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Original In order to let children easily control the language, mathematics, and English, Youdao made a “good writing”


Our generation can be said to have witnessed the entire process of “stationery digitization”.

From the electronic dictionaries and point-reading machines at the beginning of the century, to the electronic paper, smart work lights, wrong-question printers, educational robots and even desktop vacuum cleaners that we introduced in another article, it seems that new teaching technology products appear every day. In front of the public.

▲ Picture from: Douyin @阿冠冠

But it is obvious that not any innovation can automatically improve learning efficiency as long as it is named “technology”. On the contrary, as the ridicule video created by Douyin creator @阿冠冠 is ironic, using smart speakers to teach stroke order, using smart watches to take pictures and literacy, or using a desktop vacuum cleaner to clean up eraser and other “high-tech” put into use is not only Did not improve the quality of learning, but made the process of doing the questions become cumbersome and cumbersome. It’s no wonder why people ridicule that this is “the lowest score in the most complicated test.”

The key here is “focus.” Today’s psychological research believes that a person’s working memory can only hold 3 to 5 pieces of information at the same time. For the target group of “technical stationery”, that is, students and children, the curiosity that will be stimulated by external interference at any time will even further Squeeze “available memory” and reduce their multitasking capabilities.

In this way, when constantly switching tools, the overflow of working memory may cause the most important learning information to be cleared out by the brain, making learning more effective. Thus, we can draw a simple conclusion: In terms of learning, tools are not expensive.

The ideal situation should be this: With only one handy tool, most of the needs in the learning process can be met. NetEase Youdao, who has many years of experience in the field of intelligent education, naturally understands this principle. They recently designed Youdao children’s dictionary pen for children aged 3-12. Its goal is to become the omnipotent intelligent “Swiss Army Knife”.

Technology for users

There is indeed a common problem with smart education products: Although the objects they serve are students and children functionally, in the final analysis, it is parents who buy these products. As a result, many manufacturers just package their products as “educational hardware” to attract parents to buy, and never care what the children who really use them think. In fact, many expensive educational hardware even use basic use. It’s hard to guarantee, and its roughness is staggering.

However, as an Internet company in essence, Youdao is not satisfied with this kind of universal ease, but is determined to create a product that is truly designed for children.

In fact, the establishment of Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen already reflects the team’s stance on the “end user” experience.

Prior to this, Youdao had already launched a third-generation dictionary pen product. In reviewing a check-in activity, the team found that many relatively young children are also using dictionary pens to study and check-in seriously every day, but the product is not friendly enough for them after all: for example, the weight is too heavy, and the child can’t help holding it a little Hard work; or the learning style is too monotonous, children will be easily distracted, and so on.

“A child has worked so hard, why can’t our team force ourselves to polish products that are more comfortable and more usable for children?” In an interview, the product manager of Youdao explained the original intention of developing children’s dictionary pens. .

So after 10 months of intensive research and development, what appeared in front of us was such a dictionary pen: Compared with Youdao Dictionary Pen 3, its shape is more rounded and full, and the large-scale use of white also makes it It adds a bit of liveliness; in order to allow children to better hold, the pen barrel of the children’s dictionary pen has also been shortened, and the weight has been reduced from 72 grams in the third generation to 57 grams. This is a highly integrated dictionary pen that affects the whole body. For high-speed products, this almost means a complete reshaping, and the screen, battery, PCB and even software algorithms have to be redesigned.

Since it is designed for children, “cute” is naturally indispensable. The first time you turn it on, you can see Matti, the little monkey with big eyes gurgling with the surrounding sparkles. As a learning partner, it will appear to guide or encourage children from time to time in the subsequent learning process. The system menu has also changed from the card-like design of the previous generation products to hand-drawn cartoon icons accompanied by animation effects. The goal of all these “brisk” designs is of course to attract children’s attention and provide an opportunity for them to fall in love with learning.

There is no need to worry that children will not learn to use it—the basic function of Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen, “Line Recognition”, is logically the same as using oily strokes. As long as you stroke the target paragraph a little harder, the recognition result will appear. It is fully in line with the intuitive habits we cultivated in learning. The extremely low threshold for use makes it the same as changing a pen when used by children or adults.

