February 23, 2023 6:00 AM
Giant Steps — a New Gamified Digital Learning Experience — Launched to Boost Student Collaboration and Independent Practice Inside Classrooms and Beyond
Already in Use by Over 5,600 Students, Giant Steps Provides Fun and Collaborative Classroom Learning Opportunities Through Practice That Feels Like Play
LOS ANGELES – Feb. 23, 2023 – Giant Steps, a new gamified digital learning experience designed to help K-12 teachers boost student collaboration and independent practice, today launched to all U.S. educators from the makers of GoGuardian Teacher and Pear Deck, two of the world’s most popular learning platforms. Giant Steps is made for educators, by educators, and draws upon learning science and educational research to optimize learning outcomes through practice that feels like play.
Giant Steps can be used in groups in the classroom or independently at home to practice information taught during class, revisit skills or standards that students may be struggling with, and reinforce prior knowledge before a lesson. Every detail of the product is designed to cultivate a growth mindset, increase motivation, and facilitate the creation of a positive learning community.
“We’re thrilled to make Giant Steps available to all educators across the U.S., further expanding our portfolio of research-backed learning technologies that engage each student across every part of their learning journey,” said Tyler Shaddix, Chief Innovation Officer at GoGuardian and co-creator of Giant Steps. “Thousands of students in our early access program have experienced success through fun, active, and engaging experiences on Giant Steps, and we can’t wait to see the impact it has in classrooms all across the nation.”
Built for every student, every day
The Giant Steps experience for students begins with the ability to build their own avatars, a digital representation of themselves and their individuality, that will travel through a virtual map of questions and practice sets. As students correctly answer questions, they are able to earn rewards and constantly updated accessories, reflecting their learning progress and demonstrating their commitment to review materials. As students enhance their avatar with new items that represent their personalities, Giant Steps enables students to show off their unique style to their classmates. They are continuously incentivized to revisit more challenging questions, because the more they learn, the more they earn.
Collaboration, not just competition, is key in Giant Steps: because questions aren’t speed-based, students can show what they know, not how quickly they can respond. They are also given opportunities to partner with their classmates to engage with content, putting teamwork at the heart of the in-class experience. When playing independently, students can practice with auto-generated “Daily Remixes” that resurface content they’ve learned in class at a cadence designed to maximize understanding, while rewards and positive feedback keep students motivated to learn on their own.
Robust content made by educators, for educators
The teacher experience in Giant Steps centers on a library of high-quality, culturally-relevant, standards-aligned Practice Sets designed by a dedicated content and curriculum team made up of educators. Teachers are also able to create their own questions or add other educators’ content to their own lessons.
Detailed reports on student progress can be delivered on an automated basis or in real time, enabling teachers to leverage data and insights to create differentiated and personalized follow-up experiences. Student insights can be organized by Assignment, Practice Set, or standard, enabling mastery-based or competency-based learning as needed. With this level of detailed understanding, teachers can better assess where students are struggling and are able to differentiate practice experiences accordingly, creating individualized assignments based on students’ own accuracy scores.
Giant Steps draws upon deep learning science and educational research to optimize learning outcomes. From spaced repetition to feedback messages, every aspect has been thoughtfully designed to cultivate a growth mindset, increase motivation and retention, and facilitate the creation of a positive learning community.
“We built Giant Steps to create a solution that provides interactive, individualized content that encourages the best possible learning outcomes for all students, while simultaneously making teachers’ lives easier,” said Mariana Aguilar, Vice President of Education at GoGuardian. “Giant Steps motivates students to practice and learn through a gamified experience that’s not merely fun and engaging for the sake of helping kids want to learn, but is also steeped in proven learning science.”
Turning homework into high-fives
Already in use by over 5,600 students in 55 schools across the U.S., Giant Steps is earning rave reviews from students and teachers alike.
“I would describe Giant Steps as a game changer. It’s a daily tool that should be used to leverage technology to enhance students' thinking and learning,” said Cecelia Gillam, a science teacher at Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana. “I love that students who were previously reluctant to participate are more excited to participate because they’re part of a team. Just as important, students are retaining information better than ever.”
Math Instructional Coach Miranda Magley from Liverpool Central School District in New York added: “A huge piece the students and I noticed right away was the visual diversity and inclusion the outfit choices allow for. A variety of clothing, headpieces, hairstyles, etc., allows students to create a unique character that allows them to express themselves in a way that is authentic to who they are. Academically, this program allows students to work together, no matter what they may bring to the table, and it encourages them to support and enhance the learning of one another.”
Students also express excitement for Giant Steps: participants in the early access program say they love the ability to level up and that they appreciate that they can work on their own or with a team. One student noted, “I love this game because it puts a smile on my face.”
Giant Steps is free for all educators and students to play. For more information, please visit https://www.giantsteps.app/.
GoGuardian aims to help all learners feel ready and inspired to solve the world's greatest challenges by combining the best in learning and science technology across every part of the learning journey. Our award-winning system of educational tools, which includes Giant Steps, Pear Deck, and GoGuardian Teacher for learning engagement; Edulastic for formative assessments; TutorMe for virtual on-demand tutoring; and GoGuardian Admin and Beacon to support student safety, is purpose-built for K-12 and trusted by school leaders to promote effective teaching and equitable engagement while empowering educators to help keep students safe. Learn more at goguardian.com.