What's New for Parents?

Our team is constantly changing and updating ZooWhiz to make it better for you. Below is a list of some of the recent enhancements.

NAPLAN Correlations coming soon!

NAPLAN graph
We are just days away from releasing a revolutionary NAPLAN correlation with over 12,000 activities covering Reading, Word Skills and Maths for years 3, 5, 7 and 9 with the activities banded into easy, medium and hard for each grade level. This revolutionary approach will enable teachers to precisely diagnose children’s weaknesses before sitting NAPLAN and allow teachers to construct learning sequences to address the deficits. At the same time the graded challenge materials provide clear, easily implemented materials to extend more able children and raise the overall NAPLAN score for the school. There is no other system online or paper based with capabilities remotely akin to this revolutionary ability. The official NAPLAN reports are generated months after the fact but the ZooWhiz NAPLAN materials let you pre-diagnose!

Now precisely correlated against the Australian Curriculum

All 17,000 activities in ZooWhiz have been correlated against the Australia Curriculum uniquely allowing teachers to select and report by the Australian Curriculum Content Descriptors. No other learning system currently in use in Australian schools has power remotely approaching the incredible content selection and analytical tools now built into ZooWhiz.

Detailed animal profiles coming in PREMIUM edition of ZooWhiz

We’re getting near the launch of the PREMIUM version of ZooWhiz. Children with FREE Keeper accounts can access general information regarding each animal’s scientific name and taxonomy. PREMIUM Zoologists however will also be able to access detailed information concerning habitat, diet, threatened status and more. ZooWhiz is designed to ignite kids love of animals and develop it into an informed passion!

Here are some examples of the detailed PREMIUM Zoologist screens for the Chimp and the Humpback!

ZooWhiz hurtles towards 100,000 users!

We are delighted and astonished at the rate at which parents and teachers are registering for the FREE management accounts and adding FREE accounts for the kids in their classes and families.

Some time this week we’ll pass 100,000 accounts! We think that’s phenomenal! You can find out what other teachers are saying about ZooWhiz here…

You can help make it happen! We’d love for you to share ZooWhiz with a friend or colleague – you can simply send them to a link to www.zoowhiz.com/pass-it-on

ZooWhiz whizzes past 80,000 users!

Kids teachers and parents are loving ZooWhiz. 

ZooWhiz, EdAlive’s new  online learning system is growing rapidly and this week passed 80,000 users!  We’ve had over whelming feedback from parents, teachers and children around the world.

Here’s a taste of what people have had to say…

Sophie says “…I thought that overall, the site was great because there were lots of features on it. The Learn & Earn feature was really good because you had three different subjects: Reading, Words and Mathematics. In it you can earn coins by learning new things. I also liked that there were different age groups and different stages in them for people on different levels…

“…I am the parent of two children (aged 4 & 6) who have been using your site for the past week. Both of them love it! The personal Zoos and Arcade Games are great motivators for them to complete the educational activities (which are fun and engaging in themselves). I find that the girls like to set a money goal for each ‘Zoo Session’ and are competing with each other on getting the biggest number of zoo animals in their alloted time. The fact that they have to ‘pay’ to play the Arcade Games is great too – it means they HAVE to do some of the educational actives before they get to play the games :) ” Hollie – Parent,  Australia

“The interface is fantastic – really appealing to kids and easy to navigate. The activities are also appropriate to the students’ age/level – not too easy, not too difficult.” Jessica – Teacher, QLD Australia

“I am a secondary teacher in Queensland. My colleges and I, who have used ZooWhiz with our classes, are struck by the level of engagement it achieves with all our students in our trial classes from Year 7 through to Year 10. Seemingly, they are captivated by the pursuit of earning points to purchase the animals of their choice; while as teachers we are enthusiastic about the style of the questions which frequently enlist higher order thinking skills and revision of procedural skills from their present and past years of study.” Rachelle – Teacher, QLD Australia

You can read more reviews here…

Like the sound of ZooWhiz? Try it out!

Sign up for your  Teacher Management Account or  Parent Management Account now…

 


Get even more out of ZooWhiz!

Is simply keeping animals in their zoo just not enough for your child?

