Dec 21, 2021

How my P5 girl did her online Math Revision while maintaining her digital well-being this school holidays (No nagging required!)


The past two years have seen the acceleration of online learning among students with schools embracing a blended-learning approach to education. As parents, we’ve had to experience our children learning both in the classroom and virtually. Moving forward too, HBL and online learning will continue to play a major role in our kids’ education. 

Parents like us today are faced with a unique set of challenges: "How can we find ways to support our children’s learning journey and help them stay motivated beyond the traditional classroom setting, yet while managing their physical and mental well-being?

Of course, different methods work for different families, but I think we can all agree that we can and should make technology work smarter for us and to our benefit - so that our children are equipped with digital skills to thrive in the future workplace. 

And it is apt that Lenovo and KooBits have come together with the goal of making that happen.

KooBits is a pioneer in online learning, having developed their learning platform over 10 years in collaboration with educators, child-development experts and product designers. Their mission is to empower children to self-learn, self-assess and master critical knowledge with minimal adult supervision in a safe, 100% ad-free platform. Their flagship product, KooBits Math is a personalised Math e-learning platform, based on the latest MOE syllabus for Primary 1-6 children. Their offering performs well with Lenovo, which has been paving the way for healthier digital habits through their Smart Learning offering. Lenovo aims to deliver its vision of 'Smarter Technology for All' through their wide portfolio of technology products and services. 

Coupled together, Lenovo's Lenovo Aware and KooBits worked together like a charm... as Ale found out.

I'm sure most parents will be familiar with KooBits, no? An online Math portal, KooBits has come a long way since it was founded in 2007. Personally, I consider KooBits to be the pioneer in online learning for Math as my two boys were first exposed to the learning portal way back in 2015 when they were still in lower primary.

I kid you not when I say that back then, both Ash and Ayd were genuinely motivated to tackle Math questions via KooBits every single night, without me having to nag! All because KooBits made it so fun for kids to complete Math assignments - and earn reward points in the process. It is a pity that six years ago, there was no technology yet that was 'smart' enough to watch over them while they are learning because erm, they did spend a little too much time for my liking in front of the screen. 😅

Fast foward 6 six years later, and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised that KooBits has upped the ante and totally gamified the entire learning platform AND they have partnered Lenovo Singapore to further enhance students' digital learning experience!

And what could be a better complement to an engaging and effective learning platform? A tool that helps kids build healthy digital habits, all without having a parent nag or remind them!

With the increase of HBL and online learning these days, poor eye health, bad sitting posture and general fatigue have all been associated with an overload of screen time. And that is where 'Lenovo Aware' comes in. A smart learning solution that aims to address digital challenges brought about by the increased online learning, Lenovo Aware helps to keep students focused and motivated, while engaged in online classes and improve their digital well-being,

No apps to download or no tricky installations required, Lenovo Aware comes pre-bundled with its latest generation of laptops. The software leverages on the laptop's built-in camera to detect a person’s body movement and eye contact with the device. In fact, the software runs quietly in the background while Ale went about with her KooBits practice questions.

KooBits' core mission has not change all these years - which is to make learning Math fun again for kids aged 6 to 12 using a world-class methodology, animated videos and clever reward systems.

Aligned closely to MOE's Math curriculum, KooBits breaks down the usual tedious Math problem-solving homework into several bite-sized challenges and enables students to tackle Math challenges as and when they are free and willing.

Ale is already familiar with the KooBits portal as her primary school has been using it as well. So she is already well-versed in the art of trying to score more points to climb up the leaderboard on KooBits! 😆

So while she completes more Math questions, there has to be SOMEONE (or something) marking them, no? I think it is safe to say all parents dread marking assessment books. With KooBits, that's totally irrelevent because the portal comes with auto-marking features. Step-by-step solutions for all questions are provided using problem solving strategies, heuristics, models and diagrams.

In fact, should Ale be stuck on a question, she can get instant feedback with its video explanation. Each video breaks down concepts in a way that is easily understood by a child. And instead of revealing the answer, these videos encourage her to seek out the solution on her own. Nothing like promoting independent learning, eh? 

