Over the years, many claims have been made about how computer technology and I.T. is set to transform learning in schools. In many cases, this transformation has not come about. However, as this article in The Economist identifies, it now seems likely that recent software developments will enable such a transformation.
Although the term ‘mass customisation’ is not used, this in effect is what is happening. Individual primary school children are learning to read from software that not only provides them with tasks to do, it also ‘incentivises’ their learning, goes at their individual pace, monitors their performance, and adjusts tasks to reflect this. This information is also fed to teachers, who can then tailor their face-to-face interventions to address a specific child’s needs. The article proposes that it is like each child having their own individual Tutor.
Obviously developing such software is expensive, but by making it available through the internet, considerable economies of scale can be achieved. Hence Reading Eggs is just one of a range of different products that can be used to teach not just literacy, but maths, science and other subjects.