I am learning 8 is coming soon!

A big welcome back to school this terms, and welcome back to I am learning.

We have been working hard over the summer months, acting upon your feedback to make I am learning bigger and better than ever.

Coming in October, I am learning 8 will be launched to your school. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Better data analysis tools making it easier to compare and contrast assessment data
  • An overhaul of the homework setting tools, making it easier than ever to find appropriate activities to allocate to your learners
  • Ability to set the Red, Amber and Green traffic light system for different subjects in your school
  • New exam mode – Set activities with no games, no right/wrong feedback and an optional time limit.
  • Data extractor: Automating your MIS data within I am learning, so your classes will always be up to date
  • As a Teacher, you will have a ‘my classes’ section to easily see whats happening in your classes – this is part of a drive to save even more of your precious time
  • Related mainly to exams, new subjective question types. These question types do not automatically mark, but can show learners criteria and they can self mark. We then save their answers for teacher peer review.
  • Lots of new content across all subjects and key stages
  • A major move to HTML 5 technology, meaning more and more games work on your learner’s iPads

And it does not end there…
There is a lot more being released in October too, and we are already working on I am learning 8.1!

We look forward to providing you with an ever improving I am learning.

If you have any questions, or need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Email: hello@iamlearning.co.uk or call 01302 859829

The I am learning team

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Curriculum 2014: Ready when you are

We’ve been working hard to make sure that I am Learning is ready when you are for the new curriculum. We’ve undertaken some extensive audits and much of our content still largely meets the needs of Curriculum 2014 for both primary and secondary schools.

The biggest change has been that students are expected to master some skills and content at a younger age than they were previously. This is in line with the government’s intentions for a new national curriculum which “embodies high expectations in every subject and will raise standards for all children”. We recognised that this would mean some content may need reorganising as it becomes relevant to lower ages, so we have been remapping our activities to make sure that they are all in the right place. This means that you can be confident that, from September, all of our activities will appear in the relevant age groups specified by Curriculum 2014.

Of course there are some completely new topics that have been introduced at both primary and secondary and some tweaks to existing ones. There are a number of subject-specialists working away for us to create activities to help you deliver those new curriculum areas. This means that all IAL schools can feel confident that we’ve got Curriculum 2014 covered. We will continue to be perfectly placed to support your teaching and learning with engaging homework and assessment activities.

One of the most fundamental changes announced last summer was that the system of levels would be “removed and not replaced”. Levels were under fire because they are “unambitious, too broad and do not give parents a meaningful picture of how their children are performing.” 
I am Learning’s reporting functions have always provided transparent information to teachers, students and their parents to tell them the areas where they are strong, on the right lines or in need of improvement. Schools have been given the freedom to choose their own assessment systems and I am Learning’s reporting will continue to help teachers make informed assessments about their students no matter what system they are using.

We know that such large-scale change in education is a big challenge for schools, but we hope that the work we’re doing at I am Learning will support you through it. We will continue to monitor any further changes in the coming year, as well as working with schools and other assessment companies to keep moving our content, reporting and technology forwards.

If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch with us. 
The I am learning Team.

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What makes a good game?

Games are at the heart of I am learning. They help to engage students, whilst motivating them to continually improve. Importantly, in I am learning, as students play game to learn, we store valuable performance information which helps to inform teaching and learning. But to ensure we do motivate students, we need to make sure the games within I am learning are good games.

Our Games Developer, Joe Worthington gives us his thoughts on what make a ‘good’ game.

