About La-am
online educational games for children

Our goal

Self Learning using Computer (La-am) was founded in order to raise our children's knowledge level of different subjects (Hebrew, Math, and more).

We achieve this goal by using educational games which encourage self learning of the subjects.

In order to accomplish this, we combine the advantages of Distance Learning with an online e-learning environment.

You can think of our website as your private teacher, only you can get to the site at any time, you can stay as long as you wish, and it will be more interesting and fun!

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The importance of our website

Today, knowledge is the most precious asset we can give our children.

Schools are trying to educate our children, but not all schools are at the same level, and not all pupils understand the teacher.

We at "La-am" provide good, fun, online, educational games to every place on the globe, thus children will learn, and will want to know more.

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Our uniqueness

The La-am website is based on our experience of practical teaching, and on the theory and research of John Holt.

Our website started with games that Amir created for his son to help him learn about what interested him. Later, the rest of the team joined to polish the educational games and make them more child-friendly.

Then the educational games went online, and currently there are dozens of Hebrew and Jewish holidays, math, and English educational games.

The games guidelines haven't changed:

  • We want the children to really learn, and not only to pass a test; therefore we keep our educational games as free from mind distracters as possible, and encourage self learning.
  • Every child can progress in any subject as much as s/he wishes.
  • We have no advertisements.
  • Our games have no wrong way to play, no possible failure, and some of them have no exams at all. Thus we encourage self-confidence while learning.

We are aware of the problem that parents have with the lack of exams and grades, because there is no immediate feedback on the child's progress.

Please remember that in the beginning, when the child is starting to learn new things, s/he'll possibly fail exams. So testing at that point could hinder self-confidence building, and cause more damage than good.

Moreover, research shows that learning without the fear of making mistakes improves the quality of learning.

You are invited to learn more about our method on the page "learning without exams".

You are invited to learn more about the La-am website on the page "for parents".

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Our guidelines

Most children express interest in numbers and letters long before the first grade. At this stage, the teaching is mainly repetition of newly learnt concepts (numbers, letters, shapes, colors, etc.).

Our educational games for this phase provide the possibility to repeat exercises, at a pace suitable for the child, in order to aid in learning concepts.

Also, there are no rules or instructions for those games. The child discovers for her/himself what the buttons do. This way we encourage the child's natural curiosity, and grant each the satisfaction to master the game as well as the game's subject.

We know that in our online educational games, the child learns new material, and builds self confidence in the process. Exams may damper self confidence and the joy of learning. Therefore, the educational games at the La-am website do not enable failure, but rather encourage success: an important feeling for positive self image and self confidence of children.

Generally, the La-am website will include movies and games which will encourage self learning, while enhancing the joy from the learning itself (using the advantages of Distance Learning with an online e-learning environment). This combination will help the child to want to learn more, and to retain the knowledge.

You are most welcome to read more about us on the page "for parents".

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Our Staff

The La-am website team leaders:

Amir Dagan

The founder and leader of the site.

A father of 2 wonderful children.

Amir has vast experience in teaching, educating and programming.

On our team, Amir is mainly managing and programming.

Yaara Nir

Illustrator, graphic designer, and site builder, a Flash woman.

Likes lines and colors.

On our team, Yaara leads the graphic design.

Ayalla Dagan

Married to Amir and mother of the two wonderful children.

Ayalla has a BaRN degree, and many hobbies.

On our team, Ayalla writes original children stories and invents games.

The rest of the team works on these subjects and others, but we won't bother you with all the details.

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What is Self Learning?

Many educators study "Meaningful Learning". Such learning is usually self-driven, and what is learned, is retained for a long time (and not forgotten 5 minutes after the exam!).

From the research, we learn that other characteristics of "Meaningful Learning" are:

  • Learning which is motivated by interest (Inner-driven), and not for getting a prize or avoiding punishment (outer-driven learning). [Nicholls, 1989; Kaplan & Asor 2001].
  • Learning which is a result of dealing with meaningful problems from real life; from being an assistant in a real life situation. [Lave & Wenger, 1995; Gardner, 1991].
  • Learning in an environment which doesn't punish for mistakes, and even encourages mistakes; Learning in a positive emotional climate. [Rogers, 1973; Brandet, 2000].
  • Learning a topic which is suitable for the developmental phase we are in [Vigotski, 2003].

We also learn from the research that it is easier to achieve "Meaningful Learning" as a single student rather than as a member of a much bigger class.

Self Learning is characterized by inner-drive, self-interest, and learning subjects suitable for the individual's phase of development (because nobody forces one to learn).

At the La-am website we are focused on encouraging self-learning, and to match as many "Meaningful Learning" criteria as possible, such as relevance to life and no punishment for mistakes.

The fact that the user is a single student makes it easier to achieve "Meaningful Learning" with our educational games.

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About John Holt

John Holt was a teacher. Teaching was for him also learning - learning about kids, and learning about learning.

During 11 years of teaching, he collected many observation summaries, which made the basis for his first 2 books: "How children fail" and "How children learn". Those books quickly became best-sellers, and made John Holt one of the main influences on educational thought in the United States.

Those books include the basis for Holt's educational philosophy.

Holt thought that the main reason kids don't learn in school is fear:

Fear of giving the wrong answers, fear of being laughed at by teachers and other kids, fear of not being good enough.

He said this situation was worsened by the fact the children had to learn subjects that did not interest them.

After working in school for many years, John Holt was convinced that school cannot be changed, because the school-concept is basically wrong. Holt became one of the supporters and promoters of home-schooling.

He said it is not enough to get kids out of a school environment if the parents will just recreate school in their home (i.e. he supported the "un-schooling" method of home-schooling).

Holt believed there is no need to force kids to learn, that they will do it naturally, if only they will be free to pursue their personal interests, and be given enough resources from which to learn.

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Advantages of Distance Learning in an online e-learning environment

Distance learning is when the teacher and the student are not at the same place at the same time, i.e. the teacher is not in front of the student.

E-learning uses computer capabilities to enrich the learning experience.

Using an online website as a learning tool, such as the La-am website, combines the advantages of e-learning with distance learning.

Here are some of the advantages of these two learning methods in the online world:

  • Anywhere - the child can learn at home, when visiting family or friends, and anywhere else, as long as s/he can get online.
  • Anytime - learning is not dependent on when school is in session, therefore the child can learn anytime.
  • Whenever I want -there is no need to synchronize the lesson with a teacher's schedule.
  • Interesting- all means available via the computer can be used: such as multimedia, friendly visual interface and interactivity.
  • Fit to me- the games/lessons can be adapted to the current user.
  • Fun - exercises can be part of a game and not a boring list on paper.
  • Repetitive - The child can repeat any subject as much as s/he wants.
  • Length of the lesson is not relevant.
  • Always there - all subjects and lessons are available all the time - so one can always relearn something, refresh one's memory or explore a topic more thoroughly.

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You are invited to learn more about the La-am site by using the links on the side menu.

Enjoy learning!

The La-am team.