Thursday, April 7

Baby Salma Uses iPhone to Learn 'Apple'!

I suppose a 36 second video clip would make more sense now:

In the video clip above, my wife is teaching baby Salma new words using voice narrated Flashcards. The cool thing about apps like My First Words, is that you can also record your own voice, and even create your own Flashcards. Cool!

If you notice, baby Salma is not satisfied by simply watching passively my wife clicking the 'NEXT' button. Instead, she wants to grab the iPhone (Ownership), so that she can hold it and play with it herself. We all know what happens, when babies don't get what they want. However, what about students?

In other words, when we teach or facilitate learning, we should perhaps provide more opportunities for students to explore learning, and take ownership of their own learning process, which is often more inspiring than being told what to do for 15 weeks per semester.

99.999% of us love to learn, but how many of us like to be taught? Or have you ever been inspired to learn by following instructions?

Think about it!

Baby Salma simply loves Frank Leto's 'Ladybug Ladybug' Song, which she sings (and claps her hands) along in her own baby 'GAGA' language.

Yes, what if we could learn boring stuff through songs and poetry? Wouldn't that be cool? Here is a reasonably convincing example:

But then again, is it worthwhile spending so much time and effort to create 'a learning' song covering perhaps just one concept? I suppose we could instead empower students to create their own learning songs. Or perhaps they could mind map their learning into a rap song. I wouldn't mind a rap song teaching me history!

Alright, my baby Salma 36-second video clip and short reflection is not going to award me with giving a TED Talk. However, if I catch every moment of my daughter's life for the next 3 years using multiple cameras wired up in my house, requiring 20 terabytes of storage, so that I can understand how she learns a language... WOW! Too late! MIT researcher Deb Roy did just that, and then he (or his research team) parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch his son "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water."

In other words, it will be thrilling to listen to Salma's "Ta-Ta" turn into "Apple" over the coming days, weeks, or perhaps months. Perhaps the iPhone, or coming iPad 2 (to me!) might speed up the learning process.

I skipped iPad 1, as I usually keep away from first versions of anything, but I will probably invest in iPad 2 when it comes to Malaysia (officially!). Based on my kids' (3) obsession to play games with iPhone, I suppose I will only be able to use the iPad for self-learning when they all are asleep!

Although, I am no fan of having babies or young kids stuck in front of an iPhone or iPad (or mobile devices) all day (Hint: Radiation and Glasses!), I suppose a few minutes a day learning something useful won't harm too much. Would it?

What do you think? :)


Anonymous said...

Actually, I've been inspired to learn by someone giving me instructions...and then me learning everything I could to argue why I shouldn't follow those instructions. A good example when I was an undergraduate and questioned that my 20th Century American Literature course had one (count 'em: one) female author in a field of 20. When my professor scoffed that "there just aren't any good female authors to use, and frankly I was pressured into including this one," I read as much as I could about it so I could argue with more ammunition.

I've enjoyed reading your blog since you visited CCK!


MariaD said...

And I am leaving a second comment just to subscribe to comments. I hope you know some OERs for mathy babies.

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Leah,

Thanks for your wisdom :)

Can't argue against reverse psychology :)

Have a great weekend :)


A.A. Karim said...

I have watched the video on TED. Simply amazing the kind of research and the meticulous work to decipher the huge amount of data. So that's why some people say Ph.D. stands for "permanent head damage".

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Maria,

I have to admit my expertise in baby learning tools is pretty basic :(

However, I am pretty sure you can find pretty cool baby math tools out there with a bit of search :)

Especially, flashcards teaching maths and counting :)

Or you can use free flashcard developing tools out there to develop your own tailored flashcards...

Thanks & Good luck on your search adventure :)


Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Prof. Karim,

Agree 100!

Though, he had a pretty strong PhD team to share the permanent head damage :)

Wisdom of the few!

Thanks :)