In many ways, we are living in the golden age of learning. The internet has opened up a wealth of information and knowledge, and all that we want to know is available at the touch of a mouse button.
Unfortunately, many of us are not able to tap this treasure properly, and it becomes a constant pain. Whether its managers hoping to form their team, or parents wanting to educate their children, the frustration is apparent everywhere.
A major part of the problem is the immense volume of content available. It’s an information overload and web surfers are lost in it. For instance, there are over 85,000 Apps to enhance kids learning, tagged educational in some way. But how many of them are among the best fun educational apps for children?
Of course, not all of them are not for education, with a huge majority nothing more than digital candy. Most apps branded as “educational” are equivalent to sugary foods, say Jonathan Campbell, a special children educator. Jonathan is the co-author of a research investing educational apps. Many apps, he says, ends up distracting children. He has reviewed some of the best fun educational apps, in the light of the science of learning, and compiled the following points.
- Most apps rely excessively on passive activities like swapping.
- They heavily use distracting whistles and bells instead of allowing a learner focus on the immediate task.
- Presents knowledge in a vacuum that doesn’t help the child connect between existing and new information.
- There’s an absence of human element. They need to support social interaction among each other.
- Most apps follow a rigid learning style. They shouldn’t tell a child what he/she must know, but help in guiding the exploration the learner embarks.
Parents should know that claims of educational content are usually unregulated. App developers can indiscriminately slap the “educational” label on their products. Jonathan, using scientific research as a guide, helps parents to evaluate the gamut of best fun educational apps.
But all of this places the burden to discover the correct app on the parents themselves. Hopefully, the researches undertaken by Jonathan and people like him will help users do that successfully, especially when most of the apps appear “educational” only from the top but are actually miles off from it.
This is typified by using so-called enhancements. Whether they are games, hot spots, or sounds, these Apps to build growth and learning are great in grabbing the user’s attention. But they score low in value.
Jonathan says that while the whistles and bells could be fun, studies suggest that these sounds are actually distractions and reduce interest, rather than enhance learning.