Pre-school enrollment has increased globally over the past few years. However, evidence shows that converting higher enrollment into improved human capital is a challenge. Overall learning levels in developing countries remain critically low with several young children and adolescents leaving school with inadequate literacy and numeracy skills. Among the many different approaches for addressing educational deficiency, the use of technology-enhanced instruction has grown in popularity as an approach that can be essential in the improvement of the quality of learning and teaching in various countries. The approach largely relies on many dimensions such as the introduction of computers and internet connection in all schools and the adoption of educational software that can offer content that matches each student’s needs. The two prominent online platforms that focus on delivering educational content tailored at each student’s level are the Khan Academy and Prodigy-math game.
Khan Academy Website
Khan Academy website is one of the most prominent educational content providers that help to foster the literacy development of young children. The Khan Academy (KA) website is an online interactive platform, which offers free educational instructions and practice tests in mathematics and other subjects as well including economics, history, science, computer programming, and others. The platform offers a wide range of content to enable learners to identify their strengths and the weaknesses they can improve on. For instance, in mathematics, KA provides various contents ranging from addition and subtraction to more complex topics such as multivariable calculus and differential equations. KA is an American online platform created in 2008 by Salman Khan. The aim of creating the online interactive platform was to help educate students in a wide range of subjects across the world. The website is funded by volunteer contributions and partnerships with private sector foundations. Since it was launched in 2008, the KA website has significantly expanded. Currently, it has millions of students in approximately 190 countries (“Khan Academy now available in Czech and Tamil,” 2018). The platform’s resources and contents are available in 36 different global languages including French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, and others (“Khan Academy now available in Czech and Tamil,” 2018). The online platform offers its user’s service updates any time changes are about to make to the website.
The website is instrumental in fostering literacy development in young children. For one to use the website, he or she must sign up or create an account using an email address. Creating an account enables an individual to access the website’s functionalities. The website can be used to provide fun and educational activity to a child. Once a child logs into the website, he or she is asked to take a math pretest after which their homepage suggests skills personalized for them (Saxena, 2013). Children can also use the website to engage in extra practice on specific skills. The website provides a search box where children can look for content related to other subjects such as computer programming and science (Saxena, 2013). The website also provides data to teachers and parents that can be used to identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Prodigy Math Game
The Prodigy Math game website is another prominent educational content provider vital to literacy development in young children. It is a free math game that helps to improve students’ score and their confidence in mathematics. The online game-based learning platform connects millions of students and registered teachers globally (Wise, 2019). The platform features over fifty thousand math questions spanning from grade 1 to grade 8. The online game-based learning platform was founded by Alex and Rohan Mahimker to create a more engaging learning experience for children who struggle in math. The prodigy game is updated annually. The online math game was updated on June 27, 2019, and the next update will be in August 2020 (Kampen et al., 2020). The game transforms its users into young wizards who have to defeat horrendous monsters by correctly answering a series of math questions presented to them. After every successful battle, the child’s wizard is awarded experience points, which he or she can use to upgrade spells and costumes. The online game-based platform also successfully adapts to children’s emotions and success levels (Heick & Staff, 2015). The game works in a way that if a child consistently struggles to answer a series of math questions, the platform automatically reduces the difficulty of the questions to reinforce the child’s confidence (Wise, 2019). If the child easily completes the questions presented, the problems become more difficult. This platform also provides data to parents and teachers that help them to identify areas that children might have been struggling in throughout the game, and which areas they have improved in.
The use of online educational platforms has increased over the past few years. Today, many prominent platforms such as Khan Academy and Prodigy-math games are used to foster literacy development in young children. These online educational platforms provide a wide range of content that can help students to improve their knowledge levels in various subjects such as mathematics, computer program, history, science, and others. The online platforms provide data that can help teachers and parents to identify children’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to particular subjects.
Heick, T., & Staff, T. (2015, February 02). What Is Prodigy? A Math Game for Skill Building K-8. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/technology/prodigy-math-game-elementary-skill-building/
Kampen, M., Kennedy, L., Saltzman, R., & Nisbet, J. (2020, June 9). Update Archives. Retrieved from https://www.prodigygame.com/blog/category/update/
Khan Academy is now available in Czech and Tamil! (2018, June 26). Retrieved from https://international.khanacademy.org/post/175279845900/khan-academy-now-available-in-czech-and-tamil
Saxena, W. B. (2013, December 15). How Parents Can Use Khan Academy. Retrieved from https://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/845-how-parents-can-use-khan-academy
Wise, J. (2019, February 27). The Ethically Questionable Math Game Taking Over U.S. Schools. Retrieved from https://onezero.medium.com/the-ethically-questionable-math-game-taking-over-u-s-schools-627882248bc3