Why the Learn to Read George Canine app is truly the go

Jennifer Smith

Socratic questions are evidently the go –  that’s the way learning can flow.

Slower content delivery and speaking pace are not the only methods that make Learning to Read with George Canine a unique literacy app. In addition, like successful human teachers, George demonstrates a skill and then asks a lot of Socratic question. These are questions that are systematic – they link new information with old information so that the new information connects with the old in memory.

Importantly, George leaves an adequate amount of time for children to think about the question before they answer. When students are given the time to consider their answers they have the time to process the question and successfully retrieve the answer. Each time they retrieve the answer, they reinforce the learning.

George Canine offers learners the required information, and then asks his students rhetorical Socratic questions. Next, he waits a few seconds so that the student has time to retrieve the answer. Then, George utters the correct answer so that the student can compare his/her answer with George’s correct one. This process is critical to successful learning.

George understands that it’s best to see, hear and touch. Multi-sensory learning is as much. So, another important criterion for any learning that is included in the George Canine app is the learner’s multi-sensory experience.

With regard to visual stimulation, animated George and his equally animated friends strut, run, dance, fly or swagger through his intensely colourful, lush garden. The characters walk along paths and around burnished mushrooms, lolly pink and purple flowers and green trees.

It is not only the learner’s visual sense that is titillated by George and his friends in his garden. The learner’s auditory experience is richly stimulated. There is rap music and George’s gangman-style dance, his flips and somersaults, and his soothing Californian voice to enjoy. There also learning through the sense of touch, as students interact with the screen in a myriad ways, one of which is to actively trace the alphabet letters. This multi-sensory approach engages the learner in an active way – the best way for students to process and remember what they learn.