The digitalization of the German schools is progressing, which is an opportunity for The Nordic Edtechs.
Germany offers you a growing market for digital learning content. Around 40.000 schools and over 7.000.000 students will have to be digitized in the future, to avoid falling further behind in international comparison.
Due to the corona pandemic, however, the needs of schools have expanded. Personal exchange between schools and companies suddenly became more difficult, and the lack of digital teaching units became evident in the home-schooling phase.
Together with numerous partner schools and companies, DSA youngstar have therefore developed a digital platform which is now available to schools, institutions and companies who supply learning materials to schools.
At www.dsa-connect.de, registered schools can order digital learning software for class-room or home-schooling lessons. All free of charge during a test-phase, and available around the clock online.
Our vision: We will be the leading network in Germany for digital school materials and home-schooling software.
For over 20 years we at DSA youngstar have been supporting the cooperation between schools and businesses. By now we have a network of 12.000 schools all over Germany in a personal contact. During this school year we plan to implement around 5.000 schools on www.dsa-connect.de.
Our partner companies can select according to type of school or region within Germany.
With the new platform we offer you a direct way into the German market. On DSA connect you can present your product to thousands of schools all over Germany – free of charge!
DSA connect is online and awaits your digital product, and can be reviewed here: DSA Connect
If you need a login to DSA Connect and more information, please contact Kim Høgskilde, CEO of FrontRead, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 2999 4502
Video games have become a big part of many children’s daily lives. This means games can be brought into the classroom as a means of furthering education.
This is according to Thorkild Hanghøj, Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark, who researches games and learning. Among other things, Thorkild looks at how children use video games, alongside the effect they can get from them during their studies.
“A video game is able to use mechanics found in cartoons and the movie industry, but also includes interactive techniques where you take part in shaping the story while you play,” Thorkild Hanghøj said. “If a game such as the puzzle-platform game LIMBO kickstarts the imagination then it opens up for a lot of reading and interpretation possibilities. It is this incredibly exciting balance between something that can be very simple and minimalistic but at the same time opens up for a gigantic interpretation room – both as a game but at the same time as a narrative text that can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways.
Games can help you read academical texts
According to Thorkild Hanghøj games such as Minecraft can help further any academical reading as well as cooperation in class if the students get an assignment to build elements or constructions based on knowledge they first have to gain before they begin.
“If you are motivated by what you read, then there’s a high probability that you will be able to accomplish more. At the same time, you could also develop a linguistic knowledge about special terms that apply to the world of the specific game.”
It is a theory that also works in reverse, and programs such as FrontRead employs elements taken from the gaming industry to keep the students motivated and engaged. It is by using these concepts of gamification, that FrontRead has become study tool that helps push especially boys to improve themselves. During a two-week summer course, boys at the Danish Boys Academy – a summer camp for students, exclusively boys, who are struggling in class – were given the choice of working with FrontRead, or working with different methods and tools during class. Around 60% of the students decided to go with FrontRead, something the academy considers quite a success.
“When given free reins to chose what they wanted to work with, FrontRead was the choice many of them decided upon,” Jakob Petersen, learning consultant at the Academy, remarked. “It also helps the teacher a lot, as the program requires very little management and input from them.”
It’s time for school to slowly start up again after a long summer filled with play and games. That can be a testing time for some. So in order to redirect the focus back to schoolwork we’ve collected five tips that can help your child with getting back into their schoolwork again.
1. Help your child understand the subject:: Sit down together and look at your child’s school books. You are the more experienced reader, and your child is not. Ask questions about the text that your child can answer. That may help him or her with focusing on the right parts of the text. If you skim fact-boxes, headlines and indexes together, the child will get a better understand of what he/she needs to read and learn.
2. If you childs eyes keep jumping back in the text, then place a bookmark on the text already read and push it down over the page as you progress. This prevents you getting distracted by things you have already gone past. Avoid using your finger – if you place your finger on the text you focus the attention towards whatever you are pointing at, and that prevents you from reading bigger chunks of text at a time.
3. Promote good reading habits: If you sit and read and it shows that you enjoy it, then your children may be encouraged to read more outside of school themselves. A cosy afternoon or evening spent on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book can easily be something done together. And you do not necessarily need to talk together and create noise just because you are in the same room. Sometimes it can be just as giving to enjoy a quiet moment together with your noses buried in different books.
4. Maintain a decent flow:Reading slowly is not the same as reading thorougly. Many people lower their reading speed for no good reason when they need to read something “thoroughly”. But that just makes you read in short jerking movements that disconnects you from the text and its content, and there’s no reason to do that at all.
5. Take breaks: We remember what we read best by keeping our reading sessions down to 20-40 minutes at a time. So remember to let your child take a break when he/she needs it.
