The Way We Learn

Learning Methods for the Modern Classroom

A look at non-traditional learning methods

Modern technology puts the world at our fingertips. Yet with all the marvels of today, the human brain still learns the same way it has for thousands of years. In order to avoid the pitfalls of the "forgetting curve", people need to be exposed to new information multiple times and at spaced intervals. The learning method known as spaced repetition caters to the human mind with frequent repetition of new material. It offers an increasingly sparse presentation of that same information, as the data is retained for longer periods.

Learning tools offered through FactSumo provide an ideal e-learning opportunity which capitalizes on the physiological effect of spaced repetition. Engaging material from a wide variety of subject areas can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. Lessons are continuously modified based on each student's responses and teachers can monitor progress whenever they choose.

FactSumo helps teachers make the most of traditional and high tech instructional techniques with blended learning. Free up your valuable class time for experiments, demonstrations, lively discussions and more! Our technology provides the repetition needed to achieve true mastery of the material.

How Machines Learn

Once a file is stored on a computer hard drive, the computer will be able to access the information at any point thereafter. Immediately upon saving a file, the pathway to its location becomes etched into the computer's memory and there is no "forgetting curve" to overcome. Humans, on the other hand, have to strengthen newly formed pathways in order to access information at will. If the mind is asked to remember a random fact once and only once, that fact will quickly be lost.

The "forgetting curve" explains why cramming the night before an exam may help you pass the test but the material won't be accessible when finals come around. Humans learn most effectively through exposure to new information for short periods of time over the course of many days, weeks, or more. In this manner, the pathway to locate new "files" (aka memories) becomes stronger, like a muscle that grows in response to physical exercise.  

Repetitive Learning Methods

The concept of spaced repetition is the ideal learning technique to acquire virtually any type of new knowledge. Students are exposed to a series of questions with the help of software, flashcards or another similar tool. Questions that are answered correctly will be repeated less frequently than those with an incorrect response. Students may encounter the same material over and over when first initiating a new course of study, but will find that their retention steadily improves with repeated exposure to new facts. As mastery of the initial material is achieved, additional facts can be added to the series to create a steady increase in knowledge.

Spaced repetition gives students the opportunity to build confidence by practicing until they "no longer get it wrong" (instead of working until they "get it right"). This method is particularly well-suited to learning new languages or any material involving a large number of unfamiliar vocabulary words. It is also highly effective with identification and mathematics, and can pave the way to pass many standardized tests (such as a driver's test or naturalization exam).

Blended Learning

Technology can't turn the human mind into a computer, but what if you could utilize technology to automate the repetitive aspects of learning and free up your invaluable class time? Blended learning combines traditional instructional methods with software programs and/or digital media to maximize the potential of every student. This method is excellent at accommodating the needs of students who learn at different paces, as technology (such as FactSumo practice sessions) can tailor each lesson in response to answers submitted.

Progress monitoring tools provide instructors detailed information without the need for tedious homework or assignment checks. Turning over your "low value" tasks to technology frees up class time for fascinating discussions, in-depth question and answer sessions, dazzling experiments, and more.

FactSumo - Digital Learning

The spaced repetition based e-learning activities offered through FactSumo.com can help students master the fundamentals of virtually any subject. It's a resource that can save a great deal of time by focusing on material that students don't know and creating fully personalized learning sessions to rapidly expand their knowledge base. Each session presents a topic with engaging sound, images, and video, and includes an optional tutorial to introduce material prior to initiating a series of questions. Teachers and students can select from a wide variety of subject areas including (but not limited to):

 

  • Languages. Expand vocabulary and practice foreign grammar skills while learning Spanish, French, German, English as a second language, American Sign Language and many other languages.
  • Sciences. Anatomy, geology, plant and animal identification, life sciences and beyond are just a few of the branches of science students can study on FactSumo.
  • Mathematics. Practice is available for everything from simple addition all the way through algebra and metrology for nurses.
  • English grammar and spelling. Early learners or those getting familiar with the English language will benefit from grammar and spelling drills. There's even a whole section dedicated to improving your Scrabble game!
  • History. Some of the most influential figures in modern history are featured on FactSumo's interactive site.
  • Naturalization and Driver's License Tests. Naturalization practice tests are available for those preparing to take the exam in every state. For those preparing for their driver's license exam, practice test sessions have been uploaded for many of the nation's highly populated states, and plans to add sessions for more states are currently in the works.

 

Learning Methods in the Digital Age

Most teachers will find material well-suited to strengthening the fundamentals of their subject area within FactSumo's library of practice sessions. For those with highly specific needs, requests to input a customized set of material may be sent directly to the webmaster. E-learning sessions can be completed on any device with a connection to the internet, allowing a great deal of flexibility for teachers and students. In classrooms with access to wifi, teachers often choose to dedicate five minutes to FactSumo sessions at the beginning of each class; students can even use their own devices for this purpose!

When practice is assigned as homework, teachers can easily verify completion of each task and student progress can be monitored directly through the site. However you choose to utilize FactSumo's interactive material, you'll find that automating the basics helps students expand their knowledge while maximizing available class time for high-value activities.