But midway through her KooBits session, Ale got an alert on the bottom right corner of the screen.

It was a prompt from Lenovo Aware, which reminded her to maintain a good posture. Ok, considered me sold on the benefits of Lenovo Aware because instead of having me as a parent to keep nagging my kids to sit upright and/or take a break from the screen, I can outsource the 'nagging' to Lenovo Aware! This is a function that parents could only dream about before this! 😆

Not only does Lenovo Aware detects whether the user is sitting correctly and alerts the user when there is consistent incorrect sitting posture for a period of time, it can also detect the distance between the user's face and the PC screen to prevent the distance from being too close to affect eyesight.

Lenovo Aware also incorporates an Attention function which is mainly aimed at children to determine whether they are currently in a state of concentration. Parents can also set Break reminders so that it will automatically remind the child to take breaks according to the computer usage time settings.

So after taking a 15-min break, Ale was back at her Lenovo laptop to check out a new feature of KooBits - KooClass!

KooClass is a series of interactive, animated classes to help primary schoolers learn about real-world applications of math topics taught in school. In each lesson, kids are able to watch an educational video taught by friendly and lovable characters. After that, they are tasked to do a hands-on practice with an interactive segment in the form of questions, assignments or activities and unlock achievements after completing the lesson!

I guess for Ale, the main draw of KooClass is the chance to earn credits, or KoKo credits, in order to advance to the next class. It's like earning XP points to level up while playing an RPG game - yet another way that KooBits has gamified the Math learning process.

Speaking about levelling up, there is another new feature of KooBits that I find to be refreshing and innovative and that is Higher-Order Thinking Skills or HOTS, for short.

Positioned as the ultimate challenge for Math Mastery, HOTS presents the toughest questions available on the KooBits platform. Ok wait, before you think that HOTS is only for gifted and high-performing students, IT IS NOT.

HOTS questions require students to truly understand a concept, and not simply rely on memorisation. They train kids to apply probem-solving to everyday life, so as to better prepare them beyond the standard school maths curriculum, and empower them to interpret ideas, information, discover new solutions and improve their understanding in maths.

Oh, and did I mention that parents can also check the progress of their kids on KooBits?

With the easy download of the Parent app, I can check on the daily, weekly and monthly progress of Ale's work on KooBits, see her performance, and even set her some assignments to complete!

I can even tell if she is not getting much practice.... 😅😅😅

With so many engaging content on KooBits, it is no wonder that Ale spent a fair amount of time in front of the laptop trying to earn as many reward points as possible. Fortunately, Lenovo Aware gave me the peace of mind of knowing that her digital well-being was being taken care of.

I had the opportunity to see it in action while Ale was completing her KooBits Math work on the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i laptop and I was mightily impressed! Inevitably, her posture went from good to bad due to prolonged sitting but Lenovo Aware was always on hand to remind her to keep to a good posture and an adequate eye distance so that she didn't feel fatigued.

Better yet, it prompted her to take a break from the laptop... even though she wanted to continue to earn more points! 😅

Well, Lenovo Aware had the final say in the end and she (begrudgingly) closed the laptop for a well-deserved break. 

With e-learning here to stay, it is fitting that KooBits and Lenovo has partnered one another with the aim of not only making learning fun but also healthy for kids by taking into account of their mental and physical wellness.

On one hand, Koobits has gamified the learning process through the use of engaging content and fun challenges while on the other hand, Lenovo has recognised the need to address the long-term effects on a child's posture, health and overall wellness due to prolonged screen time through its Lenovo Aware software.

And that to me, is the best of both worlds because seeing how hybrid and digital learning is growing more relevant, having the ideal mix of software and device is vital in ensuring that our kids remain productive and engaged.

Want the best of both worlds too? 

Lenovo and KooBits are currently offering a limited offer for the FIRST 100 customers - enrol your child in the 1-Year KooBits Premium subscription at $198 and get the Lenovo Tab M7 for FREE (Worth $179)!!! That's more than a 47% discount and the offer is valid until 15 January 2022. Visit HERE for more details.

For other models, visit their website for exclusive KooBits X Lenovo deals.

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