here is motivating children to learn and read more.
Last but not least: BO is here to make learning fun
Design plays an important role in the experience that children have while using an application – and has cognitive benefits as well. We have made BOOKR Class even brighter, more colourful and with a more dynamic, playful BO bunny who is there for children every step of the way: giving them feedback or navigating through the learning process.