Should Your Child Be In Charge Of His/Her Own Learning?

Posted by in Blended Learning, Philosphy

Whether in the classroom, or being tutored in Math or English by an individual, the typical scenario is that the teacher is the one talking and teaching, while kids are listening, taking notes and trying to learn. The teacher is the one who determines the content, pacing, activities and assessments. Teachers rarely get 1:1 time in a classroom. However, not all students learn at the same pace. Your child might be in 6th grade, but have 5th grade level comprehension in Math and 7th grade level comprehension in English. Having the teacher teach while kids try and keep up has been the classroom model since the beginning of time and studies show that it is not working.

At the Game Crazy Academy, we believe that it is time to change this model. We feel like students learn better when they feel more in control of their own learning and they can learn at their own pace. This sets them up to be self-directed learners. Studies show that kids who do really well in school often struggle when they go to college due to the unstructured nature of classes and schedules in college. For the first time, your child goes to college and has to take control of his or her learning and many kids struggle with doing that. That is why we want to instill kids to take charge of their own learning from an early age and have a say in what they learn, when they learn and how they learn. Blended learning best practices allows us to do that in our classes.

At the Academy, our Guides (instructors) create a personalized curriculum in Math and English for each child. This curriculum is in the form of a digital playlist. Here is an example of what a personal playlist might look like for your child:

Game Crazy Academy Blended Learning Personalized Playlist

Each resource in this playlist is identified by an icon – a link or a video or a document, etc. Most of the time, your child will have more than one resource to use – this way if your child is more comfortable learning from videos, they can choose the video resource. Or if they prefer to learn by playing games, they can click on the game resource. Clicking on a resource in their playlist with bring up the underlying content for them to review. For example, if a student clicked on a Khan Academy video resource, this is what they will see:

Game Crazy Academy Blended Learning Personalized Playlist

Or the student can opt to learn by watching a cartoon, in which case they would see something like this – in this case, the animated cartoon is teaching them about distance, time and speed.

Game Crazy Academy Blended Learning Personalized Playlist

So the student has autonomy to utilize whatever resources they want.

At the start of every week, our Guides sit down with your child and help them come up with a learning plan that outlines their goals for the week based on their competency. Once the goals are set, your child is given autonomy to use whatever resources they want in their playlist to meet their learning goals – be it videos, podcasts, articles, documents or games. They can then use those resources at their own pace to progress towards their learning goals. This frees up our Guides to walk around the room and provide more personalized attention to the students. If our Guides see a group of kids struggling with the same concept, they will pull the students together in to a small group to conduct a targeted mini-lesson. Even better, our Guides will call over a student who has proven mastery of that concept and ask that student to provide instruction to his/her peers. Our Guides can also provide 1:1 tutoring to kids who are really struggling to keep up. At the end of every week, students will reflect on their goals and their role in meeting those goals, where they struggled, what they could have done differently, how they contributed to the learning of others and much more.

With the help of strong, dynamic and personalized online content that kids can follow at their own pace, along with our Guides freeing up their time to intervene at the right moment, our blended learning model allows students to be more accountable for their learning path. This, we feel, better prepares them to deal with college and the real world.

This is just one of the many ways in which our Game Crazy Academy is different than other tutoring centers. We will also teach kids Entrepreneurship and Computer Science, along with hands-on projects in both these areas. To find out more about the Academy, and to sign up for a FREE 30 day trial, please visit www.gamecrazyacademy.com or call us at 888-55-GAMECRAZY (888-554-2632).