Mindprint Learning is a new web-based platform that can be used to understand every child’s learning strengths and needs. It allows both parents and teachers to quickly get at the heart of a child’s learning challenges and provide the supports they need to thrive. Mindprint, is in essence, the missing piece of the personalized learning puzzle.
It makes sense that the platform, the first valid, online cognitive assessment that can be administered on a home computer, was inspired by a very close parent-teacher relationship and mutual concern for a promising child.
It was when their older daughter was in third grade that Weinstein discovered the great need parents had to get accurate data on how a child processes information, without the impediment of bureaucratic red tape or huge costs.
When a devoted and highly respected teacher wanted to see more data on how her child learned, Weinstein went the path many families take. She took her daughter out of school and spent thousands of dollars for a private psychologist. Months later, she learned that her daughter didn’t need any special services, but her teacher now had the information she needed to help her daughter thrive.
“When I asked my psychologist what I should tell my daughter about why she was being tested, she said, ‘Tell her you are giving her the best gift you could possibly give her—the self-awareness that will make her successful for the rest of her life.’”
It’s then that Nancy asked herself: why shouldn’t every child have that gift?
Her own process was emotional, expensive and time-consuming and Weinstein figured there had to be a more efficient way to get that same insight. Given her background in engineering and the business world, Weinstein assumed the technology existed to streamline the experience. She was surprised when her initial research uncovered nothing in the market that was research-based.
“When you’re working with children, you’ve got to know that you’re giving accurate information. I wasn’t going to offer anything that I wouldn’t completely rely on for my own two kids.”
The test Weinstein eventually licensed for Mindprint Learning was created by researchers at The University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine’s Brain Behavior Lab. It was normed with over 10,000 children, published in peer-reviewed journals and the adult version is being used by NASA. In other words, it’s the real deal. It tests ten cognitive skills across four domains, including speed, executive functions, complex reasoning and memory.
“The best part,” says Weinstein, “is that it’s entirely self-administered in about an hour. Any adult can proctor it to a child 8 and older. And the online nature assures objectivity of the interpretation of results.”
Five days letter, parents receive a detailed report, showing how the child performed on each specific skill. “And we don’t sum up a child in a single number, either,” says Weinstein. “Rather, we explain how a child learns best and where you might expect struggles. Every single one of the skills matter, but the importance depends on the circumstances. A single number isn’t going to tell you why a child can learn long division with ease but struggles to memorize multiplication facts. But our explanation of skills definitely can.”
“Parents and teachers will be delighted to know that we don’t stop at the report. We actually give you concrete next steps. Whether it’s how to help memorize those multiplication facts, improve study habits, or find fun games or apps that will strengthen skills the child needs in school and beyond. And there’s no additional cost for that. As a parent I can fully appreciate that perhaps the only thing worse than not knowing why a child is struggling, is knowing why a child is struggling but not knowing how to help. Mindprint makes it easy for parents and teachers to find the right solutions to meet every child’s specific needs at a given point in time.”
The Mindprint Toolbox includes over 250 Mindprint exclusive learning strategies. They are written by Mindprint’s team of psychologists and learning specialists to help a child digest new material more easily or make homework time more efficient. In addition, the Mindprint team of experts has reviewed over 1,000 third party-apps, educational games, workbooks and websites that explain not only why a product is good, but why it’s good for certain types of learners but perhaps not others.
Weinstein knows many educators face questions from parents about how to avoid the summer slide or get ahead over the summer. She believes Mindprint is the ideal solution. “The child takes a one hour assessment and then we give you an abundance of choices based on your preferences: digital vs. non-digital, cognitive vs. academic, pirates vs. princesses. You tell us what you’re looking for and we let you know which products or strategies will work best. And it’s a whole lot less than a private tutor.”
“We only launched in January, but it’s absolutely amazing to me how many children we’ve already helped. This really can make such a huge difference for so many kids. My psychologist was right, it’s truly a gift. I’m glad I figured out a way to give it.”
Nancy Weinstein is the creator of Mindprint Learning, and runs the company alongside her husband in their Princeton, NJ, office. Read more about Mindprint Learning on the Teachers With Apps Media Page.