There’s no way to stem your child’s exposure to or interest in online experiences. Why not use them to put your child ahead in the learning game and improve school test and exam marks instead?
If you’ve ever wished your children would get off their gadgets and study instead, it’s time to rethink your strategy. There’s a better way to help them improve their school marks and it’s all to do with tech. And with so many enrichment options available through tech tools now, it may be a better option to tell your child to go online… to learn!
For tuition lessons anytime, anywhere
Many parents face difficulties with choosing tutors for their children. Making transport arrangements to and from classes can be a headache too. The solution? A website that connects tutors and students through their online platform so lessons can be conducted anytime, anywhere.
What: A live video tutoring platform where students and tutors come together to conduct lessons. “Children these days are extremely tech-savvy,” says Wendy Chin, Community Builder for teachnlearn, a community of educators who believe in using digital technology to make learning accessible to children. “We believe in leveraging on technology to improve students’ learning journey and outcomes, as well as increase students’ ownership towards their educational growth.
How: Virtual tools such as a HD video/audio chat, interactive whiteboard, and screen sharing
are used to improve the learning experience. Parents can arrange for lessons using a secured online booking and payment system. You also get to review your child’s lesson if you want to. Students can re-play lessons for revision. They are also encouraged to evaluate each lesson and provide feedback to constantly improve the tutors’ teaching.
Best for: The more independent learners. You may have to sit with your child to ensure that he does not ‘disappear’ half-way through the lesson.
(See also: Your Child and Technological Gadgets)
For greater Math confidence and skill
Learning is not about how much you study but instead how smart your study methods are, right? That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) can help, especially with a subject like mathematics.
What: Smartick is an online app that uses an AI algorithm to find out which aspects of maths your child should be working on for the day. When your child first signs in, he is given a basic evaluation to access his standard and determine the areas that he needs more help in.
How: Each practice is only 15 minutes long, and exercises are based on your child’s level of understanding (which is re-accessed after each session). “A child who is more gifted can go beyond what they already know, and challenge themselves further by attempting tougher topics, possibly even beyond their current curriculum,” says Maciek Strzyz, Marketing Director of Smartick.
“On the other hand, our AI keeps drilling a weaker student through a variety of adjusted exercises according to their pace of learning, providing them with sufficient time to understand and get the hang of it before progressing to other topics.” Children learn at their own pace and also gain confidence. Smartick also enriches a child’s logic and problem-solving across various maths topics.
Best for: Children aged four to 14 years (Editor: my 10-year-old loves it and will ask to do it every day :). Let your children do the exercises independently. You will receive an email with a detailed update on your child’s progress after each session.
For a VR (virtual reality) math experience
Using VR in class? Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? This is what a maths centre in Singapore has introduced into their teaching methods. With Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) technology, they say, children get to delve right into the world of the subject to learn about it.
What: A modular preschool math programme that uses VR and AR elements in class. Lessons come alive, immersing preschoolers into a virtual world, getting them to see math, as opposed to just telling them about it. “The child is fully immersed in that learning environment and experiences the curriculum,” says Norman Tien, CEO of NEUG Education. “Another benefit is that the child is fully captivated by the content itself, free from distraction, and able to maximise the learning opportunity… this technology aspect adds a very new perspective to the child’s learning experience.”
How: If you’re concerned about your child being over-exposed to electronics at such a young age, don’t worry! Children use the VR set for less than one minute at any time, so there’s no danger of getting them hooked on it or affecting their eyesight.
Best for: Preschool children aged five years and above.
(See also: How to Handle your Child’s Use of Online Apps)
For brain training to reduce carelessness
Another mark lost through carelessness? Groan. What if you could help your child be less careless? That’s what the Neurofeedback technology used to monitor students’ brainwaves at Neuromath does, says Norman Tien (who is also the founder of Early Math Matters above).
How: Using Neuro-Feedback technology, teachers are able to train the brain — especially before a major Math exam — to help students can enter the exam with a focused mind. “We have helped more than 100 students to reduce careless mistakes of more than 20 marks lost, down to two to three marks,” says Tien.
How: Monitoring is done through Neurofeedback bands. This non-intrusive observation tool works as a receiver to measure brainwaves, then analyse and understand the stress and mental workload a child may be facing.
Best for: Children aged four years and above.
Technology in Learning – Yay or Nay?
So can technology help your child improve marks in school? We’re not sure. While these methods certainly sound attractive (and we’re sure our children will love learning this way) there’s still a part of us that hesitates to embrace it fully. It’s a mind shift that will take a bit of time to adapt to. In the meantime, though, we’re happy to let our young learners try it out.
After all, the education landscape has changed tremendously since we were children, and these new ways of learning will soon be the new normal. As long as we guide our children to balance screen time with real life play-time outdoors, it should be all right – right? Our takeaway so far? The fact that these tech tools don’t simply benefit children academically, they also make learning fun for children. And that makes them a win in our books. What do you think?