Italian Economist’s Innovative Approach to Learn Math – L’Italo-AmericanoValentinaD
Italian Economist’s Innovative Approach to Learn Math – L’Italo-Americano
Articolo scritto da: VALERIO VIALE, pubblicato in data: 18 Novembre 2016 su L’Italo-Americano.
Three years ago, Chiara Burberi – Milan-born-and-raised economist with a past in finance consulting – decided to open a new chapter in her life, by founding Redooc.com.
This revolutionizing website trains your brain in math and sciences, like a gym does with your muscles.
Redooc, through a successful use of innovative gaming and technology, stimulates an health dose of competition among kids of different age ranges.
Burberi’s hope is that international statistics will soon stop telling us that Italian boys and, particularly, girls are behind their peers from other countries, that are developing faster than ever.
We from L’Italo-Americano share Chiara’s same wish to see next generations of Italians thrive in scientific subjects, because without scientific progress there is no future.
Here’s the interview to Chiara Burberi for L’Italo-Americano
Please, introduce yourself. What’s your cultural background?
I’m Chiara Burberi and, three years ago, I founded Redooc.com, a digital platform for the scientific disciplines.
My mom used to say of me, that I was born, raised and “mis-educated” in Milan, Italy. I graduated cum laude in Economics from Bocconi University, and then taught there for a while.
Afterwards, I went on working as a strategic consultant for McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm. Then, another leap from consultant to manager, holding several positions in Italy and Europe in Unicredit, Italian global banking and financial services company.
How did you come up with the idea behind Redooc?
I was fed up with all the international statistics, underlining that Italian boys, and even more so girls, are below average in the scientific subjects, especially mathematics.
What really embittered me was hearing how everybody pointed at those data, without advancing any solution.
Putting together my passion for education and my entrepreneurship, I decided to embark into this endeavor, that aims to teach boys and girls the essential scientific competences for their future careers.
Let’s not forget that math is fundamental to grow up as informed citizens, able to make mature choices, as far as investments, or simply to take out a mortgage.
Redooc is a digital portal – accessible via PC, smartphone and tablet – that speaks to the younger population by making use of the latest technologies, but also videos employing natural language and not abstract concepts. Obviously, the videos cater to the different ages: the ones for middle school students feature a lot of animation, while in the case of high school, they are more adult-oriented.
An essential part of our mission is answer the question: Why math? Why people invented it?
Just to give an example, Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-83) invented his famous diagram, simply to explain by correspondence complex concepts to a German Princess.
Besides that, Redooc offers a gradual form of learning, from the simplest to the most difficult, also employing charts and passages of status or levels, obtained through the accumulation of tokens, not much dissimilarly from certain video games.
Instead of just asking boys and girls to solve an equation, we ask them to convert a sentence in an equation, thus highlighting how everything responds to logic.
Whenever Redooc is employed in schools, it makes teachers’ lives a lot easier, by offering them data and results, useful to understand their students’ weaknesses and strengths, and enabling them to help every single student in a personalized way. Teachers are also aided in adjusting their didactic to the single class.
Teachers have found creative ways to employ an health dose of competition among their students. The first ones, for example, grant a note of excuse to the latter, each time they cumulate a certain amount of tokens, by solving their math exercises.
Moreover, teachers use Redooc’s tokens as incentives to award boys and girls with a plus on their grades, or so.
How does Redooc help boys and girls digest math more easily?
In Italy, we are facing a very positive trend, with the Minister of Public Education, who never before has been so attentive to promote scientific formation as well as favoring digitalization in our country.
Two years ago, the Ministry proclaimed the “Digital School” Plan, through which Italian schools are incentivized to update their didactics.
We offer 10,000 math exercises, completed with their solutions, about a thousand videos, covering the full curricula of middle school and high school. We’re now expanding into the first year of universities’ curriculum, as well as elementary school.
We always try to put ourselves in the shoes of boys and girls, who might not be particularly gifted at math.
I like to compare math to sport. Everyone can learn it, and the more you work hard for it, the more you have fun. That’s our main philosophy and mission.
For example, to explain proportions and derivatives, we use music, trying to make it as much entertaining as possible.
Italy is facing an emergency, in terms of students unwilling to do their homework. Redooc offers a valid solution, by revitalizing the atmosphere in class and teaching through games and quizzes.
Recently, we’ve been also engaging in bridging the gap between parents, especially moms, and their children, enabling the first to better follow the latter.