Well, we’re now extending the animal database to include a comprehensive range of new information!

Kids will be able to access detailed reports and loads of new information for ALL the animals in their zoo.

This will be a feature available to Zoologists (Premium Subscribers) in a little later in the year. So, after your child has completed educational activities, earned the coins and purchased a animal, they’ll be able to view a myriad of new information about the animal that covers taxonomy, habitat, diet, endangerment, detailed information and interesting facts. Through this information, we hope children will develop a love of animals and an appreciation for issues relating to endangerment and zoology.

Premium Subscriptions will be available in June!

Many ZooWhiz users have been asking for ways to purchase a Premium subscription – even before the launch! Thanks to the excellent feedback and comments from teachers and parents we’re almost there. We’ve been hard at work getting the Free/Premium balance just right, and the wait is almost over!

From June 2012 schools and parents will be able to purchase affordable Premium subscriptions for ZooWhiz. The new features will include

  • Enhanced reporting capabilities
  • Extra arcade games for students
  • New and more detailed animal profiles

As we get closer to launching the Premium subscription, we’ll be making some significant changes to the way ZooWhiz works.

So from time-to-time, FREE Keeper Accounts will be able to access and use Premium Zoologist features for FREE! These features will only be available at limited times, so take advantage of them while they’re there and get a ‘sneak peak’ at the Premium features. Keep an eye out for a ZooWhiz Community Update soon for more details.

Our first change is to show the correct status for all accounts as ‘Free Keeper’ in the dashboard of ZooWhiz. This is purely cosmetic and will not affect any of the other features students are currently using.

ZooWhiz background for Focus Magazine

Hi all,

ZooWhiz is generating a great deal of interest in our home town of Armidale. I have been asked to do a short article about the background to ZooWhiz and what it is all trying to achieve. I wrote the following over the weekend and sent it off to the “Focus” editors. I’m sure they will do a good job with it. I though our regular visitors might like to see the story as well so here it is.

__________________________________________________________

EdAlive/ZooWhiz article for Focus Magazine

Graham and Barbara East

12th March 2012

What is your teaching history?

I guess teaching is in my blood. My parents were both high school science teachers. I started my 12 years as a primary school teacher in Toowoomba in 1976 then moved to Mornington Island, back to Toowoomba and finally to St Andrew’s School in Adelaide. My time in the classroom helped me to understand the incredible diversity in children and how they learn best when the material they are being presented with is appropriate for their needs.

During the mid 80s the personal computer arrived in the classroom. I was immediately transfixed by the educational opportunities it presented and set about using it in the classroom. I soon found that I, in partnership with my wife Barb, were sourcing and supplying educational software to schools across South Australia.

When did you move to Armidale and why?

I’d had the good fortune to spend time in Armidale during my childhood and knew what a wonderful place it was. Barb is a 5th generation Armidalian the daughter of Bruce and Judy Dewhurst, so we knew that Armidale had a lot to offer our growing family and would be a good place to base our business. So I said goodbye to the classroom at the end of 1988 and we moved to Armidale with our three little boys Ben, Andrew and Chris. Laura came along the following year. We launched New Horizons nationally at the beginning of 1989.

Where, when and why did you start EdAlive?

We started EdAlive as our publishing arm in 2003. By 2000 sales of software to schools had begun to decline but we felt that there was a substantial opportunity to supply curriculum based software to parents for their kids through schools. We adopted a club model, called it the Community Software Plan (CSP) and created our own titles to sell through it. Our first title was Aussie Maths Invaders. It was an overnight hit! We ended up with a whole range of mulit-award-winning titles that have sold 1,000,000 CDs all around the world.

It must take an exceptional team to produce your software?

The intellectual property we have created is the culmination of many years of exceptional work by many dedicated, talented people. We can’t thank them enough for the contribution they have made. Some have stayed for over 20 years others have come, made their contribution and moved on. Our products today are an amalgam of their many and varied contributions.

How has the Internet revolution changed business for you?

