Hi, it’s Misha Feigenson and Frederick Won Park, founders of Thinking Cap Innovations. We first met in 2018 in Cambridge, MA, where Misha’s kids went to school and Fred was a teacher/instructional coach.
One rainy afternoon, we were talking about the role of technology in math education. We wondered why so many students still struggle with basic math skills despite a multitude of software programs designed to help them. Even with advances in interactive technology, we realized that many of these computer-based programs entertained more than they educated. While fancy graphics and arcade like games can be powerful tools to encourage interest, they didn’t necessary nurture a child’s ability to think independently. In fact, instead of giving time to make mental connections of an important idea, the programs immediately distracted them to another visually over-stimulating activity. In short, students were watching passively more than they were thinking actively. ...
That was the beginning of Thinking Cap Math (which later became Thinking Cap Innovations.) We set out to create a learning activity that respects a child’s natural imagination and builds their ability to think independently. A place where a student can talk about math in way that is natural, fun, and free from pencil, paper and screen. We want to create an intimate space where children can think and reason out their solutions. With all the computers, tablets, and phones present not only in the classroom but society as well, we want a place for children to unplug and listen. Most importantly, we want children to connect with the most powerful and perhaps most human experience of all – listening to a story.
In September 2019 we released our first math tutoring skill for Amazon Alexa, Thinking Cap Math, which helps kindergarteners and elementary school students to build mental math fluency through engaging activities and fun stories. Once we understood the effectiveness of the voice technology in education, we decided to move beyond math. In January 2020 we released our Spanish learning Alexa skill, Thinking Cap Spanish, which combines storytelling and learning of conversational Spanish language, and this combination is quite fun! We hope you like these skills and find them as helpful for your children as we have for our own:
Listen, Imagine, and Learn!