Skyward Announces Revolutionary Online Enrichment Game For SIS Portal

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First interactive game of its kind in the industry facilitates proactive, positive reinforcement of student performance

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Skyward has been an industry leader in providing a solution that promotes positive reinforcement on a proactive basis. This latest development is just one more step forward in this endeavor.

Skyward Inc., a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software, plans to introduce a groundbreaking online, interactive game that is designed to proactively reward students for positive behaviors and accomplishments. The first of its kind in the industry, this innovative feature will be bundled with Skyward’s comprehensive student information system (SIS), School Management Suite 2.0 and provided to customers at no cost. Skyward will unveil the game at its upcoming iCon user event in Orlando, Fla., March 7-9, 2012.

The game centers on the student and will be a fully integrated feature of Skyward’s Student Access module. Students will assume a virtual identity or avatar and earn in-game points through a variety of opportunities ranging from achieving a particular assignment score, meeting an attendance goal or rewards from district staff for non-academic activities. By accumulating these points, students can customize their avatar, advance to new levels in the game and enjoy other incentives. Based on district-defined parameters within the game, students also will have the ability to share their avatars or point levels with other students internally or via social media.

“Traditionally, student information systems have been reactionary and heavily focused on monitoring negative performance indicators, rather than highlighting positive behavior,” says Scott Glinski, president of Skyward. “Skyward has been an industry leader in providing a solution that promotes positive reinforcement on a proactive basis. This latest development is just one more step forward in this endeavor.”

With a goal of further engaging and motivating students through the game, Skyward is taking cues from two current trends: the increasing use of games for delivery and mastery of educational content and the rapid expansion of social media use by students. A study at the University of California-Berkeley has shown that students are more motivated, engaged and invested in school work when they can draw a direct correlation between the material they are learning and perceived personal gain. Similarly, digital media reporter Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal wrote in his 2010 article, “Why We Can’t Stop Playing,” that frequent positive feedback in games can give players true feelings of success and achievement.

Skyward’s rewards-based game uses effective, motivational methods that will help students make the connection between positive real-life behaviors and rewards they receive. And by combining goals-oriented activities with social media capabilities, students will be able to easily track and share their real-life accomplishments with peers and others.

In addition, parents, teachers and administrators will be able to monitor students’ progress through the game. It also offers functionality to alert appropriate users to regressive changes that may point to concerns, as well as the ability to analyze data by school, grade or class to spot trends.

Skyward’s School Management System represents the only integrated student, finance and human resources software package that enables districts to manage student progress, annual budget, employee pay and even food service from a single centralized database.

About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, you can find Skyward's School Management System™ in more than 1,500 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to state configurations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the U.S.A. http://www.skyward.com

Media Contacts:
Ray Ackerlund            
Skyward, Inc.                
800-236-7274 ext: 1319
ray.ackerlund(at)skyward(dot)com    

Katie Flehmer                
Johnson Direct
800-710-2750 ext: 142
kathryn.flehmer(at)johnsondirect(dot)com

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Ray Ackerlund

Katie Flehmer
Johnson Direct
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