15 March 2017
NZ firm a finalist in global EdTech 2017 Awards
Wellington publisher Lift Education's CSIPrivate Eye has been named a finalist in the new product or service category of the prestigious EdTech Digest Awards Program 2017.
"We're delighted," said Lift Education Publishing Manager Matt Comeskey. Lift Education is a division of South Pacific Press Limited.
Matt described CSIPrivate Eye as "an online series of solve-as-you-read mysterious, interactive adventures".
"It is aimed at engaging students in years 4–9 in reading and writing, while boosting their literacy and critical thinking skills. Students travel back and forward in time, and use fun digital tools to navigate their way through each adventure," said Matt.
Mysterious topics include a 'forgotten' moon landing, a disappearing pharaoh, an ancient terracotta army, a remarkable castaway tale and a New Zealand mystery – The Ship that Time Forgot. Each online experience contains science, history, geography, maths, and more.
"In addition to learning about fascinating topics, students use their close-reading skills and strategies, vocabulary acquisition, and reading fluency to engage with the texts. They also write and record their observations and predictions online as they gather evidence."
CSI Private Eye was made available to schools in early 2016. To date, about 25,000 student accounts have been allocated across seven countries, with approximately 400 schools/700 classes signed up to either a trial or a paid subscription.
So far, six interactive adventures have been developed, along with comprehensive writing lessons, teacher support, adventure walkthrough documents, and curriculum correlations for New Zealand, Australia, the US, UK and Hong Kong.
Matt said feedback had been overwhelmingly positive, with one principal saying his students' engagement was "off the scale" particularly for boys.
He put this down to several factors including the tool's story-telling approach, interactivity, high quality visual content, and the fact it was browser-based (no software downloads required).
CSI Private Eye development was enabled with a $50,000 match funding grant from Education New Zealand via the IEGF fund. This allowed for the illustration and technical development of each adventure.
Matt said his company planned many more adventures in the CSI Private Eye series.
"We want to build a large library of stories from around the world, accessible in several languages and at various difficulty levels."
Winners of the EdTech Digest Awards will be announced before end of March 2017.
Demo and free trial (NZ) www.csi-literacy.nz/demo
Demo and free trial (US) www.csi-privateeye.com