IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


App co-designed by IOE researchers recognised by the Department for Education

10 December 2019

A learning game co-designed by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) researchers has been awarded a ‘high quality’ mark by the Department for Education (DfE) as a programme for parents to support their children’s early literacy with technology.

Children captivated reading a tablet

The game, Navigo, was evaluated on a number of quality criteria in a competitive process by a panel of education experts. 

Navigo aims to support beginner readers to develop reading skills including accuracy, fluency and comprehension through engaging with the personalised content and game activities. It is designed for ages 5+.

It was developed in a partnership between academics on the iRead project and digital designers Fish in a bottle. It was listed alongside long-standing education technology (EdTech) providers such as the BBC.

iRead is a 4-year (2017-2020) project that aims to develop personalised learning technologies to support reading skills. The project, based at the IOE’s UCL Knowledge Lab, focuses on three groups of primary school children across Europe: beginner readers, children with dyslexia, and children learning English as a foreign language. 

iRead is an Innovation Action project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 and comprises 15 partners from across industry and education in 8 European countries. 

Dr Mina Vasalou, coordinator of iRead, said: “The Navigo Game is one of the flagship technologies of the iRead Horizon 2020 project. The game was designed to cover a wide range of the reading curriculum in primary education. Charged with the instructional design, our team at UCL has designed more than 900 individual game activities drawing on the literature of digital games and literacy. The games were also iteratively designed with teachers and students through our school partnerships. More than 600 children in the UK are currently playing Navigo as part of their literacy lessons in schools. The quality mark is a recognition of our work.”