The Great Romanian philosopher Constantin Noica used to say that a real teacher is the one who can teach you how to learn.
The Great Romanian philosopher Constantin Noica used to say that a real teacher is the one who can teach you how to learn. Starting from this idea, some of the most experienced and dedicated teachers from all over the country have come together and created MyKoolio, a platform that does exactly that, namely it teaches children how to learn.
The president of the Mathematical Sciences Society, Professor Radu Gologan, of the Polytechnic University in Bucharest is the coordinator of the MyKoolio team. Dr. Gologan told us why he joined the project and what Mykoolio brought new to the trade:
“You all know there is a trend world wide whereby these days, education goes hand in hand with the computer, with the Internet. I had been long thinking of such a project in Romania, capable of supporting such an effort, and the effort came from the very firm that carried out that project: an educational platform for parents, teachers and children alike, rendering learning interactive and well-structured. The first thing an educational platform needs to do is replace computer games with learning games. So, by using this platform, children learn while playing. They can thus learn mathematics, Romanian language, and in time they will be learning other things as well. If we take mathematics, for instance, the platform provides a very simplified way to learn Mathematics, with no complicated formulae, with not so many signs, but with a straightforward and concrete manner of learning.”
The platform was crated 1st to 8th graders, and the MyKoolio approach starts off from the needs of the average child in terms of school performance, a child who usually cannot do better than getting a 7 or an 8 in school.
Mykoolio general manager Romeo Ioan told us where they got the idea for the project: ”About a year ago I tried to help my girl who at that time was in the 5th-grade, with her math homework and I found myself facing all sorts of problems. Which means I was unable to find the best method to present her all those concepts. I couldn’t find on the Internet materials guaranteeing conformity with the school curricula, I couldn’t turn that kind of stuff into an attractive activity for my daughter. That’s how I came to think that a learning platform was a reacl necessity, because it could eliminated all those flaws. And that’s how the project started off.”
Romeo Ioan also told us who the MyKoolio platform was created for: ”Practically, we target three categories of users: children, teachers and parents. As regards the schoolchildren, we hope this platform is very attractive, also because it is interactive. From the parents’ standpoint, we think the platform is of real help, since lessons are very clear, very logical and do not last longer than 2 or 3 minutes, it helps pupils enhance their logical thinking, and also helps parents bring back a series of notions they may have forgotten. For teachers, this is an easy way to get access to school materials. We allow free access for all schools in Romania, and right now we are working on developing a similar project for the underprivileged areas, areas where children do not have access to education.”
Parents or children can create an account on the website, but what comes next? Here is Romeo Ioan again: “Children can find a very attractive universe, with eight planets representing one year of study each. They are all centered around Koolio, an alien who came from his planet where he lost his neurons, and reached our planet looking for them, and here he hopes that humans, through their activities, would help him recover his neurons, allowing him to return to his planet. It is a beautiful story, we started on the premise that we have to make the platform playful and attractive.”
Razvan Ioan, co-founder of the MyKoolio platform, added: “It seemed to me a very generous idea, very interesting, with great development potential. It seemed to me that there was a need for it. We have to use the online environment to promote education and knowledge. It seemed a pity to waste this opportunity, especially since Romania has a good position in terms of IT and technology. Now students can learn very quickly, in 1-2 minutes, which would otherwise take an hour, and they can gain points and medals as they go through missions.”
But how did Razvan’s sister’s experience change using MyKoolio? Here is Razvan Ioan: “Learning has become a less threatening process, more pleasant, and I think it was useful, because when she started seeing results, she gained a better momentum and wish to study.”
Because they want the coming generations to develop their logical thinking in addition to their capacity to memorize, the MyKoolio people have made efforts to make their platform accessible to all, technically and in terms of costs.