What is Lyfta?
The Lyfta Team
Children’s learning, and the ability to apply that learning to the real world, can be positively affected by emotional experience. Having real world experiences that trigger emotions can help children be more invested in the learning, allowing for memorable and meaningful learning to take place. Yet, children are often taught about issues that are far removed from their own lived experience. How can they be expected to comprehend things that they have never experienced or cannot imagine?
Lyfta invites children to become global explorers through immersive experiences and engaging human stories. Using desktops, tablets or VR headsets, students use 360 interactive stories, short documentary films, VR, AR and rich media articles to learn about the experiences of others. All media is short-form and the variety and of media used to convey information keeps the experiences interesting for children.
The rich new-media experiences are complemented by easy to use lesson plans that delve into numerous topics and learning objectives in the national curriculum. Lyfta’s short online assessments make it easy to get real impact data after each class – where teachers can see clear before and after results.
Pupils explore the personal homes and workplaces of fascinating people from around the world. In each space they can click on a variety of rich new-media content to learn about particular themes, such as gender equality, democracy, sustainability, international development and many more. They can click on people, bring them to life and get to know them through powerful short documentary films.
A key factor is that the children are actively exploring the interactive environments from the outset – the experience is more akin to a game where they make their own choices, than a more traditional, passive learning experiences.
For maximum effect, teachers can introduce a lesson on a main screen in the classroom, then invite the students to explore using their own devices. However, this will not always be possible in schools where access to devices are limited. Conversely, when a whole class of children explores rich media on the internet there can be issues with bandwidth. Lyfta have therefore made some of the products downloadable to enable schools to run the programme without bandwidth/streaming issues.
Lyfta’s work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Guardian and BBC World News. Lyfta were recently invited to conduct a study to help a teacher who wanted to address the racist and prejudiced comments she'd witnessed in her classroom at a school in Essex, UK. They conducted an attitude assessment with a class of 30 Year 8 students. Pre-use of Lyfta the students expected to only have common ground with those who looked similar to themselves. Post-use of Lyfta and a perspective-taking diary exercise, the students perceived common ground they shared with people increased significantly with others from different backgrounds than their own to the extent that they felt they had most in common with someone of an entirely different ethnicity.