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How do we learn? It's fair to say that we learn by doing, but that doesn't mean that anyone can learn anything by doing anything. There are a few conditions.
Failure

Perhaps, one of the most important elements of the learning process is failure. Failure teaches us humility, but more importantly, gives us perspective - a vantage point of success. It is always easier to fail than to succeed, but enough failure with persistence gives form to success. Failure creates a shape around success that we eventually recognize. It is the easy way to succeed and can be defined as an act of discovery, but for failure to be any use we need to know that it happened.

Persistence

Equally as important as failure, persistence is a necessity to retaining knowledge - to learning. It's a simple idea - persistence is repetition in the wake of failure. The third ingredient is focus. One way or another, we need some vague awareness of our goal. Teachers give us an objective to focus on and in a competitive environment, an opponent does this too.

Timing

Like a master comedian will tell you, timing is everything. A delay disconnects cause from effect in our minds. For failure to transform into a lesson learned requires it be recognized as failure immediately.

Fun and Games

All this analysis is academic because you already know how to play. We're born with that skill. From the minute you discovered your toes and tried to put them in your mouth, missing a few times then finally succeeding with baby rapture - you knew how to play and you knew the most effective way to learn.

Games - defined by a specific objective, no concern for failure but immediate awareness of it, and persistance - are the key to learning.

The Flaw

The fatal flaw of modern education is timing. For the most part, assignments are performed in a non-interactive environment where the knowledge of failure doesn't come until a day or more afterward - learning becomes slow, tedious and frustrating for both students and teachers.

The Solution?

We won't claim to have the solution because the toe-eating babies of the world already know it. What Prodigynet offers is implementation. We start by creating efficiency. We apply information technology to administration, delivery, execution, notification and reporting elements of education - giving teachers significantly more time to spend with their students. Facilitating extensive peer and parental involvement give even more time for teachers to spend with students, as well as additional interaction itself.

The second piece of our solution is all about games. The ability of the games/lessons to interact is key. In "practice mode", with no time limit, hints/explanations are at the ready for every question. If you get one wrong, the hint or answer appears. In the timed test mode, mistakes are displayed at the end. You can take the test repeatedly until you get the score you want. Without knowing your mistakes repetition is useless.

Another element of a game is competition. Schools tend to dodge academic competition as much as they overlook failure, but Prodigynet embraces competition. It happens partly by allowing a time bonus in test mode. This removes the upper limit of a score by rewarding speed on top of an error free execution - a standard video game strategy. Competition is stimulated further by posting scores. Under students' avatars, the highest scores are posted. Reward and status are an integral part of competition.

Remember repetition. Now that you have instant feedback and immediate help and a score, there's use for repetition. Lessons can be taken in either mode as many times as you want. When the target is achieved you get credit - but your high score will challenge you, the class high score will taunt you, and beating the global high score just might make you famous. Lessons are no longer a one-chance test, but a true opportunity for whoever wants to succeed. Students are no longer burdened with unrewarded tasks and un-noticed effort, but given a real challenge and every opportunity to beat the game.

 
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Prodigynet?
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Teachers
Its time to be
[super]empowered.
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Now its about the
games. Let's play.
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Interested benefactors to the Prodigynet Foundation can request additional information and secured access by emailing us at inquire@prodigynet.org. Teachers who wish to participate in our Beta Test Program can Register Here. Your participation is important to us.