By Eleonore Bridier, Engagement Marketing and Partnerships Manager at MWorld
The extraordinary power of tablet computers to enhance children’s learning both in and beyond the classroom has been evident for some years now. That potential seems to have finally been realised with the release of MWorld, an educational app aimed at students in grades 3 to 6.
Produced by one of the world’s leading universities, MWorld’s stated purpose is to “unleash children’s curiosity and introduce them to the amazing world around them”. True to its release platform, the iPad, the product is lavish in its use of professional videos, animations, games and narration. It even includes a creative sandbox environment where students can put their intellectual explorations to use and compete with one another.
Justin Bokor, the creator of MWorld and Monash University’s Director of Innovation, was guided by one very simple principle: “Children love learning and discovery. Give them the right tools and they’ll spend the whole day immersing themselves in the wonders of the universe. You just have to present it the right way. Offer them compelling stories rather than grab bags of facts.”
MWorld is nothing if not ambitious. It divides the sum of human knowledge across ten subject areas, from astronomy to zoology. Within those subject areas are titles that delve into topics as varied as volcanoes, modern art and the migrant experience. MWorld keeps the app fresh and interesting by adding to the original library of 50 titles on an ongoing basis.
Notable for the remarkable diversity of their content, the titles also stand out for their strong multimedia component. Many of the screens are striking for their captivating blend of graphics and video. As Mr Bokor explains: “We got some of the world’s leading academics to write for us. Their text is fascinating and accessible. So what better way to do it justice than to pair our authors with some of the best multimedia producers out there?”
Teachers get ample support, too. Each title comes with a comprehensive teacher guide, which allows staff to seamlessly integrate MWorld into their lesson plans and curriculum. The teacher guides include summaries of the content, key inquiry questions, key learning areas, bibliographies – in short whatever they’ll need to make MWorld a natural part of their classroom.
Over a year in the making, MWorld has certainly set some lofty goals for itself. Mr Bokor, though, remains the picture of quiet confidence. “We believe in children. They want to read. They want to learn. MWorld is their classroom outside the classroom – and, I’m happy to report, it’s one that they’re absolutely delighted to attend!”