As we progress towards our first product version that we think can be adopted in mainstream educational institutions - its worthwhile sharing what those top features are. Its also important to highlight when and how they are going to be adopted.
In end of June 2019, a local polytechnic will try out our new unique tool called "Braindump". The goal of this tool is simple - its a tool that students can write their journals on. Why is this unique you may say?
Today the process of journal and documentation (especially for their projces) is a process that students do manually. And often within their own project groups. Whilst this has been a age-old process, the information is often lost afterwards, and knowledge is shared well peer to peer.
Our braindump feature aims to create a new social element to improve engagement. We incorporate a form of a newsfeed once these journals are done.
Social Learning as a Concept
Social Learning is not a new pedagogy concept. This article explores how social learning theory works. This image also describes the need for it in a very clear manner. One of the major benefits is the improvement of observation.
We also think that improved observation can lead to better questions and higher order thinking. In turn this can then lead to better knowledge building in concepts of knowledgement that we already know.
For some reason social learning in it's technological form has not been widely adopted beyond Facebook Groups, Whatsapp Groups, or Discussion boards in Learning Management Systems.
Peer to Peer Reviews and Engagement
Throughout the project lifecycle, students will go through an iterative cycle to learn and progress their learning objectives. In our specific use-case in June, students will be asked to build an engineering object. Such a project requires some form of imagination, teamwork and collaboration. If students within the group could share their own internal learning goals and objectives - it could create a new type of bond and teamwork.
If such information can even be shared within other groups working on the same task, the outcome would be amazing.
We know however, thats not going to be enough.
Our tools must further upgrade.
We know today that social apps today are gamified in a certain way through behavioral modification. We receive notifications and other forms of updates to entice us click on them. Algorithms are used to determine the videos or content that are best suited to capture our attention as a human being. The instant gratification reward and network effects adds beyond that.
We think that gamification in social learning is the next big thing. By incorporating content within the app that seemingly drives the process and progress, it could make the learning more fun and engaging. We borrow then the concepts of embodied learning here where the form of "avatars" help set a safe environment to perform self-directed learning and experiments.
Our upcoming milestones for the next few months are exciting. As we continue to improve and introduce important elements of social learning, gamification and new content into our app - we are confident that we are heading in the right direction. All this with our educational partners willing to go through this journey together.
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