I’ve been the Games Developer here at I am Learning for nearly four years now. I hope by now I know what makes a ‘good’ game. I’ve also been playing video games since I was 4, back on the NES. Ever since then, I’ve respected Nintendo as a company who just knows how to produce great games, and vowed that one day, I too wanted to make video games. For me, it’s simple. It’s not about graphics, celebrity voice acting or million dollar budgets. For me, it’s the edge-of-your-seat tenseness of the final airship on Mario 3 (which as a 6 year old, let me tell you: that’s tense), through to the gripping, emotional story of Metal Gear Solid; it’s the way a game makes you feel is key. Joy, excitement, sadness, even frustration; if a bunch of pixels moving around on a screen can do this, then to me, it simply is a ‘good’ game.Nowadays, games focus more on storylines. They are becoming akin to film and books, as a legitimate source of mature entertainment, rather than a childish waste of time. The recent Sony exclusive The Last of Us has won more acclaim and awards than any other game, but when people discuss it, it’s the memorable relationships, the emotional ending and character development that people love, not so much the actual gameplay. Again, it’s the simple, core element of game design: Making the user feel something.So do we do this right in I am Learning? Every game I personally make, I try to achieve a level of quality in graphics and general gameplay, but more than this, I try to get the users to feel. Simple story elements, such as the ones found in Linty’s Quest and Spellslinger change simple button presses, to giving a user a reason to perform a task. They want to find Linty’s friends, not for useless points, but for the reward of seeing them all together again at the end.Does every company get this right? No. No they don’t. The infamous Aliens: Colonial Marines went through years of development, only to be plagued by bugs, glitches, poor sound, graphics and generally terrible gameplay. The only thing users felt here was annoyance and disgust. Hopefully, this is something we at I am Learning can avoid. Hopefully too, we can improve our games with every release, and one day, we can be as favourably looked upon as Nintendo or Sony!

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I am learning “Footy Fiesta ’14” has kicked off!

I am learning “Footy Fiesta ’14”

Each year ahead of the key exam revision period, I am learning release a competition to give a compelling reason to students to have a final big push and ‘up their game’ to reinforce prior learning and prepare for exams.

After last years Olympic legacy success, where over 8 years of independent learning time was spent in I am learning in just 1 month, we are delighted to announce this years competition which celebrates the World Cup being hosted in Brazil.

I am learning’s ‘Footy Fiesta 14′ sees the introduction of Brazil themed games, with real world prizes for the students who get to the top of the leaderboards.

Help get our England squad to Brazil

As students battle it out for a place at the top of the table, their time spent in I am learning is helping to get the England squad to Brazil. Every hour spent in I am learning is 1 mile of travel. We have 23 squad members, each travelling the 5568 miles to Brazil and back in our one man IAL plane… That’s 128064 miles to travel; a massive 14 years of time spent in I am learning. We believe we can achieve this together, and anyone taking part in Footy Fiesta will receive special I am learning bonuses when we hit our target. We will track progress on our website, so keep checking back to see how many players we have delivered safely to Brazil!

Why do we do this?

Solid evidence demonstrates a positive correlation between time spent in I am learning and increases in attainment. Across an entire academic year, I am learning measured an 8.6% increase in students attainment, but those students spending just 1 hour per week in I am learning saw a massive increase of 13.5%. Footy Fiesta ’14 is designed to engage students, increasing the amount of time spent consolidating knowledge, learning independently and preparing for exams, and ultimate;y supporting the raising of attainment.

How can our school take part?

Simple! Students just login and choose the Footy Fiesta themed games and they’re in!

Top 3 ways to encourage your students

  1. Make sure they know the competition is on!
  2. Why not set some guided learning tasks / homeworks? They still get to compete in Footy Fiesta whilst undertaking homework
  3. Run your own competitions in school using the I am learning leaderboards alongside praise and reward
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Purple Press – I am learning Footy Fiesta Special Edition

The Purple Press

The Purple Press is back with a brand new ‘Footy Fiesta’ special edition, May 2014

This issue features all you need to know about our new Footy Fiesta Competition, together the latest news from I am learning.

Click here to get your copy now

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I am learning on iPads/Tablets

We are ‘upping our game’!

Back in October we brought you I am learning 7 which saw the release of I am learning on the iPad and other tablets.

Our new HTML5 technology has enabled us to ensure that teachers and students can access I am learning anytime, anywhere and on any device!

Phone

Well, following your feedback and months of further research, we’ve got some great news about how we are ‘upping our game’.  Our super dev team have employed the use of a world class gaming engine…in fact…the same engine that the ever popular ‘Angry Birds’ is built upon!

We are excited about the next generation of I am learning games. We know your students are going to love them…and the more they play as they complete homework’s or reinforce prior learning, the more data we collect. This data, including ‘gap analysis’ is presented back to teachers who can use this inform effective teaching and learning, which helps to raise results (shameless plug, we are proven to do so!)

