When it comes to a child’s educational journey, keeping them engaged and holding their attention in subjects that are not necessarily within their scope of interest can be a challenging task for parents and educators alike. After all, their ability to focus and keep information plays an important role in their overall growth and development. Many experts support and acknowledge the fact that concentration and memory are interconnected, and therefore, vital to a child’s mental development.
However, an alarming number of children grapple with short attention spans and inattentiveness. With an aim of addressing this developmental condition, neuroplasticity has emerged as a viable solution.
Wrap your head around this
Referred to as the brain’s malleability, brain plasticity or neuroplasticity can be defined as the capacity of our neurons to respond differently to internal and external stimuli. It enables a child’s brain to adapt to a dynamic environment and allows them to learn quickly through experiences. As a result of these new experiences, our brain undergoes structural and functional changes. This enables the brain to rewire itself—a process that overrides inactive neurons and instead makes way for active neurons to take charge. The formation of these new pathways and connections thus facilitates better cognitive performance. To ensure the all-around development of a child, experts think it’s necessary for parents to understand and learn about the concept of neuroplasticity.
By creating new neural pathways, neuroplasticity strengthens our brain’s neural network. Further, it enables neurons (the building blocks of our brain) to regenerate, thus improving the health of our brain and enabling better cognitive function. In this day and age, there are umpteen distractions, thanks in large part to the advancements in technology. With so much information available online, children are easily overwhelmed and distracted.
These challenges reinforce the need to understand neuroplasticity and the role it can play in strengthening the function of one’s mind and shaping the cognitive and behavioural developmental processes of young kids. Our ability to pay attention is central to the learning process and the accomplishment of tasks. The younger our brain age, the greater is its plasticity, owing to which we can effectively sharpen and enhance our attention skills.
Digital learning is the way forward
In the wake of the health crisis, digital education emerged as an effective teaching method,making it possible to engage and interact with students and impart knowledge to them. Further, the online platform offered students an avenue to develop their academic and social skills. In this new learning environment, med-tech companies are playing a crucial role in providing all-around solutions for children to succeed by improving their attention performance through fun and learning. Neuroscientists, software engineers, and game developers across the board are building games to boost cognitive and adaptive learning experiences.
It’s time for games
Today, many have dedicated their efforts towards developing technologies that supplement the mental development of children by leveraging neuroplasticity to enhance adaptive learning. Based on their research, noted med-tech firms have revealed that game-based tasks and mental exercises contribute to nurturing better cognitive functions that improve concentration skills. Featuring a variety of benefits, these games comprise fun tasks that involve repetitive actions and challenges that prompt children to work on their visual-motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and so on.
How gamification helps learning
Game-based tasks boost cognitive functions such as thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, observing, monitoring, scanning, focusing and intuition—mental processes that are usually associated with attention and concentration. Gamification makes the learning process more engaging through tasks that involve varying levels of challenges, which are vital to a child’s development and independence. Further, it equips a child to express emotions and gain new experiences while also improving their problem-solving skills.
For example, a game like pointing out red cars in a multicoloured parking lot within a specified time limit can help develop a child’s observational and focusing skills. A simple ‘Spot the Difference’ can engage their skills in deciphering shapes and colours and differentiating between similar everyday objects.
These ever-evolving platforms provide new learning experiences that engage the child and stimulate their brain in a manner that makes way for new neural connections. Further, they empower participants to improve their attention and ability to grasp ideas and concepts and help them concentrate on subjects, which fortifies their brain health while enhancing their mental abilities. Thanks to digital therapies and technology-mediated learning, it is indeed possible to change the way we think!
The Brain Ingredient
Neuroplasticity enables our brain to change and adapt. It also facilitates:
The learning of new habits and ways of thinking
Enhancement of existing cognitive capabilities
Strengthening of certain parts of our brain
The maximisation of a brain’s ability and promotion of brain fitness
To see how your child could benefit from improved attention, start their assessment on TALi App:
Disclaimer: This article was produced by Times Internet’s Spotlight team and originally appear on India Times.