In the article I read for the NY Times, written by Dan Harley. Harley is a “neuroscience reporter writing a book on new research into intelligence”, and in this article he discusses something that has really sparked an interest in me, brain training. I’m sure we have all seen the Luminosity commercials, well that is brain training. In this article younger students are the focus. The CEO of luminosity discusses that he is shocked to see such a younger user base, because brain training was originally intended for an older user base. However, many young student ranging from 11-21 are using this online based brain training. Luminosity apparently waives their fee per the request of teachers, but other brain training companies such as LearningRx do not and in fact are pricey. Unlike tutoring, which makes a student better at one particular subject, brain training is said to make students “smarter”.
In particular Dan looks at Taylor a lacrosse player. She plays so well that she is being looked at by college recruiters, her parents wonder if brain training could do for school what her lacrosse coaches have done for her as an athlete. She is enrolled in brain training and admits that for the first few sessions it was hard and she had headaches. However, the article goes on to explain that “She’s now studying for the SAT. ‘It used to take me an hour to memorize 20 words. Now I can learn, like, 40 new words in 20 minutes.'”. It is also used for students with learning disabilities. This leads to the question of why schools aren’t incorporating this into their schools or why we as teachers aren’t using certain methods in our classrooms? Even though, “For all the glowing testimonials, there are postings to be found online from parents of children with learning disabilities, complaining about substantial fees and minimal benefit”. I wonder if these negative remarks have mostly to do with cost of these programs which can run about $80-$90 per hour with a “brain trainer” from LearningRx. I would love to hear what others have to say on this topic and if anyone has tried “brain training”? I am going to enroll in luminosity. I have always been curious about the site and this gives me a reason to look into it.
If you want to check it out with me: Luminosity Let me know how it goes and what you think!!
Link to article, it is a bit long but an interesting read, Article