myBee Education An Interesting Learning iPad App for Students

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Numerous studies over the last few years have found that students who use mechanized writing have a harder time developing and retaining new ideas. From a study at the University of Washington, that found children wrote more and they wrote faster using a pen rather than a keyboard to other studies on the positive effects of writing on learning foreign words and that using a keyboard may actually impair learning.

The simple idea is that children using computers osculate between using their two hands and manipulating the mouse. While students handwriting their answers are less distracted because the pencil allows them to focus on a single point. Additionally, many of these researchers found that handwriting requires students to use visual, cognitive, and motor skills: look at the paper in front of them, remember the shape, and actually form the symbol, while the keyboard requires less of these skills.

Now that touch screens, smartphones, and tablets become more prevalent in young people’s lives, it is possible to incorporate handwriting into educational apps. Knowing the advantages of handwriting, it is easy to guess that this is an essential next step for e-learning.

The iPad and iPhone app developer, myBlee is an example of an early pioneer of this technology. Created in 2011 by a former math teacher, myBlee chose from the beginning to focus on making teaching apps for 6-15 year olds that uniquely require users to write their answers on the iPad’s screen. Their signature app myBlee Education contains over a 110 individual lessons and watching kids use the app, it is amazing how quickly they start adjusting and improving their handwriting. From calculating circumference on the virtual scrap paper to measuring line segments with a virtual ruler, myBlee has deliberately elected to engage a number of different senses and skills.

Here are some of the features myBlee Education provides to its users:
  • Over 110 courses, including addition facts and multiplication tables
  • Customizable interface for organizing the library by subject and grade-level
  • Detailed tracker for parents and children to see how they’re doing
  • Three personalized user profiles
  • Fun puzzles and rewards
  • Six languages: English, Spanish, Danish, French, German, and Italian
The apps goal is to give elementary and middle school students an early start at new skills, extra help catching up on the basics, and new challenges when ready. It is also there for parents who are looking for tools to help them remember and learn how to explain math, history and grammar to the 6-13 year olds.

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