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Year in Review 2020

Let's look back on the year that changed schooling

December 31st, 2020

  • #2020
  • #review
  • #retrospect

During a time that brought numerous changes to the school classroom, we wanted to provide a sense of comfort and fun to an otherwise daunting situation. This post will look back on the year that was, and highlight some of our favorite features and greatest accomplishments.

A fresh start

When COVID-19 hit North America toward the beginning of the year, we weren't sure exactly how serious it would become or how long it would last. By the summer, it was clear that we were in this for the long haul and many things, including school, were going to change.

We saw this as an opportunity to turn Knoword into every remote educator's best friend. The site was rebuilt from the ground up, with every detail examined closely. We saw the challenges that many teachers were facing, and created a product that would help them succeed.

On September 1st we relaunched, and here's a summary of what we did:

  • 🚮 Removed old "classes" feature
  • 🙌 Introduced Assignments: a new way to gain insights into your students' performance when playing Knoword
  • 🎉 Add the ability to choose custom game options when playing a pack
  • ⭐️ Allow users to "star" packs to remember them for later

I wrote a blog post that goes into detail about each of the changes made, why we made them, and what it means for teachers going forward.

We also updated our logo!

But the fun didn't stop there. Since relaunching in September, we've been hard at work. We've built new features, incorporated user feedback, and created content to help teachers make the most of the tools that Knoword offers.

September

  • "Packs 101" screencast (link)
  • "All About Assignments" instructional video (link )
  • Download assignment results as XLSX or CSV (blog)
  • 3 new original packs (blog)

October

  • Introduced "Pack of the Month" program (blog)
  • Give art-less packs a nice color gradient by default
  • Make assignment due dates editable (community suggestion)
  • Improved the mobile website experience (blog)

November

  • 1 new original pack (blog)
  • New team-based pricing option for school administrators (blog)
  • Download any pack as a printable worksheet ✨ (blog)

December

  • "Say Hello to Worksheets" explainer video (link)
  • 2 new original packs (blog)
  • Holiday packs video (link)

Up next...

That's quite the list, but we're only getting started. I'm so excited about the things we have planned for 2021, and I wanted to leave you with a taste of what's to come.

If you play Knoword, you're probably accustomed to guessing words based on a written definition. This works well most of the time, but what about when the player doesn't understand the language used in the definition, or the words used are too complex for a younger audience to read?

That's where image clues come in.

Now, pack creators can upload or search for images to describe words in their packs. This feature has a multitude of use cases including early grades, language learners, and teaching subjects using visual clues—think art, architecture, scientific diagrams, etc.

Knoword Pro subscribers can start using image clues in their packs today! Look for the "Image" button when you're defining a new word. 👀

More information, videos, and blog posts about this feature will be coming soon! If you want to be notified when this content becomes available, check the "Subscribed to mailing list" checkbox in your account settings.

A community to be proud of

I wanted to finish this post off with a few numbers that represent the growth of Knoword this year, and its adoption by creative, forward-thinking teachers around the globe.

  • 3,598 new packs created this year
  • 1,555 assignments created
  • 29,800 assignments completed by students

Almost 30 thousand assignments completed! It's heartening to see Knoword welcomed into so many classrooms, and we appreciate every one of them.

Thanks for sticking out 2020 with us. I'm so proud of what we've been able to achieve together this year, and I can't wait to see what teachers and students will be able to accomplish with Knoword in the year to come.

—Trevor from Knoword