Fonetti Young Authors’ Competition 2021 Launch

Fonetti Young Authors’ Competition 2021 Launch

Fonetti Young Authors’ Competition 2021 Launch

The 2021 Fonetti Young Authors’ Competition, is now open.

This is the second year the competition has run. Winners will not only receive a signed book from judge Christina Gabbitas, a signed copy of Clare Balding’s latest book, ‘Fall Off, Get Back On, Keep Going’… they’ll also, most importantly, become the published author of a beautifully illustrated digital book! 

The competition is available to children in two age groups – up to 9 years old and 10-18 years old.

Submissions can focus on any topic and can take the form of either prose (up to 500 words) or poetry (up to 100 words).

And, this year, entries can be from individuals, small groups or, entire schoolroom classes.

Submissions should be emailed to competitions@fonetti.com before midnight on Friday July 2nd, 2021, and the winners will be announced on the Fonetti website and across social media, on Monday July 12th, 2021 by Fonetti Brand Ambassador and national treasure, Clare Balding OBE.

Our 2021 judges are:

  • author Christina Gabbitas;
  • television presenter and author, Martin Roberts;
  • author Donavan Christopher (aka Rappaman);
  • teacher and blogger, Kirsty Crommie, and,
  • author Suzie Lavington.

Says Kim Antoniou, CEO of AurisTech/Fonetti, “Last year we were inundated with entries.  It was phenomenal to read so many super stories and to have winners from as young as six years old, who are now, themselves, published authors on Fonetti.  So, we have high hopes again this time.

“We are passionate about the ability for all children to be able to enjoy the experience of reading aloud and the creativity that follows this process.

“We hope to unleash children’s creativity, amazing imagination and perhaps, encourage some of them to become the children’s story authors, artists and illustrators of the future.”

We wish everyone the very best of luck.

Education Resources Award FINALISTS 2021

Education Resources Award FINALISTS 2021

Education Resources Award FINALISTS 2021

We are delighted to be finalists in the BESA Education Resources Awards for 2021, in the Primary Resource or Equipment – ICT category. With 22 categories this year, we’re proud to sit amongst some brilliant school suppliers such as Doodle Learning, Harper Collins, Hodder Education, Oxford University Press, and LGfL.

The judges were highly impressed by the creativity and professionalism of the submissions received.

The award winners will be announced at 3pm on Friday 21st May, at an online awards ceremony. We’ll be watching and trying not to bite our nails, and wish every finalist the very best of luck.

OPINION: How has lockdown affected pupils’ language skills?

OPINION: How has lockdown affected pupils’ language skills?

OPINION: How has lockdown affected pupils’ language skills?

Lockdown deprived children of many educational experiences and the social contact essential in developing their vocabulary.  Whether it was visits to grandparents and family, trips to the park, school or afterschool clubs, overnight we all witnessed life change.

But it’s our children who are paying the price.

As we start moving out of full lockdown restrictions, like many, I’ve taken time to reflect. A BBC article last week prompted me to think about the impact on our primary school aged children.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has highlighted their key findings after surveying 58 primary schools across England, showing the huge impact this has made on early years and foundation children:

  • 76% said pupils starting school in September 2020 needed more support with communication than in previous years
  • 96% said they were concerned about pupils’ speech-and-language development

While the study focuses on younger children, this issue is greater than early years alone. All children were deprived of normal life through lockdown. But primary school children in particular have suffered as a result.

Lockdown limited exposure to new words and vocabulary, despite parents’ and teachers’ efforts with home schooling. Poor speech development can have long-term effects on learning.

And it naturally affects confidence.

So, what resources can bridge the gap in literacy that the pandemic has created?

 

Technical tools to support literacy

Digital technology has proven its value in the classroom throughout the pandemic. It’s been the playground, teacher and conduit that’s maintained communication when our children were forced to stay at home. Digital classrooms, apps and screen time in general have become acceptable resources in education, for all ages, both in school and at home.

But this technology comes at a cost not every school or household can afford.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford explains:

“On top of the £3.5bn we have spent in each of the past three years on our free childcare entitlements, we have also invested £18m to support language development in the early years, part of our new £700m package to provide extra support to children who need it as they return to the classroom,”.

