ADVERTORIAL: New app helps students to learn smarter

ADVERTORIAL: New app helps students to learn smarter

Learning Smarter is a revolutionary new web application using the latest mobile technology to improve learners’ experience in colleges, schools and training providers. Learners use technology already in their possession – their smartphone or tablet (or any device that can access the web) – to ask and answer questions, and also to evaluate and reflect on learning. This improves the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

It has been developed as a joint venture between Smartphone Media and Protocol’s College Leadership Services (CLS), who work closely with colleges and other providers to help them improve their provision, particularly related to teaching, learning and assessment.

Deborah McVey, Head of Observe and Improve at Protocol, came up with the idea for the Learning Smarter app as a solution to the lack of evaluation and reflection on lessons and learning.

An ex-teacher and experienced inspector for Ofsted, Deborah has worked with Smartphone Media taking Learning Smarter from initial idea to finished product. Deborah states, “We wanted to create something simple to excite and engage learners and improve communication.

As a teacher with little ICT skills, I also understood the importance of making something that all teachers could have the confidence to use.

We know that one of the key ways to create enthusiastic, motivated and independent learners is by helping learners to assess and reflect on their learning. It is the immediacy of responses that encourages group discussion, allowing teachers to respond and change lessons instantly, according to the feedback they are getting.”

A three month pilot at City of Westminster College found that students using the app communicated better and more frequently. The app helped teachers get to know their students and better understand their needs. A high value was placed on the instant responses of every single learner in the room and knowing exactly who each response came from.

The app has five features, each offering different functions:

1. Open questions – teachers input their own questions, which learners respond to with text answers.

2. Closed questions – teachers input their own questions, which learners respond to with a set of fixed, closed answers.

3. Set question checkpoints – designed to encourage reflection, helping learners to consider not just what they are learning, but how they will use it.

4. Set evaluation questions – to check understanding at the beginning, middle and end of learning and gauge the extent to which the lesson was successful.

5. Ask a question – learners ask the teacher a question. The teacher can then put this question back out to the group for all learners to answer themselves.

A robust reporting system allows teachers and college management to analyse the results and identify trends, so teachers can reflect.

Colleges will be able to purchase an annual license for the Learning Smarter app with costs dependent on the size of the organisation.

For further information visit
www.learningsmarter.co.uk or contact Lakeisha Dawson, Learning Smarter Administrator on 0115 911 1111.