As part of the European Commission’s drive to promote technological entrepreneurship within the EU, ‘Tech All Stars’ was launched last year to honour the best start ups for advances in innovative technology designed to develop and improve the many facets of social life. This year twelve start ups made the final entrances after being filtered from over a hundred competitors. The finalists presented their initiatives at the Angelsbootcamp in Berlin, the Founders Forum in London and the Digital Agenda Assembly in Dublin this June. One of the contenders was Infantium, a Spanish adaptive e learning platform that uses Big Data for individualised learning.
The conceptualisation behind Infantium is a platform with education apps that drives cognitive development of children aged from zero to six years old, fosters skill acquisition in critical areas including logic, languages and problem solving and enables individualised learning for young children to enjoy, explore and learn at their own pace. Moreover, Infantium seeks to reinforce positive co-play between parent and child and ameliorate the relationship between teacher and pupil. Proposals have been made that a child’s learning should be fortified from birth in order to optimise and accelerate the retrieval of skills that radiate and augment itself during school life and as an adult in the professional working world. The skills necessary to achieve cognitive functionality and success in most spheres of life go beyond traditional teaching, therefore technology is seen as a disruptive mechanism that can help boost them. The consensual belief amongst child psychologists, learning experts and scientists is that intelligence is not atomised, a unitary block or a single general ability, rather it is an interplay or synergy of multiple skills. One person is not necessarily intelligent than the other, instead they both present differing logic and possess strengths in particular fields. Resultantly, Infantium understands that intelligence is not innate or unchangeable, and can instead be trained using specific skills that are inveterate and congenital in each child but accessed differently. For instance, linguistic, logical, espatial (visualisation), musical (detecting patterns, tones and rhythms) and naturalist (observation of the natural world) are analysed according to each child and tailored to their ability for best outcome.
The main credo of the platform is the advocacy of adaptive learning. The use of smart or electronic devices as interactive learning tools that adjust to content in order to suit specific needs and tracks progress is the denotation behind the term adaptive learning. Key to such a practice is understanding how the child thinks then formulating e-learning methods that can intelligently adapt to them, thereby creating a personalised educational service targeted at particular children. The platform aggregates indications related to skills, weakness and abilities in order to comprehend the complex cognitive pathways children use to reach a logical conclusion. Performance on the virtual platform is responded to in real time in the hope of maximising learning and goals at an incremental pace. Assembling a personalised learning route using algorithms can improve any weaknesses once data monitoring a child’s behaviour on the platform is captured and analysed in a calculative manner. The data analysis does not work against the child by highlighting their failures or errors, instead it acclimatizes to his or her’s rhythm and needs.
Through the utilisation of Infantium, children are no longer passive receptors or living sponges, who simply absorb knowledge yet cannot compute it into constructive learning. Alternatively, the young become directly involved in their own development. For instance, collaborative, seamless learning through exposure to digitised stimuli such as game based apps offered by Infantium facilitate a more interactive engagement with education. Additionally, a tool kit of transferable skills that are both academic and occupational begin to configure whilst using Infantium, as frequent familiarity with the software allows digital skills to be gained. The result is the newest generation transform into intellective digital natives, people well connected with technology and its devices from an early age. The service’s use of game based learning and gamification through mobile applications, not only dynamises motivation and taps into competitive spirit, allowing learning experiences to be more meaningful, but also encourages many to problem solve. For example, to progress in a game, complex or thoughtful puzzles must be passed before reaching the next level and reaping a reward, thus requiring a great deal of problem solving. This skill can help a child later to make sustainable, flexible and resourceful solutions to unpredictable or challenging problems they may face in the educational, professional and personal domains.
The cloud based platform also has significant advantages for teachers and parents. Teachers and parents can access the web based report management system on any internet connected device to see formative feedback on their child’s progress and development. Furthermore, teachers can gain an insight into the learning process, detect patterns and extrapolate a reason why their student is struggling in the class. Therefore, Infantium allows teachers to spot problems in their own method of teaching, improve their strategies in the classroom and adapt to the changing landscape in education and the advent of e-technology.
This initiative is of importance to learning experts and decision makers involved with Open Discovery Space as it is a current innovation scheme backed by the European community, designed to find ways to improve education policy, teaching performance and learning development through the use of technology.
For more information please see the official websiteAuthor : ODS_EU