Give children freedom to choose what they want to learn

If you let children to choose what they want to learn, free, without adult control, they can learn everything during less time.

This story is about me and my decision to change how children are educated with technology.

What are schools now offering to our children?

Education as a service is now on very bad level in Slovakia. And if I am talking about bad, I mean really bad: a little money for teachers. Sometimes I wonder how can we produce such good products in other.

I used to teach in year 2013 students from 15 to 19 years old. During 2 months as employee of the school I wanted to change educating programming. I have wanted to teach Python, not Pascal, what is language taught on a lot of schools. No, I cannot. One and main reason is, that on the schools are bad teachers now ready to change how they teach and how they communicate with kids. They are old and without any connection to real needs of real world.

As a new teacher in the beginning of carrier I have sallary about 400€ a month. Can you pay every expense of standard family with this amount of money? Hell, no. So I decided to leave. But I love to be a teacher, I am studied teacher with 5 years university education in mathematics and informatics. But I can’t do as well as I want to. Yes, because of money.

So how can teacher with this sallary do his best if he has no chance. And I know a lot of people, studied teachers, who don’t teach because of money. And they are pretty successfully in jobs they do. In schools, there are often very bad teachers.

But something is changing here in Slovakia, very slowly, but changing. In Finland, they believe that kids have to play instead of learn in some institution in the same time as other 20 pupils. The whole country believe, that “children learn best through play.”

There will be time, when computer replace teacher

I remember my words from years when I have attended a primary school: “there will be time, when computer replace teacher.” I said it in warm blood, but I know what exactly I meant.

If we want it or not, that time is now. But instead of complete replace of teachers, there is a cooperation between humans and machines to educate another generation. So why not to try some kind of replacment of teachers? We decided to do so. We want to do it using technology and freedom to choose what children want to learn. And the first step is create great educational games and offer them in App Store, in the future in other stores. The second step is create ecosystem, where children can play and learn something useful in big amount of “subjects”. The third step is create platform to educate what kids really want to know. There will be needed some teachers, but not in todays roles.

What can one man change?

What can one man change in the world? A lot. Key is do something for it. So I and my team have started to work on educational game for kids with iPads. We are 4 people in that project and one sound studio as sound service provider. Story like about some start-up from Silicon Valley. With two big differences:

  1. We are from Europe, Slovakia,
  2. We have a little amount of money for it.

With this configuration we want to do something remarkable. We want to create educational games and ecosystem that change the way how kids learn things. We are on the beginning of this journey.

Freedom to choose what to learn

It is known fact, that relaxed brain can learn more in less time. We can tell that brain can learn more effective. So we need to let children to choose time when they want to learn specific subject. But a lot of problems are with educational materials. You have to have a lot of material prepared for the right time. Solution is to have iPad and content in it. I know, not every type of material you can have in iPad. Bricks, papers, knifes, food, etc. are not replacable by technology. But if we speak about intellectual material, iPad is the best way for us.

As an example, if child want to learn mathematics, he doesn’t need heavy books. There can be several educational games created exactly for play and learn.

When child want to play something and is in phase of math exploring, he can play math games. And that is exactly what we want to do. We do not want remove children from nature and playing outside. We want to educate them when they are playing with iPads. This way they can learn anything: languages, physics, chemistry, history, programming, music, arts, cooking, … connected to real world it is the right way to educate children.