Look out for more games being released this week, we’ve upped our game, helping your students to up their game too!

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Maths in games development

IMG_1122

This morning as I wandered into the office, past the development team, I noticed this very exciting piece of maths on the white board. Eagerly I awaited our lead developer arriving to find out what cool game this was part of!

…and here was his response…

“It’s pretty dull I’m afraid. It’s for placing buttons on a menu in the correct order and spacing!”

Disappointed? Yes, me too! As it happens, this is for a cool game, the new Air Hockey game we are making specifically for the iPad. I just thought the cool math would be for a cool part of the game!

Want a more exciting example? Re-visit this post from last year http://iamlearningblog.com/2013/04/10/real-world-mathematics

I suppose it does show us the importance of maths! Even simple things can require complex mathematical understanding!

…Time to play some maths games in I am learning to brush up my maths!

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I am learning become a sponsoring partner of NAACE

NAACE

NAACE

I am learning are delighted to be a sponsoring partner of Naace. We have supported schools for over 7 years. We work with over 1000 schools in the UK and our technology powers learning for over 12 million users worldwide.

Naace is the national association for everyone promoting learning with technology in a connected world.

Working as part of the Naace Charitable Sponsorship Programme enables I am learning to contribute to the industry, supporting a truly independent association, that seeks to build an even stronger community voice that in turn enables us to influence policy for the benefit of ALL involved in technology in education.

Naace members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.

At I am learning, we passionately believe in harnessing technology to deliver educational benefits; helping teachers to teach and learners to learn; empowering them with awesome technology, and engaging 21st century learners in a meaningful way. That’s what educational technology is all about; delivering human benefits.

Working together with Naace we can continue to support our millions of users; listening to the voice of Naace to ensure the experience we offer continues to meet the needs of schools across the UK and indeed the world!

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I am learning and RM Unify

I am learning is now available through the RM Unify platform.

RM Unify

I am learning is now available through RM Unify

We have been working together with RM for the past few months to include I am learning’s games based homework and assessment through the cloud based RM Unify platform.

“We are really excited to have I Am Learning as part of RM Unify; 2014 looks set to be a big year for us and we are pleased that I Am Learning can be part of these plans. With over 4,000 schools already using RM Unify, the opportunity for I Am Learning to be accessed by a large and rapidly growing audience is great and we are sure that they will love the product and value the benefits it will deliver.”
James Browning RM Unify Business Manager

After a successful testing and a launch with 5 schools in Staffordshire; utilising LaunchPad365 which is powered by RM’s Unify solution, 1000’s of schools across the country are now enabled to access I am learning with single sign on.

To find out more, visit the RM Unify website: www.rmunify.com

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I am learning shortlisted for ERA Awards

ERA2014 Finalist Logo RGB

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the prestigious ERA Awards.

Organised by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) the ERAs aim to highlight the quality and diversity of educational products and resources, excellent educational establishments and the most inspiring members of the teaching profession, all working together to encourage the very best in education.

BESA, the sector’s trade association whose members operate to an agreed high level code of practice, was also celebrating with 60 per cent of the shortlisted organisations being BESA members.

Caroline Wright, Director of BESA, comments:

“Each year we refresh our panel of judges who consist of experienced education stakeholders, sector journalists and teachers to ensure we continue to identify the latest and very best products, suppliers, teachers and schools. From my position of overseeing the judging process, it is clear that once again this year the judges have meticulously tested and assessed the very best in education. The winners in the product categories can be seen as exemplary companies with practical products that are fit for purpose and provide real value for money.”

I am learning have been shortlisted in the category of Best Secondary Resource or Equipment – involving ICT

Fingers crossed!

Other awards I am learning have been shortlisted for year:

Winner: Best Learning Game or Virtual Simulation

Winner: Best Learning Game or Virtual Simulation (Bronze)

Runner Up: Runner Up: Use of Educational Technology

Runner Up: Runner Up: Use of Educational Technology

Runner Up: Secondary Digital Content

Runner Up: Secondary Digital Content

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