“This includes funding to build on the early successes of the Nuffield Early Language Intervention scheme and roll it out to more schools, so that thousands more four- and five-year-olds whose language, communication and literacy skills have been impacted by the disruption of the past year will benefit from targeted support.”

Many primary schools are relying on parents, local businesses and their communities to help provide the tech resources they need. From donating laptops and devices to sponsoring subscriptions to apps and educational programmes.

And we’re just one business who’s supported the demand.

Throughout lockdown, Fonetti supported literacy by providing free access to listening books from our digital library. We’re now supporting schools through a corporate sponsorship programme where businesses step in to sponsor an annual subscription to Fonetti to boost children’s literacy. 

How does this benefit schools?

Accredited by the Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds Campaign, Fonetti is one of a useful collection of technical tools available to teachers, parents and children to support learning and boost literacy.

While 1 in 9 children don’t have access to a reading book at home, 1 in 8 schools in the UK don’t have access to, or space for, a library.

Fonetti provides endless shelves of digital stories that don’t need any physical storage or quarantining. Which means children have instant access to stories at a price less than a high street coffee.

When it comes to language acquisition, every child is on their own individual journey. Fonetti allows teachers to tailor reading material to individual needs discreetly. Without children being conscious of what level their reading book is, compared to their peers, but just enjoying reading as a pastime.

Reading aloud on a 121 basis through an app that doesn’t judge the reader, or allow others to, but boosts a child’s confidence. It also provides a wealth of texts that introduce new words and enrich a child’s vocabulary.

Children who have missed out on social interactions due to lockdown can gain social and oral skills through reading aloud.

Skills that can unlock their potential for future learning of any subject.

Less limits, more learning

We can all help children develop the vocabulary that lockdown has delayed. Assistant head teacher Victoria Day shares her 5 Top Tips for increasing early years vocabulary.

But we mustn’t forget years 1-6 in primary education that also need support.

This is why we have the Fonetti Schools Portal, to support primary pupils and schools. You can either book a demo or sponsor an annual subscription for your local school and give the gift of reading to nurture bright futures in a post-pandemic world.

Sources:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-56889035/

What’s the Best Reading App for Kids?

What’s the Best Reading App for Kids?

What’s the Best Reading App for Kids?

It can be tough to find the best reading practise app…

Want your stir-crazy child to practise their reading?

Then you’ve plenty of (perhaps too much?) choice. Indeed the Guardian reviewed 20 educational apps!

So this comparison of traditional books versus the various technologies out there, aims to help you make an informed choice.

And the best bit?

There’s a free bonus at the end…

Free stories to read in the educational app we’re sure is the best way for children to practise reading at home and at school.

Introducing Fonetti – the reading practise app

Fonetti makes reading fun!

It’s a great way to help a primary school child practise reading because Fonetti is:

  1. Portable
  2. Digital and easy-to-use
  3. Has the major bonus of interactive reading
  4. Being increasingly adopted by primary schools (schools can optionally assign kids books to read at home or in school and track their progress)

Fonetti actually listens to your child read.

So, how does Fonetti work?

Think reverse Karaoke, but for speech more than song.

Confused?

It’s actually more intuitive than you think.

Think of training the speech recognition app in your phone to listen to a whole story as your child reads aloud.

Fonetti’s proprietary speech recognition engine does just that and changes the colour of each word (black to green) when each word is pronounced correctly.  

Fonetti works like this:

Children choose a story and start reading aloud.

When they finish a book, they win rewards, stars and fanfares!

When children say the words correctly, the words turn green.

If they get stuck, they double-tap the ‘tricky’ word to hear it spoken aloud.

Sounds more complicated than it is – and kids pick it up in a moment. 

Check out Fonetti in the brief video below: 

Fonetti helps children:

  • perfect their pronunciation
  • boost their literacy
  • build their confidence

with every page they turn.

Which is why we’re sure Fonetti is the best educational app for primary school kids!

Sounds good right?

But does it support the National Curriculum?

Does it provide good educational value?

Do the books on Fonetti meet the UK National Curriculum?

There’s an easy way to tell which reading practise app is best. 

And it’s as simple as looking for a logo:

The UK Government’s Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds programme provides a quality mark to apps that an independent educational panel believe have good educational value.