We were all still buying vinyl records back in 1995 but by 2000 the CD had taken over. By 2006 sales of CDs had peaked with the Internet gaining popularity year by year. Now in 2012 demand for CDs is weak with the Internet being the source of choice for schools and homes. Not only has the mode of delivery changed but the proliferation of free services on the Internet has raised people’s expectation of value for money with many resources being available for free. The Internet also allows users to be dynamically connected to their data 24/7. Teachers and kids are no different. They expect continuous, integrated, access to learning and the results of that learning.

How have you responded to this change?

We realized some years back that we would have to move online or downsize and fade away. Sensing that the Internet would ultimately be a greater friend than foe we made our existing software available for Internet download from www.edalive.com and then embarked on an ambitious project to convert our key educational IP to a format that could be used as the basis for an online learning system. Our team did exceptional work and by January 2010 we had a bank of over 17,000 activities covering maths, reading, spelling and word skills for kids aged 5 – 15 in an online format.

Where does ZooWhiz fit in?

Once we had the educational content ready for online delivery we set about creating a kid-and school-friendly management system through which to deliver it and to give parents, teachers and kids the 24/7 access they have come to expect. www.ZooWhiz.com, our most challenging and comprehensive project to date, is the end result. It’s packed full of tools for teachers, is fun for kids and gives parents the opportunity to connect with their child’s education. It lets parents, teachers and kids choose educational content that is appropriate for each child’s educational needs.

In this world of free online offerings like Skype and Google we felt that a freemium model (a mix of free and paid premium subscriptions) would be the best way to market our new creation. By October 2011 we were ready to start testing ZooWhiz with family and friends and in some of the schools around Armidale. The feed-back was emphatically positive and knew that we had a real winner. Kids and teachers just love it. Growth was immediate. We were fortunate to have Senator Conroy, Tony Windsor and Richard Torbay in attendance for its official launch at PLC Armidale on 17th Feb. Since then ZooWhiz has continued to grow and now has over 40,000 free users in more than 30 countries. We’re currently working on the premium offering and hope to be generating revenues by June.

Will the NBN help you?

The NBN will be a real boon to us. The transference of data and remote working is critical to what we do and with the increased speed of the NBN all this will be so much faster and cost effective. It can’t come soon enough!

What next?

www.ZooWhiz .com has incredible potential. The Internet has eliminated national boundaries and we fully anticipate that ZooWhiz will be used by millions of kids, parents and teachers around the world in the years to come! ZooWhiz is free for all, easy to use and highly motivational so if you’re a teacher, parent or grandparent get started with your kids today and tell others about this great Armidale/Aussie based online learning system!

Updates for Parents and Teachers

We’ve released a new version of ZooWhiz with a variety of improvements. The most notable of these is the new Arcade Game section. This section has been sitting there for a little while, but it hasn’t had any games. There are now three games that kids can play: Free Kick, Cupcake Frenzy and Bouncing Balls. They’re all a lot of fun – I can’t decide which I prefer. In keeping with the educational philosophy of ZooWhiz, these games aren’t free – kids have to answer educational activities to earn coins, after which they can spend their coins on unlocking and playing the new Arcade Games. (All of the new Arcade Games support saving and resuming games, as well as high scores).

We’ve also made a few other changes as well.

  • Kid’s usernames and passwords are generated slightly different, meaning they’ll be simple to remember and appropriate.
  • You can now reset your password if you forget.
  • If you can’t verify your account with the link we sent you in an email, you can now manually verify your account. Instructions on manually verifying your account can be found in your registration email. (If you’re a parent, you can also manually verify your account).

Thanks to all the teachers who have provided us with their valuable input. We’ve received more feedback, which we’ll also be implementing over the coming weeks. If you’d like to give us feedback, you can use out contact form. If you want help, you can use our technical support form.

You can a previous of the new Arcade Games below.

Kid’s Registration Screen Update

It’s now a whole lot easier to start playing ZooWhiz! When your child registers a FREE Keeper Account, on the same screen, your child can sign in and start playing straight away! There is, however, a limit to the number of times your child can sign in without being linked to a parent or teacher Account. So make sure that you register a FREE Parent Account and give permission for your child by activating your kid’s Account for your child to continue learning and playing. Activation link is provided in the email sent to your inbox. All of these are FREE!