Mammoth Graphics has launched a unique app this month for secondary school students studying for their upcoming GCSE English Literature exams – a new study guide for Steinbeck’s classic novella, ‘Of Mice & Men.’
The app, with expert analysis of the text by an Oxford PhD English teacher, original artwork, and character studies voiced by actors, will ensure students taking their GCSE will be able to engage in vital learning on their tablet device or smartphone. A government survey estimated that over 90% of schools in England teach ‘Of Mice and Men’ to their GCSE students, so this app will have relevance to the majority of schools and young people in the UK.
Digital technologies are fully integrated into young people’s lives today, and mobile devices are becoming increasingly present in the classroom – not as an item to confiscate, but as a highly effective learning tool. Reading on devices has overtaken reading printed material for children and young people; research from the National Literacy Trust in 2013 found that 39% of young people aged 8-16 read daily using electronic devices, including tablets, but only 28% read printed materials. And over half (52%) said they would rather read on electronic devices, but only a third would rather read in print.
With smartphone and tablet ownership at an all-time high among those of school age, Mammoth identified that study guide apps on the market did not meet the divergent needs of young people today or have the strong educational focus desired by teachers to support learning outside the classroom.
Phil Long, MD of Mammoth Graphics said: “Children across the country are revising for their GCSEs this month. Whilst traditional study apps merely replicate the content of study guides, Mammoth’s new app will make a real impact on young people’s learning. As research has shown, technology has changed the way pupils read, understand and process information, so we identified the need for a fresh approach to study guides.”
“Studies show we all learn in different ways – we decided that the app should have an audio reading of the analysis, to cater to students that are aural learners. For many students, such as those with dyslexia, reading chunks of text is difficult, and in this instance the app offers what a conventional study guide cannot. Visualising the characters is useful for those learners who may struggle to remember who is who. The guide can also be used on the move – so students can do a bit of extra study on the bus to school or college, as well as just listen to the content when their eyes are weary from a long day’s study.”