Active Learning Vs. Passive Learning: What’s Best for My Kid?

Let’s start off by explaining what active learning and passive learning mean, and then we’ll move onto what’s best for your kid. Simple, to the point. So unlike our other posts.

Active learning

Active learning means students engage with the learning process. It includes any type of instructional activity that engages students in learning, beyond listening, reading, and memorising.*

Passive learning

In passive learning, the student is a mere receiver. As students, their only duty would be to listen and to internalise the information they’ve just been given. Understanding cannot be assured.

Active learning Vs. Passive learning

Student centeredTeacher centered
Personalised assessmentLimited assessment
Understanding is guaranteedUnderstanding can’t be assured
Teachers know what students learnTeachers get no feedback
Deeper learningSurface processing
Students DOStudents WAIT
Practical applications to what’s been learnedLess ability to used what’s been learned
Lower failure rates (21%)*Higher failure rates (32%)

Examples of active learning

  • debate
  • A small group discussion
  • Case studies
  • collaborative learning group
  • Pretending to be the teacher: if students know they will have to explain to fellow students a certain topic, they will learn, structure and communicate any topic a lot better than if they just do a test on the matter
  • Role play: if you explain to some teens what Romeo and Juliet is about and then test them on the subject, they will dread it. If you make them act it out, they will never forget it
  • Educational apps like the ones we build (#humblebrag)

Examples of passive learning

  • Traditional lectures where students just listen
  • Reading some textbook chapters for an exam
  • Watching videos (YouTube, for example, wouldn’t be the optimal medium for kids to learn)

You can check out more examples of passive learning here (list created by Oregon State University).

So… what were you saying about educational apps?

Educational apps, like Kokoro Kids, are a great way to learn. Why? First of all, because kids love playing with smartphones and tablets –this makes them more likely to internalise the received information –. Besides, apps like the ones we build are a great example of active learning, since they require interaction. But that’s not all:

  1. New levels and games keep coming out so kids never get bored
  2. They promote entertainment: lessons become games, learning becomes active…
  3. They are portable and always available: kids can learn even when there’s no internet connection, while travelling, while waiting for the dentist…
  4. Parents are in control: you know your kid loves screen time, by letting them use educational apps, they will be learning while having fun and you won’t have to worry they are using their smartphone or tablet for useless stuff.
  5. You can track their progress at all times.

Let’s lose our fear to screen time! How? By turning screen time into quality time! Times change, kids change across generations, we have more and better tools, so why not make the most of them? 🙂

And who backs this active learning thing up?

Yes, we know, we come here claiming something and we could totally be making this up –which is not uncommon in the internet age –. That’s why we want to support our arguments with some links to very interesting studies from different universities and experts on the area:

So… we guess it’s time to have fun Kokoro Kids!

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