Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wandoo Planet

Here is the press release I got about Wandoo Planet. It sounds like something kids would enjoy and I plan to check it out!

“Evanced Solutions launches beta version of world’s first

kid-powered interest genome project

New software platform empowers children ages 6-14 to discover their keenest interests and find relevant books and movies they are most likely to enjoy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 24, 2014)Evanced Solutions, a library software developer, announces today the release of the beta version of the world’s first kid-powered interest genome wandooplanetproject, Wandoo Planet. The subsidiary of Demco is seeking children, parents, educators and librarians to beta test the online platform—which will be widely available this spring as a free app—and provide their feedback.

The software empowers children ages 6-14 to explore their keenest interests by playing an interest-finding game. After they’ve decided on a few interests, they can then discover relevant books and movies via a personalized recommendation engine. Because Wandoo Planet is driven by an “adaptive learning system” algorithm, the more kids use the software, the “smarter” it will become—and the better its recommendations will be for all the kids who use it.

“Leveraging children's interests is a powerful tactic when it comes to fighting reading deficiency, but unfortunately, it is not something that has been put into widespread practice,” said Rob Cullin, president and co-founder of Evanced Solutions. “Wandoo Planet was created to offer children a platform that lets them choose and discover their individual interests to promote reading success. We welcome the feedback of our beta testers who will help us make the game even better before its official release this spring.”

In the interest-finding game, kids are offered topics and activities that other kids have found to be interesting—from “Twilight” and unicorns to dirt biking, superheroes and everything in between. Kids then decide if they love, like or dislike what they see. Once they have identified a few interests they love—or want to explore further—their own interest sapling starts to grow into an interest tree with individual branches representing each interest. The branches then start to bud with suggested kid-friendly content that directly relates to users’ interests. As kids read and explore, interest branches grow leaves.

“We’re very excited about the potential impact of Wandoo Planet on our youth,” said Lindsey Hill, former two-time Teacher of the Year and current lead for reading engagement initiatives at Evanced Solutions. “With its reporting capabilities, teachers, librarians and parents are easily able to track the types and numbers of books and other materials kids consume.”

Wandoo Planet is not the only educational project Evanced Solutions has created to help empower kids to find their keenest interests. The company also offers children’s edu-game apps based on content from award-winning Edupress board and card games, includingFroggy Phonics, That's Baloney! and Champs of Numeria, as well as its popular Tic-Tac Bananas app. Each app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

To become a beta tester for Wandoo Planet, visit http://evancedkids.com/betasignup/. Sign-up for children younger than 13 requires adult assistance.

For more information about Evanced Solutions’ efforts to improve children’s reading engagement, visit www.evancedkids.com.”

1 comment:

Melanie Prodan said...

Thank you for your blog. I have never heard about Wandoo Planet but will certainly be looking even further into this technology resource. What I like about this program is that it allows students to improve their literacy skills based on a personalized reading program. I like how Wandoo Planet asks the student their likes and interests through questions to then provide engaging texts (online books/ videos)to explore online. I have been using a program (Raz-Kids) at one of my centers which allows me to set and adjust their reading levels but it does not give the choice to the students like Wandoo Planet does. The second thing I like about this program is the visual representation of the tree growing as their literacy develops. For the students I work with, having a visual item that they can see change as they meet their literacy goals is powerful and engaging to them. Thank you for sharing this technology program.

Melanie P