I love twitter.
As a regular user of twitter for professional development, I love meeting new start ups and people from all over the world. This week I bumped into “The Family Learning App” (@CanadaLearning) – a nifty new tool that encourages parents to engage with their children’s learning at home.
As many of you are aware, I am not a big fan of traditional homework for a variety of reasons, but when a tool like this comes along, it really makes a difference and helps us move away from the “busy work” we have all assigned at one time or another. So, being a curious individual, I downloaded the app to my phone and checked it out after being provided a demo code.
After entering basic information (birth date, name) I was greeted with a survey. As an educator, I would be very curious to know the results of this survey as their user base grows as well as if attitudes change having played this game for some time. After completing the short survey, I was on to challenge #1. Fun! Using household objects!
According to Family Learning App website:
Families learning together…
It’s what we’re all about!
‘The Family Learning App’ is a fun and innovative way for schools to help parents better support their child’s learning at home.
Download the app, enter your child’s date of birth and start receiving daily activities, specifically designed to support your child’s learning.
Simple, fun and easy to do.
While there are many apps on the market that aim to help students learn at home, this one really caught my attention because of the research and evidence used to build it.
Informed by an area of Behavioural Science called ‘Behaviour Economics’ or more commonly ‘nudge theory’, The Family Learning App builds on a strong evidence base whichsuggests that too much information produces ‘analysis paralysis’ and what is needed issimple, straightforward instruction (De Jong, T. 2010., Sunstein, C. and Thaler, R. 2008., Heath, C. and Heath, D. 2011., Kahneman, D. 2011).
The Family Learning App builds on this research to offer an evidence-based, early intervention program which:
- Develops parenting capacity to enrich the home learning environment and support child learning
- Develops parenting capacity to meet children’s needs
- Develops parents’ understanding of the value of play and improves children’s quality of life through play
- Develops the skills and knowledge of the parent in an accessible and non-stigmatising way
- Promotes excellence through attainment by working with parents to improve outcomesAchieves equity by providing a free digital platform for parents
Parents simply download the app, enter their child’s date of birth and start receiving daily activities, created by educators and specifically designed to support their child’s learning. In addition, as parents use ‘The Family Learning App’ it adapts to them, creating a learning journey that is as unique as their child.
The Family Learning App’s daily activities cover the three major curricular areas: Numeracy, Literacy & Health & Wellbeing and all encourage positive adult / child interaction.
The activities are specially designed to fit into family life and can be completed as families walk to school, eat their dinner or play outside. In no time at all families will be playing counting games as they walk to the park and swapping silly sentences at meal times.
Why use The Family Learning App?
Parenting can be overwhelming! The Family Learning App makes it easier to support your child’s learning at home by providing simple, fun daily activities created by educators.
One big idea that really sticks out is that this app is not just for kids, but rather their parents and teachers as it provides feedback and stats on the backend giving parents and educators a nice snapshot of how their students and children are doing. I would imagine the app is most useful in a class, school or district setting as it is set up to collect daily data on a variety of people rather that individual use. It is also important to note that the app is meant for purchase at the school / district level making it then available to families free of charge.