Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New Study Guides for the Digital Generation

Last month, leading television graphics provider Mammoth Graphics launched a new app to help GCSE students studying English immerse themselves in the popular text Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. On 12th May the graphics company announced their new app, which they hope will encourage students and teachers alike to become fully engaged in the popular tale of George and Lennie, which according to a government survey, is taught in over 90% of schools in England. With expert analysis from an Oxford PhD English teacher, original artwork and character voice-overs by fantastic actors, this app has moved the study of English Literature into the new generation, and integrated the use of mobile devices and tablets into the 21st century.

Mammoth Graphics is not alone in claiming that mobiles and tablets are becoming increasingly present in the classroom as a highly effective learning tool. With websites like Movellas.com encouraging teenagers from all over the world to read and write on the go with their newly renovated app, students are finding better and more enjoyable ways to access the tools they need to learn. Reading on devices has overtaken reading printed material for young people- research from the National Literary 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. Furthermore, 52% said that they would rather read on electronic devices, while only a third said that they would prefer print.  

The graphics provider has worked diligently over the past few months to work to create an app that not only meets the needs of young people who wish to study on a device, but also the teachers who want virtual learning tools with a strong educational focus to support their students in and outside the classroom. With a handpicked selection of teachers, artists and actors, Phil Long, MD of Mammoth Graphics, has met his aim of enabling the app to appeal to every end of the spectrum. In an interview, he said that, "
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!"

Mammoth's latest venture has proven to teachers and critics of the current English Literature GCSE syllabus that even with a text that has been studied for years, technological advances can freshen up the dreary classroom approach and get more students actually engaged in what they study.

Interested in the app? Get it on IOS and Android devices for studying, or just reading on the go :)

The app can be purchased here: Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store

Actors including Andy Robb, Jim Harper and Katie Warren voiced the text and 

digital artist Ozan Civit illustrated the characters and locations of the novella.

Until next time :)

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