1 2 3 Sheep! - App-titude Learning
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Children & Early Childhood Development
Delphian eLearning and Millipede Creative Development
Based in Melbourne, Australia, the project team is a partnership of eLearning specialists and professional game developers. Delphian eLearning specialises in learning innovation, emerging technology research, digital content and educational gaming apps. Delphian eLearning draws on mobile learning experience, broad education and pedagogical knowledge to develop and script learning design that engages students and promotes and consolidates their learning. With unique creative flair, Millipede Creative Development specialises in eLearning, game development and high level interactive design. The online gaming app is designed and developed by this innovative media studio, renowned for Flash and interactive development. Delphian eLearning provides the educational concepts, learning design and in-school testing, while production partner, Millipede Creative Development create the interactive online games.
Normally counting sheep is associated with helping children get to sleep at night, but now it’s an exciting and engaging online game to help young learners with their counting and arithmetic while teachers and parents can evaluate their progress online and in real time. As children play on the farm, they count and herd the sheep into pens and guide the sheepdog into the ute, their efforts are accompanied by colourful graphics, playful audio and plenty of encouragement. Data is sent automatically to the App-titude Online Assessment System, where teachers and parents can view student progress and participation.
1 2 3 Sheep! is a counting game for young learners that is fun and engaging. Players explore counting concepts in three fun activities - flying a helicopter around the farm as they count different numbers of sheep in groups; herding sheep into pens in various groupings; and guiding the sheepdog into the ute as it jumps onto sheep backs in varioius number groupings. Children are drawn in with friendly, detailed graphics, playful audio and lots of humorous encouragement.
As players help out on the farm, they practise number skills including counting, sharing into groups, skip counting and number pattern recognition in three different games where they learn to:
• apply number sense and strategies for counting and representing numbers
• explore the magnitude and properties of numbers
• apply a range of strategies for computation
• recognise patterns
• develop skills in choosing appropriate procedures, carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately, and recalling factual knowledge and concepts readily.
Teachers can run an exciting live leaderboard using the App-titude online system, so kids can compete with each other.
Project Innovation / Need
Children today relate to personalised, game-based experiences with mobile learning apps that provide opportunities to make decisions and take independent action. 1 2 3 Sheep! was developed to enable children to learn new skills and practise cooperative behaviours in a fun environment.
K-12 schools the world over are taking delivery of tablets and mobile technologies in ever-increasing numbers, due to their capacity for personalised learning. Research indicates the potential for students using mobile devices and apps to significantly improve learning performance, attitudes to schooling, motivation and participation.
What differentiates 1 2 3 Sheep! is that it automatically sends data to a web-based Online Assessment System that enables teachers to monitor student progress and to gather assessment data. Teachers can view their class as a list with sortable columns, a customisable graph view, or a realtime leaderboard. Each student's participation and progress is clearly displayed. Assessment points and achievements have tooltips and links to Teacher Notes to help engage students, explore new concepts and evaluate their learning.
The appealing visual design and quirky Australianism of 1 2 3 Sheep! provides an intuitive, fun and user friendly interface that children have found exciting, humorous and entertaining.
During in-school testing in primary schools, most students were reluctant to stop playing after an hour, some indicating that they found the game ‘addictive’. They were keen to stay or come back during breaks to play the games again and to compete against each other.
1 2 3 Sheep! was recently presented at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia by an American educator who deminstrated it as one of the few apps in the App Store that uses higher order thinking.
A range of interconnected marketing strategies have been implemented including:
• Online marketing in the K-12 sector across gaming and educational blogs
• Magazines and journals in educational technologies, and brochures sent to schools
• K-12 ICT conference booths
• Professional learning conference sessions
• Pilot school offers
1 2 3 Sheep! has been featured regularly in the App Store store as New and Noteworthy and What’s Hot, and at the end of 2010, was featured in the Best of 2010 K-12 apps.