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Innovations in Edutainment

Bill Allen
Bill Allen
Sep 16, 2020
Innovations in Edutainment

The Magical I Am™ app is the first digital game to master learning to read abstract words and symbols, using the 3-D senses of sight, sound, touch, kinesthetics, and the imagination of possibilities and solutions that the senses evoke. Abstract words have no physical (3-D) representation to associate with them, and therefore are difficult to learn to read. The brain of the young learner begins as primarily sensory-oriented, and as it develops and matures, it becomes more logically-oriented and can manage symbolic written language. 

Unfortunately, many young children remain as sensory-thinkers into the early grades, and some into adulthood.  These are the individuals we refer to as 3-D, sensory thinkers (or learners) – when they think and imagine, they feel shapes and textures, they see colors, hues, patterns and shapes, they hear tones, pitches, over-tones that take on shape and texture.   Therefore, abstract words and symbols are shapes/colors/tones/texture to them, not “words,” as we write them on paper. 3-D sensory thinkers or learners essentially “draw” words and letters, instead of writing them.  

Digital smart phones & tablets are used as learning vehicles that provide stimulation of many of the senses and imagination for developing mastery of all 3 parts of an abstract word or symbol - what a word looks like, what it sounds like and what it means.  These are the 3 parts of every word, and creating and utilizing sensory experiences of these 3 parts gives a “sensory meaning” and “experience” of each word and symbol.  

Unique to the Magical I Am app is the use of a variety of sensory experiences to build a multi-dimensional understanding of all 3 parts of a whole word, seemingly at the same time.  No other digital methodology can make this claim, although many do use limited sensory input without providing the critical sensory input of all 3 parts of a word seemingly at the same time.  Other educational methodologies lack understanding of how a 3-D learner processes information. The Magical I Am app seeks to make 2-dimensional words, symbols, and abstract words meaningful to the 3-dimensional thinker. Simply stated, a 3-D thinker is someone who primarily learns and finds meaning through their senses.

To start with, there is a lot of confusion in the current educational systems when it comes to teaching how to read abstract words. Educational systems do not even agree on the same label for abstract words – for example, labels used include: Dolch words, Frye words, Outlaw words, Sight words, Most Commonly Read Words, or Abstract words. 

Secondly, the significance of the role of abstract words in enabling reading comprehension and fluidity, regardless of how the abstract words are labeled, is often misunderstood or overlooked. In fact, abstract words are the main culprits that trigger a reading obstacle that causes the 3-D, dyslexic reader to stumble, hesitate, insert word, omit word, replace word, misread a word, skip line(s), go blank, daydream, or a combination thereof while reading.  

Bindu M.E. Tech™ is a digital technology that is the unique creation of Magical I Am and help's players find their Bindu point (or Mind's Eye). The Bindu as a point of consciousness convergence has been a part of Yoga for thousands of years; Dr. Charles Krebs, in his research in how the brain learns, recognized the importance of the Bindu as a point of focus to assist a learner to integrate his brain so he can perceive symbols consistently and accurately; and more recently, Davis Dyslexia Association International used a point of orientation to focus attention. These findings led to the Magical I Am concept of the Bindu M.E. Tech™, as it is used in the Magical I Am app.  

The Mind’s Eye is an intangible, internal “viewer” of what is sensed internally and externally. In the Magical I Am app, the user learns to position their Mind’s Eye on their Bindu in order to accurately and every time correctly perceive 2-dimensional symbol(s) - letters, numbers, words, and punctuation marks. Many individuals believe dyslexia is about seeing printed letters or numbers upside down and backwards.  In a few seconds, the Bindu M.E. Tech™ illustrates the mechanism behind the mystery of how the dyslexic misperceives numbers and letters.

Dyslexia occurs when perception is distorted!  This happens when the Mind’s Eye views a word from a multitude of viewpoints, in order to attempt to make sense of the flat 2-D symbols of the word. Magical I Am app is the first app to digitally employ the Bindu M.E. Tech™ to help a reader stabilize their perception while reading. 

Also, of significance, the Bindu M.E. Tech is an essential “game mechanic" in the Magical I Am app – that means that you can’t play the game properly without it or gain full benefit. The game can only be played on a mobile device (phone or tablet) with the needed digital functions to learn the Bindu M.E. Tech.  Furthermore, since all letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and 2-D symbols are inherently abstract, the Bindu M.E. Tech in conjunction with the Digital Technologies of Voice Navigation, Augmented Reality, and more, make it possible to learn to perceptually recognize and understand these abstract symbols. Finally, the player can learn to read abstract words autonomously, and without the need for the dreaded learning tool of rote and drill memorization!  

In the Mastery Game™, the Bindu M.E. Tech enables perceptual mastery of the upper-case and lower-case letters, and how to read to a stop at a punctuation mark. To learn the letters of the alphabet accurately, the player visually learns to recognize and organize the letters from Z to A, and to position them in their proper orientation.  The senses of sight, sound, movement, and touch are used to associate a 3-dimensional sensory meaning with a 2-dimensional symbol - e.g., so “b” is seen as “b”, and not “d”, “p” or “q”.  Learning to stop for punctuation marks eliminates meaningless run-on sentence reading, and enables the player to gain comprehension of what is read.  Note: The Mastery Game™ is a game within the Magical I Am game.

Another unique creation of Magical I Am is Adaptive Content Casting™. Adaptive Content Casting is a live system designed within the Magical I Am app that continuously evaluates player competence and engagement.  The system continuously updates the content presented to the player based on its evaluation of the player, so the player can learn comfortably at their own pace.

Adaptive Content Casting is used to evaluate the user’s progress around:

  • How the player’s learning is progressing;

  • Readiness for new content and challenging adventures;

  • The need for stress release activities or more review and practice, in order to master the word spells of the current lessons and Wizard Tales.

  • Advancement to the next level of word & reading mastery.

Measurements are made in:

  • Accuracy - is measured by number of correct answers in a given time;

  • Speed - is measured as the time to complete reading comprehension challenges;

  • Number of the player attempts of the activities in the different components of the Magical I Am game;

  • Number of help functions used in a chapter of 4 words & symbols;

  • Amount of time since player was last active in the game, and what type of activity the player was doing;

  • Average time used for a given number of game plays.

To keep the player engaged in the game:

  • The more accurate the player is in the Spells Chapters and reading the Wizard Tales, the more the player is capable of collecting reward points, badges, and exploring additional adventures.

  • The less accurate the player is, the more the player is given stress-release breaks – MiniGames, fun versions of the Mastery Game – and then returned to mastering their current Chapter of Spell Words, rereading the Wizard’s Tale, and taking the comprehension challenge.  Once the player’s skill level advances sufficiently, the player can explore new challenging adventures. Thus, the player sets their own pace for progressing.

Brief visual and auditory distractions are interjected frequently to enable the learning brain to stop and integrate what it has just experienced, and refresh in preparation for more learning.

As well as monitoring the gamer’s progress and readiness to advance to new material, the Adaptive Content Casting aspect generates data that provides parents and teachers with information about the player’s progress. 

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