Meet Matt and Briana: They’re Making Learning More Childish

Matt and Briana live in Arizona. He is 12. She is 11. Both of them have an essential role in the design of future learning tools because … well, they’re children.

“It’s been a long time since we were kids,” says (adult) researcher Lisa Maurer who helps run Kids CoLab with Pearson. The project pairs kids like Matt and Briana with adults for collaborative sessions on upcoming projects and products. “Everyone has a role,” Lisa says. “They only thing the kids need to do is be kids.”

Kids CoLab meets each week for about 90 minutes. After snack and circle time, adults and children split up together in to groups to test out a design task or research technique. Everybody addresses each other by first name. Each session ends with presentations about ideas and discoveries.

“It’s helped me change how I look at school,” says Briana in the video below. “Like in projects, I’ll be open to more things and more ideas.”

“She wasn’t always a tinkerer,” says Briana’s mom, Joyce. “She manipulates things more. She’s a problem solver.”

“We’re empowering children to take part in the design and ideation process to make learning better,” says Lisa Maurer. “We know the role that engagement plays in learning. If kids can be involved in the process early on, they can make changes to the whole system in positive ways.”

Coming soon: more about the specific projects and contributions of the Kids CoLab team.