The world is full of apps and devices that help people learn, and in some cases, even save them time and money.
The apps and gadgets have a variety of benefits: they let people learn more quickly, improve their memory, and improve their focus.
But sometimes they can also help children forget.
And, some research suggests, children may be less likely to learn if they have a distraction, like an app, in the background.
So researchers from the University of Nottingham, and the University at Buffalo, have developed a smartphone app that can help children remember more easily.
The app, called Memrise, works by analyzing the time spent reading a text, and can use this information to make the correct decision.
In one test, the researchers asked about 15 students to read a text that included a short video of a toddler climbing into a tree, and then played the video again.
In this version, the toddler climbed the tree at the right moment.
The researchers then asked the students to rate how likely they were to make a correct decision after the second time.
The students who had the app in the foreground had a higher probability of making a correct choice than those who had it in the middle.
“What we saw in the study was that the students were more likely to make an incorrect decision after having their attention drawn to the app than after they were looking at the text,” says senior author Dr. David Staley.
“So the app can help you do something with your eyes while you’re studying a text.”
What’s more, students who were told to focus on the app did not show any impairment in their performance in the task.
“The kids who had been distracted in the video task performed as well as students who didn’t,” says Staley, “but the kids who were distracted in Memrise were better able to keep the focus on learning the task.”
For the study, the research team recruited 30 students and randomly assigned them to two groups.
One group received Memrise in the forefront, and was given the task in the same room as the students who did not have the app on their phone.
The other group received the task on their laptop, but was separated from the students by a curtain.
Students in the group were also given instructions on how to use the app to help them recall their answer.
They had to focus their attention on the text in front of them, and were not allowed to look at their phone during the task, which they were told was important.
The study found that students in the app-focused group were able to perform better than students who received the instructions to focus in on the task and use the device to solve the task correctly.
“When it comes to the use of technology in the classroom, I think the ability to do better than you would normally is a big benefit,” Staley says.
“For kids, it may not be as big of a benefit as we might think, but it’s still a big one.”
In the future, the study plans to extend the study to more groups of students to see how well the app does at making students remember.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation.
For more information about this research, contact Dr. Peter A. Staley at [email protected]
This story was provided by New Scientist magazine.