Minnesota nonprofit’s free app helps kids learn from home

If it’s wasn’t hard enough, parents had a list of new challenges in 2020. One of the toughest: teaching and tutoring during distance learning.

A Minnesota-based company that specializes in unique and technologically advanced ways of teaching has a new free app called Flash Doodle to help our youngest learners using augmented reality.

“We needed something now for families that are struggling at home with zero to 5-year-olds,” Deb Mallin, founder of the nonprofit Literacy Matters, said.

Mallin and Literacy Matters are the ones behind the app and say it can help families with children who have dyslexia, ADHD and other disabilities.

Loosely based on the nonprofit’s already successful program Mighty Doodle, kids use the app’s augmented reality function to find a little cartoon character wherever they’re learning, and it helps them sound out words.

“Littles, really littles, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds through 8-year-olds — we have older children who didn’t always know that some of these sounds and letters go together,” Mallin added about the children who have benefited from the app.

Mighty Doodle is already in 10 schools across the state. Another seven are waiting to roll it out, and it could be in two of Minnesota’s biggest school districts soon.

For Mallin, it’s her passion to create interactive and effective ways for kids to learn — she says she dreams of new ways all the time. The rollout of the app had nothing to do with the pandemic or the spike in kids learning from home, but during these times, she says she’s happy to offer a new option for families who may need a little boost to help them through.