In addition, considering that many parents cannot accompany their children to study for a long time and children are not so familiar with touch screen operations, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen pays more attention to the goal of “accompanied learning” when developing it. For example, it has added a large number of voice interactions, AI voice assistant, audio explanation of new words and new words, visual interactive point reading picture books, Oracle game cards and other modules so that children can rely on dictionary pens to learn knowledge even if they are not accompanied by adults. In this way, children will be more focused on learning, and parents will be able to reduce the burden.

Learning to help, go further

While tending to be “cute” as a whole, NetEase Youdao children’s dictionary pens have not lost their “professional skills”, and they are a bit unambiguous in terms of helping learning.

Take the basic scanning function as an example, Youdao has not hesitated to invest a huge amount of software and hardware resources in the product. The result is the speed and accuracy of Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen in the actual evaluation. Sex is impressive. Even if the speed is increased repeatedly, it only takes less than a second to scan a line of words in the end, the dictionary pen can still easily and accurately identify the content on the paper, and there are very few errors at such a high speed.

The reason why smartwatch or mobile phone word recognition is criticized is that it takes too much time to start the program-photograph-recognition process, which will undoubtedly interrupt thinking and even make people forget for a while. What was originally going to be done.

In contrast, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen is always on “standby” after it is turned on, and you can pick it up at any time and quickly scan to get the scan results in real time. Its “non-interrupted” feature allows users to always be immersed in a state of concentration. .

For children who are in a critical period of language learning, pronunciation may be equally important. For this reason, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen has built-in pure English and American pronunciations to choose from, and even has a word and sentence scoring function that can be used offline. If there is a pronunciation error during the follow-up reading, the dictionary pen will be marked as red. Wrong phonetic transcription for correction.

In addition, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen is also equipped with multiple versions of primary school English textbook listening content including Beijing Normal University Press and Chongqing University Press, so that children can learn where to hear, so as to be more stable. Lay a good pronunciation foundation. Don’t forget that, as a smart device, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen will be able to get more dictionaries, picture books and listening materials through OTA push upgrades in the future to further enrich its content.

Long-standing habits may lead people to believe that this type of product is only suitable for English learning. But as mentioned above, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen is more like a “Swiss Army Knife” in the field of learning, which means that it can still show its talents in other subjects.

The “Math Correction” function in the menu is specially designed for mathematics. It supports four arithmetic, division with remainder, unit conversion and even simple equation solving and many other types of questions, basically covering elementary school mathematics knowledge points except geometry problems. Of course, since it is called “correction”, it means that it will not directly give the answer, but will tell you if you have done it right after making the answer.

If you make a mistake, the dictionary pen will give a detailed analysis of the wrong question and the idea of ​​solving the problem, so as to cultivate students’ independent problem-solving ability, instead of using the dictionary pen as a problem-making machine instead of thinking about yourself.

As for the cultivation of language ability, naturally it has not fallen behind. When scanning a single word, the dictionary pen will give the pronunciation and stroke order of the word. When encountering a new word, it can save a lot of time for searching the dictionary.

What is more worth mentioning is the appreciation of ancient poems. For example, when scanning the sentence “soft grass and pingsha are new to the rain, light sand walks the road without dust”, the dictionary pen will point out that it comes from Su Shi’s “Huanxisha”, and then give the full text of the poem, annotations, translations, appreciation and equal poetry life Specific information helps children to understand the ties of ancient poetry from the outside to the inside, and cultivate a comprehensive interest in Chinese.

In addition, the “accompanied learning” emphasized by Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen can be said to be relevant: the friendly shape design and the cute interaction are self-evident, it also has a rich interactive reading content built-in, even if the parents are not around, the children can Use a dictionary pen to independently read picture books and graded reading materials, watch original animations, and use game cards to learn more Chinese characters and English words; at the same time, with the help of AI voice assistants, children can look up words, translate sentences and even ask about weather conditions by speaking , I also exercised my language skills unconsciously. Perhaps just as important is that this companionship will continue to evolve. In the future, Youdao Children’s Dictionary Pen will be upgraded through OTA to add modules such as “Little Elephant Literacy”, “Reading English Word Books”, and “Interactive Pointing Reading Globe” so that children can learn about the great world with a pen.

to sum up

We do not hope that technological progress has only brought us pieces of complex and cold tools, especially for children who need care all the time. Today’s children are indeed not the first generation to be exposed to educational technology products, but they may be regarded as the first “voice aboriginals” to try AI voice interaction. With the blessing of AI and Internet technology, smart education hardware will become more efficient and friendly, and can accompany children through their entire learning career through continuous upgrades.