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CES 2016: Agassi serves educational volley

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At CES this year, Square Panda announced a partnership with the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. It also launched a phonics play set, which it says will promote literacy among preschool children.

Square Panda, an education technology startup that designs connected learning toys and digital games to fuel the curiosity of early learners, has announced a partnership with the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and launched a phonics play-set to kick off the 2016 International CES. This is the first in Square Panda’s line of educational products aimed at promoting literacy among preschool children. Along with its debut, Square Panda is proud to announce the appointment of Andre Agassi as a board member. He is also a founder of the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund which was established to provide investors seeking both financial and societal returns access to the growth of America’s most innovative educational organizations.

Andre Agassi And Square Panda Launch Connected Phonics Playset At CES 2016

Andre Agassi And Square Panda Launch Connected Phonics Playset At CES 2016

“For over twenty years, Andre has made it his mission to bring quality education to every child in this country,” said Tom Boeckle, Founder and Chairman of Square Panda. “We look forward to working with both Andre and the Foundation to improve education for students across the country.”“Square Panda is unique and has the potential to create a generation of confident readers,” said Andre Agassi, Chairman and Founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. “I know one of the most important skills for a child to possess as they enter kindergarten is a basic understanding of phonics. If you can teach a child basic reading, then the child will begin their educational experience with self-confidence. We are excited to team up with Square Panda to launch this revolutionary new learning system.”

Designed to teach, engage, and entertain early learners (ages three and up), the phonics play-set uses connected letter toys and multi-sensory apps to explore early reading skills. Drawing from the latest research on phonics and multi-sensory instruction, Square Panda’s adaptive technology combines multi-sensory learning, humor, and exploratory play. Built upon proprietary hardware and software technology, its connected play-set adapts to recognize what a child is ready to learn and presents challenges to stretch growth and language skills. A video of the phonics play-set in action is available herehttp://bit.ly/squarepandanewsvideo.

“Square Panda Phonics Play-set is the first connected device for early learners that teaches phonics and print in a completely multi-sensory way,” said Andy Butler, CEO of Square Panda. “Square Panda is currently in pilot programs at various Head Start chapters, as well as day centers in the Las Vegas area. We are encouraged by the education community’s positive responses and look forward to continue working with parents and educators around the country to advance reading readiness skills for young children before they enter nursery school.”

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Smash hits the
Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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