ClassTracks – Expand your Vocabulary

What if you could learn new words 3 times faster? Would you ace the SATs or brush up on your Spanish? With the ClassTracks app, you can!

Lida Tech
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Project Description

The Problem:

The average US adult has an active vocabulary of 20,00-35,000 words and we’ve learned most of those by the time we enter high school. Words are essential to being able to communicate effectively in any language – if more than 2% of words in a text are unknown, the whole text becomes incomprehensible (https://www.slideshare.net/MarcosBenevides/how-easy-is-easy). And yet, the way we learn vocabulary hasn’t changed much since the days of frustrating flashcards and staring at alphabetized lists. Do you remember trying to memorize a list of vocabulary words for a test? Most likely it took way too long and you forgot most of the words immediately after the test. Modern vocabulary learning apps just make the old, ineffective learning strategies digital. Why isn’t there an app based on what researchers have discovered about the way teens and adults learn vocabulary? There is…

What is ClassTracks?

ClassTracks is all about learning language. Whether it’s for students learning English or another language, our goal is to make the process more efficient and more fun! We started as a small group of teachers and technologists passionate about making learning language better for kids. We built a website based on cutting edge research into language learning and then we tested with kids and adults. We tweaked, tested, and tweaked again until we had a program that works 3 times better than flashcards (digital or on paper) and 3 times faster than whole-class vocabulary drill with a teacher. We pitched a few schools on the idea, they tried it out and reported the same awesome improvements in student learning. Those schools referred us to more schools and they referred us to more. Now, ClassTracks is working with schools across the country to help students grow their vocabularies.

How does it work?

What makes ClassTracks effective isn’t a secret, it’s based on published research.

-Ever struggled with a long vocabulary list? Research says that adolescents and adults can learn 8-10 words at a time – trying to learn more than that is counterproductive. We have developed an adaptive algorithm that ensures that you are working on exactly the right number of words at a time, never introducing new words until you’re ready.

-Seeing a word and then seeing the definition (a flashcard) is not as effective as quizing yourself (flashcards with friends). With ClassTracks you’ll be using active recall every time you see a word, which helps you learn it faster. Guessing (whether you’re right or wrong) actually helps you remember the word long-term. ClassTracks starts you off with a guess and then builds on that until you’re 100% confident you know the word.

-How many times do you need to see/hear a word before you really know it? Well, it depends on the person and the word, but a rule of thumb is 4-11 times. With ClassTracks you will interact with each word at least 4 times and no more than you should to based on your unique needs.

-ClassTracks uses audio and images to help you make connections and remember each word longer.

-After you’re done studying, ClassTracks shares all the data we collected in an easy to read dashboard. You’ll find out what days of the week you learn best, what words are most difficult for you, and how you compare to your friends.

Learn more about ClassTracks at: www.myclasstracks.com

Why an app?

We originally built ClassTracks for the classroom because our founder, a former teacher, believed that teachers and schools needed better tools to serve their students. We’ve done that. Now that we know what we have we want to help more people – kids, adults, native English speakers, or immigrants – expand their vocabularies. A mobile app means that people without a computer at home and/or people who aren’t enrolled in a class can use ClassTracks.

What we’re raising for:

$3000 is really cheap for an app. How can we make that happen? Well, our brilliant engineer, Merlin, built ClassTracks with mobile in mind. To change the code to work on mobile will be fairly simple. The $3000 will pay for not only the app development, but also for the content we’ll be developing to share with our backers. Right now, teachers input the vocabulary they want their students to learn. For the app we want to make sure that everyone has access to high quality content to study. As part of this $3000 campaign we’ll be developing content for the 1000 most common SAT words and an introduction to Spanish course (approximately 1000 words). Once we’ve launched the app and these two content packages we’ll be working on bringing you more high quality content: GRE, GMAT, ISEE, TOEFL, as well as foreign languages other than Spanish. As a contributor to the campaign you’ll get a say in what we develop next!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to us on twitter @ClassTracks on Facebook at facebook.com/ClassTracks or by email at info@myclasstracks.com

Our t-shirt and sticker says “welcome” in over a dozen languages. Make a statement with ClassTracks!

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