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FEATURED: Jada-Marie Brown

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With an average of 93% in the recent GSAT sitting, Jada-Marie heads to the Ardenne High School in September. This dancing Math lover dreams of being a surgeon. She is inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela when he said,”Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” In her own words, EduFocal has helped her to bring her philosophy to life. While acknowledging how EduFocal has changed the lives of students preparing for GSAT and CSEC, she finds that it has changed her own life.
“When I started grade 6, I disliked Science very much. I started to use EduFocal as part of my GSAT preparations,especially for Science. I noticed that my interest and knowledge of this subject grew more and more each day as I utilized the resources that were made available to me. After using EduFocal, Science became like second nature. I am now a more rounded student, having a better understanding of all my subject areas.”
AWARDEES (2)
 Have a look at this world changer’s dream for Jamaica:
“It’s my hope that Jamaica will become a better place. I would like to see us export more and import less so that we can reduce our debts. Also, I would like to see more programs like EduFocal being introduced to assist students to prepare for exams so that they can perform better in school and not turn to crime. This will help to lower our crime rate. I would also like the government to improve our road not just in tourist areas but in rural and urban residential areas. In addition to this, I would like for there to be more job opportunities for persons to become gainfully employed. Finally, I would like us as a country to take greater pride in our surroundings and reduce pollution by property disposing of garbage and waste.”
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FEATURED: Matthew Chambers

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Matthew, 12, is a sports enthusiast. He enjoys football, cricket and track & field. He has his eyes set on becoming an engineer and professional athlete and will be heading to Calabar High School with these goals in mind. He finds that EduFocal has challenged him to strive for the top position making him one of the 2016 EduFocal Excellence Awardees.
His dream for Jamaica is for it to be the country with the highest economic growth.

AWARDEES (1)

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FEATURED: Jo-Anna Martinez

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Jo-Anna Martinez, 11, lives by the philosophy, “Hard work brings success”. That hard work has paid off as she makes her way to Wolmer’s Girls’ School in September. This aspiring paediatrician attributes her success to practice she got while using EduFocal. This she found both challenging and exciting. While at George Headley Primary School she was a member of the quiz team and a prefect. Her favourite subject is Science.
AWARDEES
Here is her dream for Jamaica: 
My dream is for the crime and violence to cease as it affects children in different aspects of their life.  To expound on this is:
 (a) death in the family or some of our peers being murdered by family members or strangers
 (b) robbery by strangers
 (c) rape by a family member or close family friend or strangers
 
Children are the future of tomorrow and without us there will be no tomorrow. 
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Gamification: A Tool for Lifelong Learning

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Hardly any child wants to go through the mundane task of studying. On our first visit to a school participating in the Government’s Tablets in Schools Programme, a child ran up to us and showed us his tablet. He had been watching a video on Youtube. Similarly, when a child has your smart device the first question asked is, “What games/videos do you have on your phone/tablet?” Children want to play games. They just want to have fun. And many times children have been conditioned to think that learning and school is a chore.

On the contrary learning is one of the most exciting, and albeit fun, aspects of life. For as long as you live, you will learn and that in itself is fun but sometimes translating learning to fun can be difficult. So how do you bring fun into learning? GAMES.