Where you see their logo, you know a learning app has been endorsed by them and is an approved platform.

DfE logo - standard jpg
Hungry Little Mind Elements_2020 (Fonetti and DfE) NS (300w)

Approved educational apps – do they help a child learn to read?

Both phonics heroes for early readers of learning sounds, and Fonetti, for readers of all levels and abilities – are approved educational apps for children to practise their reading. 

Fonetti helps a child build confidence with independent reading.

But what about the different formats like eBooks or audiobooks?  

What are the different reading formats for kids aged 4-8 years?

Picture books and early readers are the most popular books for this age group.

These span a variety of genres from fairy-tales and fantasy to horror and sci-fi.

Although all are fiction, there are several formats for you to choose from:

Listening Books™

Listening books™ are a new, refreshing alternative in the world of learning apps.

Offering all the magic of printed books combined with the flexible functionality of audio and eBooks. We think Listening books™ are the best reading app for kids because they take interactive reading to a whole new level.

Paperback books (including board and hardbacks).

Traditionally, print is the most popular format of books for children. Although times are rapidly changing and Covid has posed a number of challenges to the printed book market.

Books are no longer as easy to ‘borrow’ safely, which most libraries recognise through their continued loan extensions and closed doors.

Despite printed books being relatively accessible in discount book shops like The Works and supermarkets, economics is still having a huge effect as 1 in 9 children in the UK don’t own their own book.

eBooks and audio books

eBooks and audio books are growing in popularity as an alternative to print and a more flexible solution. Most reading apps offer a library of books and popular titles for a small subscription fee.

These books are downloaded via a tablet, phone or electronic device and can be read or played wherever your kids may be. But they rely solely on technology to keep kids focussed.

Fonetti’s clever Listening books™ ignite imagination because each child’s voice brings the story to life in front of their eyes.

Using speech-recognition technology Fonetti listens as your child reads – helping them turn the page with their phonetic pronunciation.

Fonetti builds a child’s confidence as they read aloud – something they probably do often in school, but may need more practise with at home and outside of school hours.

Reading confidently aloud can take time – and what if your child has a different learning style or has special educational needs?

Every child has different learning styles

They may be visual, audial or kinaesthetic (a learning style that requires touch to learn) learners so you’ll need an app that suits their preferred way of learning.

You may also be searching for an educational app that helps children with dyslexia or those that need SEN support.

When investing in screen-time resources it’s important to find a reading app that’s fun, one that will hold your children’s attention – keep them entertained as well as engaged.

And, more importantly one that’s:

  • value for money
  • regularly updated
  • has a library full of books

You get all of these things with Fonetti!

But are your kids spending too much time on screens?

Do you feel guilty?

Reading on a tablet – Fonetti provides guilt-free screen time

If you’ve had an ounce of guilt (over screen time) while looking for a reading app – let it go.

There’s no need to feel guilty when screen time enhances a child’s development.

And Fonetti does exactly that!

What’s more, Fonetti does so responsibly.

Although some reading apps are available on smart phones, Fonetti chose to launch solely on tablets to make sure children can read their listening books™ just as they would a printed book at the

right

font

size

 

Fonetti is available on iPad and Android tablet too.

But how does it compare to other learning apps for kids?

How is Fonetti better than other learning apps for kids?

Fonetti supports every reader individually and allows them to read at their own pace.

It never gets frustrated with them. 

Sharing and comparing?

Yes, you can have four users per app, so siblings can share stories as they would if they chose them from a library. 

Fonetti keeps you informed with what your children are reading:

You’ll receive regular updates that tell you:

  • how long they read for
  • which stories they’ve read
  • the number of times a book has been chosen
  • and what words they’ve struggled with

It will also tell you if they’ve reached a new reading level. (Tick!)

Designed by linguistic professors at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Fonetti can recognise readers speaking English as an additional language, those with dyslexia and SEN.

 You want that BONUS right?

Good news!

It’s FREE to sign-up for Fonetti (payment card needed on sign-up) and there are always free books available (tick!)

BONUS

Get free stories for your kids! 

Sign up is free!

And there are always free stories to read on Fonetti – the best reading practise app for kids!