The fact that Smartick, our unique method of learning and reinforcing math skills, is available as an app for Android tablets and iPad often leads people to believe that our product is nothing more than an app. But no. Smartick entered the market six years ago, in August 2011, after almost two years of development, to give shape to our initial idea: improve math education with a method that adapts to the level of each child, thanks to Artificial Intelligence.
In addition, behind the exercises that we propose, we have a powerful educational team that studies, filters, and tests different methodologies, from the most classical and universal to the investigating the possibilities of incorporating tools such as the Dutch Rekenrek or the Singapore method. There’s a sound methodology behind Smartick that guides students in their learning, and every six weeks or so, we upload a new version that enriches all the previous ones.
We’re not a math game app, math is a serious subject and learning it requires effort, but it is true that we have “gamified” part of the Smartick experience in order to keep the children motivated. A unique and playful feature is that they can earn ticks as they advance in their sessions, which they can later spend in the Virtual World.
Since we’re not just an app, it’s not possible to understand how Smartick works after just one session, as it guides children along a content tree depending on their responses to each exercise. For this reason, our free trial period lasts for fifteen days, and we advise you to use every single one of them. We don’t provide a miracle cure. Our immediate objective isn’t to entertain children with mathematical games and earning prizes for completing the challenges. No. We identify the strengths and weaknesses of each child with an entry test and from there, we are able to keep them working at their maximum capacity, confident in their knowledge, and ready to take on further challenges. We can do this thanks to our algorithm, that places each child at the exact level that they require, regardless of whether children are working at a higher level than at school, they need to catch up, or they need an alternative method to help with learning difficulties.
Moreover, the aim is for children to learn new concepts by gradually increasing the level they work at, with the help of tutorials. They do this alone, autonomously, without the help of their parents whose only participation is to receive the results of the sessions directly to their inbox. This also avoids the possibility of some parents passing on their own frustrations and difficulties with math on to their children. Frustration and anxiety is a common theme amongst children who perform poorly in math, a mentality that prevents thousands of children around the world from progressing. Therefore, we like to see ourselves as a form of ‘vaccine’ against the fear of mathematics and, in just a few short weeks, we can increase children’s self-esteem with regards to numbers.
In order to do this, our team includes mathematicians, didactic experts, psychologists, software engineers, and data analysts. But, if parents have doubts about the progress of their children, we have a customer care team made up of teachers and educators who can offer professional advice and support via email or telephone. All of this defines us as something more than just an app.
So, if you hear Smartick described as an expensive app, it’s because they haven’t seen how the sessions work and are unaware that we are a well researched, tried, and tested method with students all over the world. Many of these students build a positive relationship with Smartick, and those who perform their sessions every day during the year wear the t-shirts we give them with pride. They know that, for 15 minutes, they’ve been learning and practicing math at their own pace, and not playing with an app.