There's 1,000 Adult Literacy Learning App Licenses for Cities

The free licenses access the evidence-based mobile learning app -- Xenos -- that rapidly increases adult learners’ skills for career pathways and civic engagement.

It's about "unlocking potential," Ira Sockowitz, chief executive officer of Learning Games Studios, told the U.S. Conference of Mayors Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. There are 36 million adults who lack literacy and basic skills, he said.

The Learning Games Studios' Xeros learning app, developed initially at the MIT Education Arcade, "shatters placed-based learning," he said. While it is aligned with national standards of adult literacy, according to Sockowitz, a third-party efficacy study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation showed 30 percent better results in one quarter of the time. Further support from the Foundation provided the app in a national field trial with DACA-eligible immigrants.

One of the best features is it's an app that lets learners play without broadband -- 24/7.

Through support of the DollarWise Mayors for Financial Literacy program, a pilot program will test the

viability of using game-based learning as a way to educate those who lack financial literacy. Cities that are seeking effective, cutting-edge and cost-effective solutions to provide English as a Second Language and literacy as well as professional soft skills can take advantage of 1,000 licenses that provide six months of free access. Cities can reach potential learners that would be interested in the Xenos learning app through:

  • Libraries
  • Community colleges
  • City welcome centers
  • Employer groups

The cities of Atlanta, Mesa, Arizona, and Washington, D.C. have already taken advantage of the free learning app license opportunity, Sockowitz said. It's also customizable for different industries, including allied health, manufacturing, hospitality and others.

The Learning App is a Low Cost Adult Literacy Tool for Cities

Xenos builds these core skills, essential for future financial literacy, by incorporating the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) “Essential Life and Work Skills for Youth and Adults” rubric, including: basic communication, math, consumer economics, independent living, community resources, employment, learning and thinking skills and government and law.

According to the official announcement, there are minimal costs and responsibilities for cities to take the license:

Costs will be limited to manpower costs necessary to oversee the program, which can be minimized as the program can be implemented through local service providers.

There is no hardware to purchase or maintain – learners use their own devices. Software and support services are provided free of charge during the pilot program.

How would this learning app opportunity work with your city?

  1. Your city will receive free access to the Xenos learning games for up to 1,000 users for six months.
  2. Your office must designate a point of contact to work with Learning Games Studios to implement the program.
  3. Your team chooses the local service delivery partners it will grant the training package to and determines the delivery expectations (number of learners, length of program, etc) it expects from them.
  4. Service providers implement the program together with Learning Games Studios:
    • Learning Games Studios provides an orientation, facilitator training, and access to the data reporting dashboard to the service delivery organizations.
    • The service delivery partners recruit, enroll and choose whether to provide a blended learning  model (access to Xenos and periodic live instruction) or a self-directed program (only access to Xenos, with onboarding assistance) to their targeted audiences.
    • Each delivery site provides feedback on the program and asks individual participants to provide feedback in an online survey.
  5. Your office receives comprehensive reports, detailing participation and the learning outcomes of

    the participants, in both aggregated and disaggregated formats, to fully understand the program’s

    reach and results.

What is Included in the Unlocking Skills Program?

1. Xenos English language and literacy learning games for up to 1,000 individual users.

2. If the blended learning model is chosen:

  • Facilitator / Teacher orientation and training session.
  • Facilitator’s Guide on how to introduce and use Xenos with learners.
  • Facilitator / Teacher materials with lesson plans and group activities to accompany the game.

3. Real-time access to the Xenos “data dashboard,” providing management and reporting tools to the

service providers as well as city personnel.

4. A final report of the pilot program detailing the participation, usage and progression of the users in

the program. This report can be provided in both aggregate numbers and disaggregated units.

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