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Smart Library of Edutainment: technology and gamification at the service of Education

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How can we ensure all young learners have access to high-quality educational material?

Today, children grow up surrounded by a multitude of digital devices. While this is the case, many parents and educators find the limited and expensive high-quality educational apps available in the market concerning. An EU-funded project offers an innovative solution.

Digital Economy
Society

Introducing the Smart Library project, now known as Smile and Learn, Víctor Sánchez project coordinator and Smile and Learn’s CEO says: “To help resolve these issues we aimed to create a platform with new content and features to adapt the learning experience.” This included the development and integration of new interactive activities and videos that would result in 3 500 activities in 150 apps and over 200 videos, all within the same platform. Further to this, the project worked towards adding great capabilities to adapt the experience to different learner needs, including learning paths, games, reading modes and language settings, to name a few. The implementation of a recommendation model that includes an AI machine learning system, analytics and gamification was a further goal the project pursued. Likewise, they targeted a platform that is special needs friendly, meaning easier narratives, no time-count mode or pictograms. A closer look at the platform The project has developed Smile and Learn, a single platform of interactive games and stories that leverages technology in a unique way. “We have placed technology at the service of education, in order to help children from 3 to 12 years old to learn while having fun,” reports Sánchez. “It is an innovative, state-of-the-art platform that is currently providing access to up to 150 high-quality proprietary apps,” says Sánchez. The platform is also multilingual, interactive, and multi-format with customisable content so that it can adapt the experience for different learning needs. The mobile and versatile platform can be used at home and at school, and provides reports on the child’s activity and progress as well as feedback based on analysis of the child’s use and progress. It can also detect and alert to possible educational issues thanks to an advanced recommendation system using machine learning and collaborative filtering technologies. “We offer Smile and Learn for free to school shared devices,” reports Sánchez, who adds, “this is so that children can access high-quality material.” The platform places an extra special focus on making its content special needs friendly. For this reason, specific elements that can be tailored to the needs of children are a key feature of this platform. Looking ahead “Thanks to H2020, we have been able to put together a great team and develop the platform of our dreams – a state-of-the-art 360-degree educational platform – different from our global competitors,” notes Sánchez. In addition, the project was able to expand and reach over a million children, who have provided great feedback for improvement. With these achievements under its belt, the project plans to take a great leap into internationalisation, focusing on Europe, South America and the United States. “This requires implementing the partnership agreements that we have already signed as well as closing up potential agreements with new partners in key markets,” adds the CEO. Sánchez concludes: “We want to thank the European Commission for trusting us with this great opportunity.” This allowed the project to create an amazing platform and break barriers in the use of technology, ultimately revolutionising education and allowing millions of children to smile while learning.

Keywords

Smart Library, Platform, learning, interactive, Smile and Learn, special needs friendly, educational apps, learner needs

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