It Takes More than Badges to Motivate Kids

One of the hot new trends in both education and library circles revolves around gamification. That’s the process of turning otherwise commonplace activities into a game in order to motivate users to participate. Many popular reading programs now institute badging systems as a fun way to reward kids for participating in the book logging activities…. Read more »

Educational Apps for Holiday Travel

“The weekend before Christmas is just a couple days away. Are you preparing for a trip out of town? Whether by car or plane, kids get antsy quickly and we start to hear that all too familiar “Are we there yet?”question over and over again. Are you prepared to keep your child(ren) entertained? Many cars… Read more »

Reading Development Takes Off with These Key Ingredients

As we explore reading deficiency in the United States, we’ve talked a lot about motivation. Among the things that most often go overlooked in the discussion is the power of autonomy for a learner. Autonomy is a powerful force for good in the life of a child. Consider the topic of goal setting for a… Read more »

What do beta testers need to do?

We want you to use Wandoo Planet and report any problems you find. (You won’t hurt our feelings, so don’t hold back!) We also want to hear what’s working well and how you think we can make Wandoo Planet better. To give us your feedback from any page, click “Settings” at the bottom right of… Read more »

How do I find new interests?

By playing with the Interest Finder. Scout the squirrel and her friends will suggest all sorts of things that other kids think are interesting—from Twilight and terriers to cycling and superheroes and everything in between! See something you’re interested in? Mouse over the sign of that interest and you’ll see three symbols—a pink heart, a… Read more »

What if I see more than three interests that I love?

Let’s say you’ve already chosen three interests that you love. You already have a squirrel on each of your mushrooms, but then you see a new interest that you love even more. That’s OK. Just mouse over the sign for that new interest and click the pink heart. This will bring up three sets of… Read more »

Develop a Mastery Mindset in Your Students

In recent weeks, we’ve talked a lot about motivation and its relationship to reading deficiency in kids. As we begin to process lesson plans and activities that inspire readers, consider this: the very goals we set for our students—and the way we set them—can make or break their motivation to learn. Achievement goal theory examines… Read more »

How long should I play with the Interest Finder?

You should give Scout the Squirrel and her friends enough time to really get to know you. Play with the Interest Finder for at least five minutes—more if you want to find really specific interests you might love.

What is Wandoo Planet?

It’s the world’s first kid-powered interest genome project! Wandoo Planet is designed to help kids find out what interests them (or might interest them) the most. Then it finds books and other content they might like, based on those interests.

What if I have an interest that I don’t see in the Interest Finder?

Let us know! You can access the feedback page here: We might add your interest to the Interest Finder for an upcoming version of Wandoo Planet. Also, soon we’ll be releasing an updated version that lets kids type in their own interests directly.

Review & Giveaway: That’s Baloney! Educational App

“One of my favorite PC games growing up was Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?. As you traveled through time and around the world, you had to follow clues to figure out where to head next to catch Carmen and her gang.” Tom DeRosa compares this game to That’s Baloney! and it achieved a mouth-watering review!

How does it work?

Scout the squirrel and her friends will suggest all sorts of things that other kids think are interesting—from Twilight and terriers to cycling and superheroes and everything in between! Then users decide if they love, like, or dislike what they see. Once they’ve chosen a few interests, a powerful recommendation engine suggests books and other content that… Read more »

How do I discover new books and movies?

Click the leafy part of the branch you want to grow. (Clicking on the interest word by the branch you want to grow also works.) Winston the owl will appear on top of the leaf cluster of that interest branch. Click on him to see his recommendations for you. This will bring up the “Recommendations”… Read more »

How many interest branches can I have in all?

You will begin with three branches, but you can always add new branches later by clicking “Settings” at the bottom right of the screen. That will take you to a menu which includes an “Add branch” option. Clicking “Add branch” will launch the Interest Finder. There, Scout the squirrel and her friends will suggest new… Read more »