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.
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.
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.