Gamification is the foundation on which EduFocal is built. Some may have less of an appreciation for it but what makes gamified experiences successful lies in how people are motivated. Gamification works by providing not only extrinsic motivation but intrinsic as well. Extrinisic motivation comes in the form of rewards, levels, leaderboards and rankings while intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, drives behaviours that result in enjoyment, positive feelings and happiness. These are often thought of as polar opposites but both are linked as extrinsic motivation can drive intrinsic.
Meaningful gamification, though, is not just about levels and leaderboards but targeting intrinsically-motivated behaviours. EduFocal’s platform does just that and as a result drives long term engagement in a non-game setting. Andrzej Marczewski’s RAMP theory illustrates this. He explains that there are four key motivational drivers which should be used as foundations for all good gamified systems:
  • Relatedness: social status, connections, belonging.
  • Autonomy: creativity, choice, freedom, responsibility
  • Mastery: learning, personal development, levels
  • Purpose: altruism, meaning, a reason why
Relatedness
EduFocal’s quick and easy messaging system is the bedrock of the EduFocal community which kids have even called a “social network”. They like being a part of a community. Friendships are created on EduFocal and having the student’s progress public via the leaderboard allows other to encourage their friends to do better or congratulate them on their good work. Often times students form internal competitions and face off against each other. This may seem extrinsic but it extends beyond that as students are motivated by the feeling that their peers value their input and experience.
Autonomy
Freedom is the core concept  of this driver. Many games these days have several modes of play from which you can choose. On EduFocal students can choose from activities by subject and topic regardless of where they are in classes. They may review material previously taught or they may venture into an area they have never done before. This helps them feel in control of their learning and take personal responsibility for it. With this level of autonomy, students may choose to focus on subject areas that they are proficient in and neglect weak areas but EduFocal’s system rewards all-rounded students thereby encouraging this behaviour.
Mastery
All students on EduFocal start off on the same level. With hard work and lots and lots of practice, they are able to level up and earn a place on our EduFocal leaderboards. Even on a personal level, students benefit from seeing their points stack up given the work they have put in. It is important to us that we feel a sense of accomplishment when faced with a challenge and be continuously challenged. EduFocal is designed to engage users based on their level as such high level users would receive more difficult tests. This is important in continuing engagement and without it students begin to feel less motivated.
Purpose
In all things we do, we must feel a sense of purpose. It is only human. At different stages in life, our sense of purpose varies. Students on EduFocal have already joined for the purpose of doing well in their GSAT and CSEC examinations. Beyond that though, is the purpose that they share with each other, their dreams and aspirations of being paediatricians and going to Campion College or St. Hilda’s High School and getting all one’s. In spite of having prizes like phone credit, movie tickets and cash grants, students are not lost on their higher purpose being a part of this community and in this regard EduFocal’s reward system is the icing on the cake.
Concepts which contribute to the success of gamification are hard to grasp at first. However, seeing the excitement play out in how students interact with each other and excel in their studies would convert the most stubborn skeptic. Students love games. They like competing with their friends. They like to say, “I see you’re at 500points. I’m going to beat you by tomorrow.” And in response that child aims for even more points and an even higher level. It’s a constant state of iron sharpening iron. Our high level of engagement creates lifelong learners which is evident to parents, and teachers too, who understand the unique value brought by EduFocal when your child is in love with learning and continuously motivated to learn.
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More New Features (Question reporting and new profile page)!

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Hello, EduFocal Users.

We’re always striving to improve the EduFocal experience for you!  We’ve heard your requests and we’ve brought them to life!

We’re bringing you two new features! Now, test takers have the ability to report any question that has a problem – whether it’s an incorrect answer, lack of relevant image or anything else – you can tell us about it and we’ll fix it! Just click on the ‘Report Question’ button beside the question you want to report.

FireShot Screen Capture #024 - 'Test - EduFocal' - www_edufocal_com_testing_96269

Then you would select the error from a list of options. If the error isn’t listed, you can tell us about it in your own words.

FireShot Screen Capture #021 - 'Test - EduFocal' - www_edufocal_com_testing_96269

 

Also new to EduFocal is our new and improved Profile page. We now use bright expressive colours to show students’ progress on their subjects. The subjects are displayed in an easy to read chart. If you hover the mouse over any section of the chart, you can see what subject it represents and the points the student has with that subject!

FireShot Screen Capture #009 - 'Eniola Johnson's Profile - EduFocal' - www_edufocal_com_dashboard_profile_view_3705

We’re very excited to bring you these new features! Go check them out now and tell us what you think!

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Introducing EduFocal Video Tutorials!

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We’re excited to announce the launch of EduFocal Video Tutorials! Our videos can be viewed from any computer, mobile phone or tablet.  All you need is an internet connection and EduFocal membership (paid subscribers only, but everybody gets a month free!).

