The author of this site recently wrote an excellent article in an attempt to encourage emerging edtech tools to follow a more scientific approach to learning. The article identifies 8 learning techniques that can be useful in designing efficient educational software.
The land of Learnia is a new educational app teaching Math and Spelling to grade 1, 2 and 3. Learnia is giving children freedom to approach the material in a way that suits their learning style. This article explores how this freedom aligns Learnia with many of the learning techniques identified by Kelly Walsh.
The idea of spaced repetition is that it is more effective to learn a topic by spacing out the learning experience as opposed to attempting to master it in one session.
Each skill stone has 3 exercises and 1 test. Skill stones mastered to bronze, silver and gold.
In Learnia students can access skill stones. Each skill stone has 3 exercises and 1 test (challenge). Most students will start with an exercise. After completing an exercise they can work on a different skill stone if they choose. They can even interrupt an exercise and focus their attention elsewhere. Learnia will remember their progress.
When completing a challenge they are awarded a bronze, silver or gold reward. Most students will come back later to try and improve on bronze and silver scores.
These mechanisms will organically encourage students to spread out the sessions on a particular topic and therefor enjoy the benefits of spaced repetition.
With interleaving students mix, or interleave multiple subjects or topics in order to improve their learning.
Learnia allows students to work on topics in any order. This allows for and encourages interleaving as most students will naturally tend to ‘mix it up’. Any progress students make is stored so there is no penalty for working ‘out of order’. Only the challenges must be finished uninterrupted.
Writing it Down by Hand
Students writing things down by hand are more likely to remember than those who type notes out.
Numbers can be input using a virtual keyboard or using hand writing.
As Learnia is currently only for grade 1, 2 and 3, note taking is not yet relevant. It is worth pointing out that children can input numbers using hand writing or using an on-screen keyboard. This will improve their hand writing as Learnia will correct inverted 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9s.
Moving our Bodies
Kids learn better when they are moving around.
Learnia allows children to move around as it runs on tablets only. Kids can grab any tablet in the classroom as their progress is synched up between tablets.
Various ways to clear ones’ mind before returning to the serious business of learning.
During exercises in Learnia kids will at times be offered a tapping game. They have to tap yellow balls while avoiding the blue ones. This game only lasts 30 seconds but can get manic and is designed to clear the mind before getting back to the business of learning.
Visual Memory Encoding
The creation of mental pictures is one way people use visual encoding. Our brains associate a picture with some information when it is stored.
Exercises are visually striking making it easier to remember the concept taught.
In Learnia most screens are visually striking. What kids need to do is very clear. Because a lot of the exercises are physical (ie move 7 marbles into the circle) kids are more likely to remember the scene and the associated concept.
Many of the learning techniques from Kelly Walsh’s article are implemented in Learnia. This helps Learnia to be an efficient and effective learning tool.