SplashLearn turns learning Math into child’s play

Brainchild of four IIT Kharagpur graduates, the platform uses a gamified pedagogy to make the subject fun for young learners

New Delhi May 28 dmanewsdesk: It is fun to learn how to swim or how to play the piano, so why can’t it be fun to learn Math? With this vision, SplashLearn’s game-based learning program is transforming the way children learn through highly engaging, visually appealing and interactive games.

SplashLearn founders, Arpit Jain, Joy Deep Nath, Mayank Jain, and Umang Jain met in college, at IIT Kharagpur. They observed that the children in their families were doing calculations that were far beyond their age to figure out how many more coins they needed to upgrade their car in a video game but, hand them a Math sum on paper and they would not be able to solve it. This led to the realization that there was something fundamentally wrong with the way children were being taught. In 2011, they launched Splash Math (now SplashLearn), the first game-based curriculum-aligned Math program in the market.

Initial challenges
The founding team had its initial set of challenges. Learning, especially at the elementary school level, is a complex process that involves deep understanding of how the brain works, how children learn, what appeals to them, and child psychology. To add to that, building content that is both educational and engaging was anything but simple. The team did a lot of research, interacted with teachers, parents, students, game designers, and learning scientists across the world and finally built a suite of pedagogical models and digital manipulatives. The SplashLearn curriculum and games are visual or process models that have been developed ground-up for the digital medium and act as the bedrock of SplashLearn’s interactive learning eco-system.

The SplashLearn team believes that children should be intrinsically motivated to learn. The SplashLearn program is designed in a way that makes each learner an active participant in their learning process. Unlike passive educational videos, game-based learning puts learners in an environment where they have to apply their skills over and over again till they succeed. They can’t just skip ahead to the next video, they need to solve each level to proceed. The best part is that all the learning happens through a game that is designed after a lot of research to ensure higher engagement and improved learning outcomes, which significantly increases the retention of the child over other modes of learning like videos or worksheets.

Expansion
SplashLearn was initially launched in the US due to many favorable factors, like higher internet penetration and high adoption of technology in schools and homes. Now with the democratization of technology, the company is expanding to not only new geographies but also new subjects and grades.

Currently SplashLearn is the fastest-growing elementary school program in the US and has benefited over 33 million kids around the world. The SplashLearn curriculum covers Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 for Math and has a reading program for 3 to 8 year-olds. More than 3 billion problems have been solved on SplashLearn to date, feeding billions of data points to its proprietary adaptive engine. The engine generates a unique learning path for each child and helps them master grade-appropriate skills at their own pace. Learning insights are also delivered to parents and teachers as a holistic picture of the child’s proficiency, progress, and preferences.

Free access for teachers
Recently, SplashLearn made its Math learning program free for all teachers and schools. The teachers can sign up for the program and get access to its full content library. They can create accounts for their students and assign assessments and assignments that students can access at home. This creates a seamless learning experience for the student in their classroom and at home. During the recent COVID-19 school closures, this enabled teachers to assign work to their students remotely. They were able to ensure that their students continued to learn from home.

The pandemic has changed the entire education landscape in just a couple of months. Overnight, teachers and educators around the world have had to figure out ways to ensure continuity in learning and the only viable option that emerged was to shift their entire curriculum online. No one knows when things will go back to normal or if this is the new normal.

Learning to navigate and adapt to change is not just important but it is essential to thrive in the bigger game of life. SplashLearn believes it is crucial to prepare every child with future-ready skills that are uniquely human, like problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking and metacognitive skills, so they are ready for whatever new normal the future might bring.

Source: Education Times

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