To start, video content will only be available for GSAT Math; videos for other subjects  will be available in the future. The videos, following the GSAT curriculum covers all topic areas  on the syllabus in a quick, easy to understand way that will keep students interested. With the help of real GSAT teachers, these videos are a perfect way to enhance the classroom experience without the typical classroom distractions. The videos are full of anecdotes and examples that will keep students’ attention and help them to learn and remember the lessons.

Now, if a student has trouble grasping a topic at school, they can come home and click on a video that covers the same topic covered in class. They can use these videos to revise what they already know, or clarify something they don’t know. Plus, since the videos will be available all year round, any student has the opportunity to get ahead of the class!

After viewing the videos, students may take tests just like usual to practice what they’ve learned. They can also view the videos again if there was something they didn’t understand, or move on to a new topic. Try out our Video Tutorials and you won’t be disappointed!

If you aren’t already an EduFocal member, contact us at help@edufocal.com for help to sign up.

 

 

Announcements

Broadening our Horizons with Versan

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Hello, everyone!
Exciting news from EduFocal! Our students will be pleased to know that EduFocal is now partnering with Versan Educational Services to bring you SAT prep questions. Anyone looking to apply to college abroad will now have the edge of using EduFocal and Versan to study for their SATs!
Versan Educational Services is a company that has been operating in Jamaica for over 20 years, helping students in the Caribbean and all over the world to achieve their goals of getting to some of the top Universities in the United States. They have a strong history of guiding and supporting students on the road to Ivy League Education. Their specialized team of SAT tutors will provide the questions that students need in order to prepare. Their reputation and experience with SAT preparation coupled with EduFocal’s fun and challenging programme will give you the ultimate advantage.
Look out for more info on the EduFocal-Versan partnership soon. We’ll be ready for you in the new school year!

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Introducing the EduFocal Report Card

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It can be extremely challenging for busy parents to stay on top of their child’s exam preparation progress, an almost impossible task when the preparation only involves the use of a pen and paper.

Imagine coming home from work and not knowing if your child did any work or being unaware of how  they’ve been progressing in a specific subject or topic area. With so many things to distract your child, it’s important that parents have useful tools at their disposal to keep on top of their child’s progress.

EduFocal’s reporting feature seeks to solve these problems.

As your child uses EduFocal to practice for their exams we generate detailed  reports to give you valuable insight into their performance.

Our reports are designed to give you the information you need to help your child reach their full potential. With EduFocal, you can identify your child’s  strengths and pinpoint areas that give your child trouble, view improvement over time, and monitor their progress over a specified period.

Screenshot 2013-11-19 11.16.15

Features

Date picker: Parents/teachers can see a child’s performance over a specific period.  Let’s say you’re interested in seeing your child’s activity on EduFocal for the month of October, the date picker would make this easy

Average score: You will be able to see your child’s average score over the specified period on a subject by subject basis and also on a topic by topic basis.

Lowest/Highest Score: You can see your child’s lowest or highest score over the specified period.

Tests taken: A parent can see the number of tests taken on a subject by subject or topic by topic basis over a specified period.

Full report:  The full report link shows all your test information from the first time you started using EduFocal.

Our reporting feature will only be available to our scholar ($1,500) and genius ($4,200) subscribers.

This is just the beginning and we will be rolling out additional features soon!

Email us at: help@edufocal.com or Call us at: 1876-545-6316 between the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mondays to Fridays if you have any questions

Announcements

EduFocal and The West Indies Cricket team join forces

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ORLANDO, Florida – Members of the West Indies cricket team utilised a customised version of EduFocal, the innovative social learning platform, in one of their team building sessions on Wednesday, October 24, 2013

During the week, the team will be involved in several team building exercises – indoors and outdoors – as well as interaction with Dr. Jason Scott Hamilton, the Jamaican Elite Sports Psychologist, who has worked with the team for the last six months.

Members of the team congregated in one room and battled for the top spot. With 4 levels, players were quizzed with simple questions ranging from general knowledge to music; answering questions correctly was a requirement to advance to subsequent levels. Correct answers carried points which allowed the players to rank on the publicly displayed scoreboard. With 44 points, fast bowler Tino Best seemed like the likely victor, but Team Captain Darren Sammy took victory from him in the last minute with 48 points.

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