Shocking statistics reveal that 5.2 million adults in Britain are functionally illiterate, with reading and writing abilities below what would be expected of the average 11 year old. Now Pobble, an exciting new company is on a mission to inspire and tackle illiteracy in the next generation.
Emerging from a slew of industry recognition, acclaim and even an award here or there, Pobble, formerly LendMeYourLiteracy, is being used by schools to provide a platform for young writers to build an audience and a portfolio.
First cultivated by a small and dedicated group of teachers from Yorkshire, LendMeYourLiteracy started as an online site where primary school children could share their stories ‘beyond the classroom wall’. The intention was that once they experienced the joy of writing for a wide digital audience, who were leaving feedback they could read, they would be inspired to engage more and more in reading and writing. It would also help parents connect with their child’s learning journey and create an archive for their work.
Now, what began as a humble WordPress blog, has grown to become a useful tool for parents and teachers alike, and the newly re-branded Pobble is being used in schools by teachers in over 100 countries worldwide. A lot of this was down to the hard-work of the founders who went into schools and ran workshops to encourage children and teachers first hand. The scholastic hallmarks of this initiative, crafted by teachers, are central to its ethos.
‘Pobble’ means people in Celtic, and as co-founder and CEO Jon Smith asserts ‘people’ are “what Pobble’s all about… Sharing of best practice and collaboration produces better outcomes for everybody.”
Anyone can go through the Pobble archive of handwritten work, either by searching for what you want, or just to browse what has been shared. There is plenty to read amongst the 35,000 entries, from recent responses to the John Lewis Christmas ad Man on the Moon – to beautiful illustrated ‘shape’ poems, by 6-7 year olds.
Smith recalls one proud moment when a reluctant dyslexic boy, Fred Potts, 6, was eventually persuaded by an astute teacher to share some of his work. Pobble unlocked an audience for Fred and his work ended up winning Pobble’s winter writing competition. “After we deciphered his handwriting, some of the stuff Fred wrote was astounding! He talked about ice looking like ‘silk on the road’…” Smith cherishes the transformation in Fred’s attitude to reading and writing saying, “It is such a great example of how Pobble is transforming the learning experience.”
Pobble is really ahead of the game in terms of digital engagement. Schools who have worked with Pobble are reporting a significant impact on the level of literacy attainment overall. UK classrooms in particular have been slow to the digital uptake, but Pobble and initiatives like it are driving a tech-led approach. Smith sees this as the future of the education sector “Children and teachers using Pobble feel very much a part of something… We want to work with as many schools as possible.”
Schools can access a variety of Pobble resources for free and purchase a subscription to start sharing their pupils’ work.
Visit: http://blog.pobble.com/subscriptions/ to find out more.