previous post, we explored the following question:
How can less studying produce more learning?
We considered examples from chemistry, arithmetic, and foreign language studies where small differences in approach could produce large differences in learning outcomes - on the order of twice the learning in half the time (or better).
This week, I wanted to push this thinking one step further to explore the related question:
How difficult is it to design experiences that reliably produce more learning with less studying?
To do this, I set up an impromptu experiment. I chose some core math concepts as the subject matter and Minecraft as the learning medium. I spent about an hour preparing. I invited a second-grader known as "Swifty7777" (his Minecraft handle) to join me for a conversation, which I recorded. The full conversation (excerpted below) lasted more than half an hour and covered a lot of ground - from the definition of "number" to the commutative property of addition to the relationship between addition and multiplication. We explored some topics, like square roots, that were not part of my original plan but that emerged during the conversation. We both had fun and the time flew by.
The video below is a shorter excerpt of our conversation in which we explore five questions:
* What is a number?
* What is an even number?
* What is an odd number?
* What is a prime number?
* What is a square root?
What do you think of this experiment?
What do you think we can learn from it?