If you want more tips on how you can improve your own or your childs reading habits? Visit our blog and read about other topics, like what expectation we have to an unknown text or what challenges to expect as an adult reader.
More than a 50 percent increase in reading speed is what the students in Aarhus has to look forward to after the municipality decided to purchase FrontRead licenses for every municipal primary and lower secondary school in the city.
Read more… FrontRead to help students in Aarhus improve their reading
Last year, the school Overbygningsskolen in Tønder was offered FrontRead, because Tønder Municipality purchased licenses for every school in the municipality.
Tønder Municipality contacted Frontread and decided to try the app for a year after hearing about the program and the possibilities linked to it. Very quickly feedback came in from the teachers about the positive results they achieved and it was decided to expand the test to include younger classes too.
Hanne Bonde, teacher at the Ressourcenter Slusen and the Puls-line, which is part of Overbygningsskolen in Tønder, together with Helle Behr, coordinator at Ressourcecenter Slusen, is the one charged with rolling out the program in Overbygningsskolen. To them it is a question about preparing their students on a life after school.
“We constantly demand more and more from young people continuing their education, so we have to prepare them properly, so they are able to manage the amount of reading required,” Helle Behr said in an interview with Tønder Ugeavis.
Individual goals for reading
FrontRead is not meant to be a replacement for other reading tools. Nor is it a tool for the individual student to use on a daily basis. Instead, it is a series of exercises created with the intent of helping the student push themselves in order to improve their abilities.
”You don’t need to comprehend every word to get the gist of a text,” Hanne Bonde said. “In fact, it is enough to understand about 60-80% of the text to get the information you need out of it. It is the individual techniques the student is exposed to, that helps them become a faster reader.”
FrontRead is designed to take the students individual reading speed into consideration. This way the weaker students won’t fall behind, just as the stronger students won’t feel that the reading material lacks a challenge for them.
“What happens it that the student sits and reads a text that scrolls fairly quickly across the screen. Afterwards, they need to answer questions about that text and based on that the teacher can regulate the speed of the exercises so it correlates to the students individual reading speed,” Helle Behr said.
”The point isn’t to make all the students equally good – but to make them as good as each of them can become individually,” Hanne Bonde remarked.
At Langeskov Skole in Kerteminde they have achieved impressive results with FrontRead.
“My students went from a grade average of D to an average of C after just 18 lessons using FrontRead,” Marlene Wædeled, a teacher at Langeskov Skole and educational consultant in Danish at Kerteminde Municipality said during an interview with the Danish paper Fyens Stiftstidende. The paper visited the school to see FrontRead in action during a lesson in her 8th grade.
Back in 2016 the school functioned as a test pilot for Kerteminde Municipality, testing whether FrontRead was a tool that should be implemented. The results were so positive, that Kerteminde Municipality went and procured FrontRead for every school inside the municipality. Meaning that today FrontRead is available to every school in Kerteminde.
Langeskov Skole continues using the program themselves after the test. Today they use FrontRead with the intent of improving their students in every subject – not just Danish. And it works.
”They think it is a completely different and much more fun way to work with reading .”
The results the students have achieved through the program will find their use for the first time when the students take their final examinations. Among other things the students will face a readability test, were extra focus is lain on the students reading fluidity and text comprehension. And that is exactly the kind of situation where the methods the students obtain through FrontRead will shine, Marlene Wædeled thinks.
”The program is meant to be something that can support the teachings, and they work well as a supplement to the national tests and finals.”
Tilst Skole in the municipality of Aarhus is one out of 500 Danish schools that have been using FrontRead with great success. Study counsellor Janne Møller Nielsen is happy to share her experiences of how the program works and what its done for her students.
Janne had one of the grades herself, a 6th grade, during a course. By the first middle test, she was able to determine that her students had improved from their starting point. The result that she was able to show at the end of the course was impressive.
”At the start, 35% of our class had less than 120 words per minute. At the final test that result was down to 13%,” Janne Møller Nielsen said. ”Those 13 % make up three students in class and two of those have been diagnosed as dyslexic. I haven’t seen results like this before on an entire class.”
At Tilst Skole they have tried other methods before to increase their reading fluidity. Both special reading cards to prevent the reader from jumping in the text and the so called 5-5-5 method, where the student is encouraged to read at varying speeds with a five-minute interval to increase their fluidity. But the exercises have not always had the desired effect.
”I’ve had students that have said that when they try some of the other exercises, they have this voice in their head that keeps urging them to go faster, and that has affected their reading fluidity,” Janne said. And that is not something she has experienced with Frontread. Some students still struggle, but every one of them improved by the end of the course. Some even a lot.
”From the 23 students in the class, ten of them (44%) read more than 200 words per minute after training with FrontRead. Only one student could do that when we began.”
Even though the students may have experienced it as hard training, Janne Møller Nielsen feels that perseverance rewards itself.
