Monday, May 5, 2014

Internationally reading

Have you heard of Battle of the Books? (if not, Google it - you will find loads of links)

Battle of the Books in general is a program where multiple schools read the same books for an academic year, then compete to answer questions asked about the content. Questions are very specific, and sometimes quite difficult, but the program can be a lot of fun for the participants. There are different Battle of the Books programs going on all over the world. It is usually held where the schools are close enough to travel to each others schools for the competitions in person.

A friend and colleague in Hong Kong, Bryant McEntire has been working very hard over the past 12 months to set up International Battle of the Books, where BoB has no borders. Using reliable communication technology, schools compete remotely via text messaging, initially connected within continents to rise to the top, to then compete against other winning teams from other continents. It is big, it is brave, but WOW. What a great initiative!

It is still in its infancy, but Bryant is looking for some more schools to achieve the big picture. Ideally to start with, Bryant would like 6-12 schools in each section, from each continent to kick this baby off into a truly international inaugural event.  Several schools piloted and tested the framework this year with friendly battles around the world.

If you think this is something you may be interested in have a look at the website and if you are convinced you want to have a go fill out the form to enroll your school.

Bryant has just been given $1000USD to provide four lucky schools with a free set of books if they enter a drawing he is devising on the IBOB website.  Watch for a button there to enter.  All schools worldwide who share a desire to ramp up reading, who will commit to participate if chosen for next year, and who have an internet connection qualify but you must partner with another school to apply.  In typical Chinese tradition good things come in pairs so in one draw you and a partner school will receive book sets and support to participate no strings attached.  I suggest following Bryant on twitter or the hashtag #intlbob to know when this kicks off so you do not miss a good chance to win some nice titles.  

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