Sunday, November 27, 2016

How we got started at KudosReading

We firmly believe that READING sets the foundation for all learning! In this age of technology, there is a huge focus on STEM, and rightly so! We must by all means equip our kids to be ready for the growing demands of the 21st century tech careers.  Given that my own tech career was spawned by seeds planted in a high school computer class, I was shocked to see the lack of tech curriculum even in  Silicon Valley high schools.

Be part of the change you want 

In order to bring about the change that I wanted, I joined a board and actively incorporated computer science curriculum into a high school pathway. However, I was surprised to see that high school students were reading at a 4th Grade level!

Further research revealed that 66% of kids in the U.S. alone read below grade level! How is this possible?

With the ubiquitous distractions, these stats are not improving every year! So, where are we failing? We know that the schools have standards in place to ensure that reading levels are met. Teachers go above and beyond to encourage and foster a love of reading in the classroom. Most parents make resources available to their kids to improve reading levels.

Also, the goal of every Language Arts teacher that we work with is not the number of books you're reading, but how well can you articulate the concepts in the book. So, I would argue that the solution has to take the whole learner into account, being mindful of their environment and cross boundaries seamlessly both inside and outside the classroom in order to be effective. 

Here's why - 

A kid that is reading at any level will pick up a book and read it IF they saw their friend reading that book. That kid will only stay motivated if they can master concepts and show progress. They are more likely to stay engaged and practice skills in a community where they can discuss these concepts with their peers.

These are EXACTLY the principles of engagement in gaming.

What if - 

What if, we took those social contexts that kids enjoy in gaming and combined it with the well-researched strategies of motivating readers that teachers use in the classroom? 

This is what we're working on at KudosReading! Every educator and technologist on our team has one goal - Combining our skills for the collective mission of igniting a passion for reading, inside and outside the classroom. 

We're excited to share our journey here.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Beena Agarwal
CEO, KudosReading.

1 comment:

  1. Kids have so many distractions and their attention spans are incredibly short. Happy to see that your software is not trying work toward changing their behavior but fit into their digital lifestyle.