”After we finished with FrontRead we took the obligatory reading test for text comprehension. The countries average comprehension for 6th grade is 96,4%. Every student in our class placed above that. ”
The good results mean that Tilst Skole wish to include FrontRead as a more permanent part of the schedule looking forward.
”We now plan to use it systematically on the school by making it mandatory for every 6th grade and above to go through a course. I don’t know anyone else that works like this – so it will be new and exciting.”
”When you are facing your final exams in reading as a young person, then speed is crucial to your result. Because if you cannot finish reading the material then that’s just too bad. That’s how it is. You need to reach a certain speed to be able to complete the reading exam.”
In Hjørring the municipality decided to purchase FrontRead for every school in order to compete with the increased desire for reading fluidity. The methods and techniques previously used are too difficult and do not provide a good enough result. Even though there are other applications that help children with their reading, there just aren’t that many that help them learn how to read faster. Mette Hjarbæk Poulsen, a reading consultant at Hjørring Municipality heard about FrontRead through her network and wondered if this was where she might find aid to solve that particular problem.
“Speed is important. Try to read the subtitles on TV – if you read at a sub-par speed, it can’t be done. Reading councillors have been searching for a method or some material to help facilitate an increased speed when reading. Because even though you can learn techniques and train them up, actually increasing your reading speed can be somewhat of a challenge. Then along comes this program that offers exactly what we are looking for, so how can we not jump aboard and try it out.”
Hjørring has only been using FrontRead for half a semester, since August 2016, but already there has been a positive response from both students and teachers.
“It is a program that is easy to approach and our teachers have been very excited about it because there wasn’t a lot of material they had to learn in advance,” Mette Hjarbæk Poulsen said. “It was actually the very first bit of feedback we received from our teachers: “Oh how liberating and easy it is. Also for the students. Log in, and begin. ”
DrengeAkademiet – a summer camp for students, exclusively boys, who are struggling in class – has been able to show some good results in the five years the project has existed. They attribute a part of their results to their continued search for the newest and most innovative tools for learning. Things that are able to keep the boys focused.
As part of their program, DrengeAkademiet has now begun using FrontRead. According to Jakob Petersen, learning consultant at the Academy, it has done great things and the boys have really accepted the program and taken it in.
”We have 100 boys in the camp, and not very many of them knew about FrontRead beforehand. So we introduced it as a new method that allowed them to train reading fluency in a different way while at the same time using some of the techniques we have already been working with.”
DrengeAkademiet has had success with pulling their students’ grades up – sometimes by several years worth of learning. But it helps them when the children are prepared to learn.
“What motivated the boys a lot about FrontRead was this element of competing with yourself. It is a good gamification of fundamental skills that they can transfer into their regular classes afterwards,” Jakob said. “I didn’t know FrontRead before I was introduced to it. But I was sold as soon as I tried it. It is nothing like the tools available to us right now, and we teachers love new adaptive things. It’s even better when the students can become engaged by putting up new goals for themselves, and that is something they do here by adjusting the reading speed or their reaction time up or down.”
The good flow
Jakob is not surprised that FrontRead helps motivate the boys in the age group he works with. At the same time, he hasn’t had the experience that the boys felt bored during class, and nearly all the boys achieved an increase in reading speed.
”The boys really wanted to show how well they do and how sharp they are. Last year we were working on another exercise on a different site, that just did not have the same flow. In FrontRead the students work intensively with several different things on the same platform. At the same time, they train quite a bit without noticing it. When they constantly receive a response and want to show how skilled they are it helps keep them motivated and going.”
The boys at the academy were given the choice of working with FrontRead, or working with different methods and tools. Even though not everyone chose to, the majority still decided to work with FrontRead. “Around 60% of the students thought it was a blast, and that is considered quite a success. When we gave the students free rein to chose what they wanted to work with, FrontRead was the choice many of them decided upon. It also helps the teacher a lot, as the program requires very little management and input from them.”
According to Jakob there is no doubt that FrontRead frees up time for the educator, and that would only be more visible during a typical study course.
“Its not what I’d call free motivating education, but it comes close. Of course everything relies on how the educator works with his students on the program. But it is really good, and it works really well. You are not necessarily tied to a table and a chair. In principle you can use FrontRead laying down, so it opens up the possibility of working with the app in a different way than you might be used to.”
DrengeAkademiet is evaluated by researchers from the Danish School of Education at Aarhus University, and have been the topic of several reports published. In 2016 the students at the academy raised their grades with what in average would be 1.40 student years in spelling, 3.38 student years in reading and 3 years in mathematical skills.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Required Cookies are always enabled so we can save your cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This site uses Google Analytics and Hubspot to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site and the most popular pages. If this cookie is active, you help us improve our site.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!