Smart.fm – Extended Learning Goes Social

[ 0 ] January 19, 2010 |

As we see more and more movement towards different kinds of “extended learning,”  – learning that occurs primarily outside the traditional classroom such as  independent study, online courses, tutoring - it’s not that easy to sift through the noise.  It feels like everyone is  into extended learning in one way or another.

We want introduce you to one of our favorite enterprises that falls under the EL rubric but rises far above the noise—Smart.fm 

Smart.fm, a product of Japan-based Cerego, is an example of a next-generation online platform for all kinds of learners – K-12, postsecondary and beyond.  Smart.fm works with content partners to offer a wide range of learning modules,  like Beat the SAT Verbal and Master the Top 2,000 Words in Japanese or even Chess Moves.  It then creates a personalized learning schedule based on a learner’s goals and measured performance over time.  In addition to its web-based platform, Smart.fm recently launched an application for the iPhone that allows users to learn while on the move.

Once learners have selected a topic to study, Smart.fm tells them what to study and when and allows them to see their progress. The adaptive technology  makes it possible for the user to modify the content and control the learning schedule. And then it gets interesting. Based on decades of research in cognitive science and neuroscience, the algorithms behind the Smart.fm platform reinforce a concept  called “spaced rehearsal.” It’s a simple idea, really, that postulates the best way to learn something is to space out review of  information over increasing periods of time. Evidently there’s an optimum moment for people to review material so they retain it, and Smart.fm calculates that moment for users so that they will hold onto what they study.
 
Like all good learning platforms, Smart.fm wraps the offering with social media to allow learners to interact in various ways , while also providing a  feedback mechanism to the content creator.
 
Smart.fm is terrific for acquisition of all kinds of memory-based learning. The company has yet to turn its attention to learning  that involves higher-order analytical or logic based processes. But that said, it is a powerful example of how digital media and technology can be used to provide an experience that is flexible in time and place, highly personalized, measurable, social and interactive. We look forward to seeing what they will present next. Check it out!

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Category: Extended Learning, iPhone App

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