Just how closely should neuroscience be tied to education?
Very – at least according to the scientists and educators who attended a recent summit on education and the brain. Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, for example, contended that “the whole function of education is to alter the brain.” The audience must have agreed, because the conference overflowed with scientists sharing findings on learning and cognition with educators similarly interested in exploring how this research could help students of all ages.
Here at Lumosity, we agree with this belief. That’s why we strive to take the latest neuroscience research out of the lab and into the classroom (not to mention the home and office). We have over 14 million users from around the world, many of them students, and we’re committed to improving their ability to learn and process information. In a study involving 93 middle school students from an Oregon Public School, for example, individuals who completed Lumosity training improved twice as much as the control in measures of math and reading achievement.
Studies like this demonstrate the positive role cognitive training can play in education, and we’re excited to continue supporting such research. At the same time, though, we recognize that most students in K – 12 programs around the world have limited access to cognitive training.
That’s why we’ve introduced the Lumosity Education Access Program (LEAP). This initiative provides educators with Lumosity memberships for their students, and is open to private and public school students in 3rd through 12th grade. There are currently 63 schools and 3000 students from the United States, Mexico, Australia, and South Africa enrolled in the program. Educators incorporate Lumosity into their curriculum at their discretion, typically as a free-play activity or extracurricular option. We encourage educators to share feedback about their students’ general academic performance before, during, and after training with Lumosity. (Feedback is anonymous and cannot be connected to a specific student.) We then incorporate this feedback into the research and development of future cognitive exercises and programs.
So far we’ve had great feedback from the LEAP program. Herbert Pindar, an educator in the Alachua County Public School system, declares that “I’ve been using this in my class for the past 5 weeks as well as with students that I tutor. I have been getting some really great results. I have been able to see where individual students have challenges and have been able to give personalized assistance to each student based upon my findings.” Mike Baker, a computer teacher in the South Side School District of Hookstown, Pennsylviania, said “When kids are in school all day, they become ‘brain dead.’ They are mentally exhausted. But after 10 minutes with Lumosity, students are recharged and re-focused. LEAP has been a wonderful, encouraging experience for the students and for me. I believe Lumosity can benefit all students and offers both immediate and long-term results.”
If you or someone you know is an educator who could benefit from the LEAP program, we invite you to apply using our online application system. Or, if you’re a parent or grandparent thinking of providing Lumosity for your kids, see if one of our family plans is right for you. The LEAP program is just one more example of how Lumosity is helping people around the world — of all ages and backgrounds — live a smarter, brighter life.