A closer look at at-home digital learning for deeper comprehension.

INTERVIEW | by Victor Rivero

Javier Encinas of UzinggoMore than 3 million students in the U.S., Europe, and Asia use their solutions. Designed for grades 6-12, Adaptive Curriculum’s web-based math and science solutions represent the kind of interactive instruction for digital learners that helps schools bridge the gap between the old way and new way of learning. Results are deeper comprehension of math and science, increased tests scores, and students ready to compete in the global economy. Javier Encinas (pictured) is the Vice President of Marketing at Adaptive Curriculum, makers of Uzinggo, an online, interactive Math and Science software designed for middle and high school students to use at home to dramatically improve their grades in school. Based on the award-winning Adaptive Curriculum Math and Science curriculum, Uzinggo uses real-world scenarios and game-like graphics to better engage students. A built-in gaming platform rewards students for their increased knowledge, and a parental-monitoring function allows parents and guardians to view their children’s progress. Uzinggo’s content is based on workable teaching techniques and research, and state and federal standards. Here, Javier responds to some basic questions and share his thoughts on Common Core and bridging the gap so all learners can access help when and where they need it. 

Victor: How would you describe Uzinggo?

Javier: Uzinggo is subscription-based, online math and science help for digital-age learners that will dramatically improve their subject comprehension and test scores

Uzinggo was developed by Adaptive Curriculum, makers of web-based math and science solutions. Uzinggo is a great alternative to a tutor: $9.95 gets students unlimited math or science help for a month; that would buy about ½ hour of a live tutor’s time.

Victor: It’s an interesting name – what does ‘Uzinggo’ mean and from where does it come? 

uzinggo logoJavier: Uzinggo is a made-up name that captures the uniqueness of the learning experience and the fun students have while learning. We wanted a new word, that’s ownable, and could be synonymous with at-home, digital-age learning. The team got into a room and started throwing words: Our development, marketing and product teams brainstormed on a naming, a truly unique naming convention for the product. Uzinggo emerged and had the energy and enthusiasm we were looking for in a product personality.

Victor: Why was Uzinggo created?

Javier: Adaptive Curriculum discovered that parents need at-home ways to help their kids do better in school, and today’s students need to be engaged and motivated

Adaptive Curriculum’s classroom solutions have helped students improve standardized test scores and grades while helping them develop a deeper comprehension of their math and science curriculum. Adaptive Curriculum wanted parents to be able to bring this same learning into their homes.

Victor: How does it work?

Javier: Uzinggo engages students with video-game-like graphics and real-world scenarios. It motivates students by letting them earn points as they prove they’ve learned the subject matter; they use the points for gift cards, to build avatars, donate to charities, and more. Students move through lessons at their own pace, and they are able to repeat lessons as often as needed. Parents can be actively involved by monitoring their child’s progress with real-time reports, and using teacher guides to take part in their child’s learning path.

Victor: What are the benefits for students?

uzinggo imageJavier: Struggling students are able to achieve better grades and perform at a higher level by practicing concepts, at home, that were difficult in class. Students not struggling can benefit by using Uzinggo as a way to accelerate beyond the level that is being taught within the classroom material.

Victor: How much does it cost?

Javier: Middle School Math or Science: $9.95/mth per student; $94.95/yr (20% savings

High School Science or Math     $9.95/mth per student; $94.95/yr (20% savings)

Middle School Math and Science Combo $14.95/mth; $134.9/yr (25% savings)

Prep Courses Math or Science $49.95/yr

Review Courses Math or Science $49.95/yr.

Victor: How do you buy it?

Javier: Online at www.uzinggo.com

Victor: Any partners involved in Uzinggo other than Adaptive Curriculum?

Javier: Adaptive Curriculum has an ongoing goal to achieve innovation in education through a partnership with Arizona State University Technology Based Learning and Research group.

Victor: What foundations of teaching is it based on?

Javier: Uzinggo is build on a proven educational best practice, the 5E Instructional Model, which is as follows:

Engage. Lessons use real-world examples that help students explore concepts, create and test hypotheses and manipulate items.

Explore. Initiates the learning and peaks the student’s interest with real-world scenarios. Instead of opening the textbook to learn the next equation, why not help a long-distance skier and figure out how far she can jump.

Explain. Students receive a full explanation, which they can pause and rewind, of these often times difficult concepts in math and science. The explanations are clear and reinforced with audio, visual, and text online tutoring.

Elaborate. Students will then challenge and extend their conceptual understanding with additional practice opportunities.

Evaluate. We then allow the student the opportunity to evaluate their understanding in quick assessments at the end of each lesson. Within this section, they have the opportunity to review their results and track their own progress.

Victor: Any thoughts on education in general these days?

Javier: Education is in the middle of a transformation. Common Core State Standards mean teachers have to teach, and students have to learn, differently. Answering questions correctly on a test won’t be good enough. Students will have to prove they’ve achieved a deep level of subject understanding and that they can apply what they’ve learned to the real world. And teachers are the ones that have to get students to this new level. This new level is important because it will drive future innovation, with our students of today being the innovators of tomorrow.

Victor: Anything else you care to emphasize regarding education and technology?

Javier: There are huge disparities in the “wiredness” of schools. Some schools are completely digital with interactive white boards and online access in classrooms; for other schools fax machines are a new technology. This is one of the reasons we developed Uzinggo. It can be in high-tech schools, broadband homes, or local libraries, anywhere there is an Internet connection we can offer learning that will improve students comprehension and test scores.

Victor Rivero tells the story of 21st-century education transformation. Get your story told through case studies, white papers and other materials you can share at trade shows and on your website. Write to: victor@edtechdigest.com