Posted on January 9, 2012 by

Tablets for Fourth Graders.

Here’s an idea for a new venture as described in less than 250 words…

Fourth grade math in 1992.  I remember my teacher introducing a new topic, writing a question on the board, explaining the answer, and then handing every student the same worksheet of practice questions.  A linear curriculum for a classroom of students who differ in not only the way they learn, but in their strengths and weaknesses.  With the available resources, this made sense for 1992, but not 2012.

Addressing this archaic methodology makes education technology so exciting.  At Dashfire, we have worked with companies that help high-school teachers, alumni organizations, and teacher training.  Meanwhile, companies like Khan’s Academy (which should be used by adults too) are monumentally progressing the way children learn.  I look forward to seeing how tablets influence children’s education.  Although not initially designed for them, children have mastered the iPad, whether by sliding to unlock or playing Angry Birds.  I envision students conducting their coursework on a tablet (or to a lesser extent, computers) with intuitive programming.  The software would use how the student responds to a question – correctly, incorrectly, methodology – as a diagnostic to generate the subsequent question.  Students will learn at a pace that is appropriate for them while teachers can identify (from a tablet of course) which students need extra, real-time attention.   This would finally sideline reactive education – waiting for students to fail before addressing their needs.  I imagine that there are leading engineers and/or decision science PHDs building this technology.  And if there aren’t, let’s get started!