1. Segmentation and blending
Uniquely, in the very first lesson George gets children to read and spell with success. He does this by demonstrating how the discrete phonemes (discrete sounds) in spoken words can be segmented and mapped onto letters, to spell and write words. Similarly, he shows students how the letters in written words can be ‘sounded out’, and how those sounds can be blended to form spoken words. The immediate introduction into segmentation and blending to spell and read is just one of many advantages that Learning to Read with George Canine has over other literacy materials. The immediate ability to read and spell acts as a great motivator for children to want more. It’s a case of early success so on I’ll press. Early success also arrives quickly because George knows aobut the advantages of separating letters and pictures.
2. Letters and pictures
Among cognitive psychologists, it is well known that when new information, say, an alphabet letter, is presented with illustrative pictures or animation, the picture captures almost all of the learner’s attention. This means that the alphabet letter is largely ignored – it’s processing is blocked or at least overshadowed by any associated pictures or animations. And, that’s a pity, because the letter – its visual shape and its associated sound – is what should be the focus of the learner’s attention. When the learner attends to the letter shape and sound rather than the picture, the letter shape and sound are well processed and therefore quickly learned.
On the other hand, the pictures and animations provide visual interest that can be motivating and sustain interest.
Because this problem is well understood, George Canine presents the alphabet letters first and alone, so that they alone are processed and well learned. In fact, he waits three seconds before presenting the appropriate pictures. Why two to three seconds? His producer knows that that’s been shown to be the optimal amount of time that young learners need to process the information. Once the letter and its associated sound have been processed, George presents the adorable, associated animations to provide the necessary interest. George is a learners very good friend. He separates words and pictures and the AMIE criteria in he’ll blend.
3. AMIE means friend in French. George Canine is a particular type of English-speaking AMIE – an excellent educational app friend.
In George’s learning to read and write language, AMIE stands for Active, Meaningful, Interactive and Engaged. These are four critically important criteria for an educational app.
In the George Canine app, learners ACTIVELY solve reading, spelling and writing problems. From the word go, they’re asked to tap, trace and swipe to solve learning problems. The problems are MEANINGFUL in that they relate to George’s dog life, and, moroever, learners understand their relation to the goal – learning to read.
The app is also highly INTERACTIVE in a social sense– George speaks to his learner friends in the same way as he speaks to his cartoon friends. And both human learner and toon respond accordingly, while the humans continuously learn.
Hence, the learners are continuously ENGAGED in the learning experience. Engagement means that learners are focused on the task at hand. They sustain attention to the learning material. Research shows that cartoon characters in and of themselves, encourage children to focus.
It’s not just George’s attractive character that invites focus, it’s also the creative, active tasks that he invites learners to solve. Their active engagement ensures that they pay and sustain attention. Sustained attention is critical to all learning, everywhere. In the George Canine app, learners learn effectively because they are asked to interact – hands on and minds on.
So, in the George Canine app, learners only tap, trace or swipe the screen when there’s educational value in the activity. Because of his fidelity to educational protocols such as segmentation and blending, letter and picture separation and AMIE, George Canine, provides teaching excellence when it comes to reading, spelling and writing skills.
So there are three reasons, among many, many more, why this literacy app – gets the top score.