Innovation That Matters

PC math game responds to kids' emotions as they learn

Publishing & Media

Canadian SMARTeacher has come up with a PC math game that not only recognizes children's emotions as they learn, but also adapts the game accordingly.

It’s long been known that a spoonful of sugar helps the proverbial medicine go down, and perhaps one of the best illustrations is the use of gaming in education. Canadian SMARTeacher has now come up with a novel twist on that concept, by developing a PC math game that not only recognizes children’s emotions as they learn, but also adapts the game accordingly. Targeting children aged 6 through 11, SMARTeacher’s Prodigy game software for PCs and Macs uses an immersive approach and a wizard fantasy world to teach kids more than 200 math skills spanning grades one through five. Aligned with Ontario’s Math Curriculum and the Common Core State Standards, Prodigy has been found to improve kids’ skill proficiency by 15 percent and to increase the number of kids who “like” or “love” math by 24 percent, the company says. What’s particularly compelling about the game, however, is SMARTeacher’s wireless emotion-sensing bracelet, due in early 2013, that uses lie-detector technology to recognize kids’ emotions. So, for example, if a child is beginning to feel frustrated, the game might offer a hint in response; if he or she is feeling bored, it will step up the difficulty level. Results-driven reporting is also available to help parents and teachers keep tabs on kids’ progress. The video below explains the premise in more detail: Beta pricing for unlimited play on Prodigy begins at CAD 13.95 per month per child; special household pricing for homeschoolers is also available. Education entrepreneurs around the globe: time to add a dose of emotional sensitivity to your own offerings? Spotted by: Murray Orange



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