Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Osmo tricks our son into measuring stuff

 Like just about everyone else in the quarantine world who has a child under 18, we have been inundated with ads for educational stuff for kids. I remember thinking back in the spring that the problem wasn’t finding stuff but figuring out what would actually help.

My personal theory is that consistency is the most important thing. Find something and stick to it. (EMPHASIS: I AM NOT A CHILDHOOD EDUCATION EXPERT) But the most striking thing we found (thanks to one of my sister-in-laws) is Osmo.

The idea behind Osmo is you tilt a tablet upright and put a mirror down on the camera so the tablet can watch the kid (or anyone else) draw or do stuff with different paraphernalia. Letter tiles, number tiles, tanagram pieces.

Part of me wonders if actually having the kids do stuff as opppsed to tapping on a screen or typing makes it more educational. Of course, I have absolutely no idea if that’s correct and there’s enough school-assigned stuff going on that I have no way to measure Oslo’s effect.

The latest one that we have tried out is Math Wizard and the Secets of the Dragons. It has kids measure pictures of dragons and then feed them with different length tiles of food.

So in other words, it tricks kids into learning how to eyeball measurements? That’s actually pretty cool, although I have Habitat for Humanity horror stories about measuring once and cutting twice. And that’s something I really haven’t seen taught in edutainment.

It’s actually caught our child’s interests, at least a little. And it teaches a skill that’s actually quite practical. After months of exploring educational tools, it’s nice to know there are still surprises.

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