Cogmed is a working-memory training software programme usually used together with therapy for ADHD, dyslexia and other learning difficulties.
Working memory helps individuals remember instructions, solve problems, control impulses, and focus attention. Cogmed is designed to build up that active memory muscle in anyone who struggles to remember information or hold a task in mind.
Cogmed helps pupils with ADHD or learning difficulties to improve their school results by increasing their memory and applying this to their school work.
At Japari, we implement Cogmed as one of the 5-week classes we give our pupils every year to help with their working memory. With Cogmed, we have seen a difference in our pupils’ grades after completing the course, and it helps improve their memories drastically.
The Cogmed course is one of the methods we use in helping our pupils get back into a mainstream setting and take with them into their future academic careers.
How do I know if my child may be struggling with working memory?
You will know if your child is struggling with working memory if they:
- Cannot remember things
- Cannot start and finish tasks.
- Find transitioning between activities challenging.
- Cannot stay focused.
- Cannot ignore distractions.
- Forget instructions easily.
- Cannot plan the next steps.
- Find problem-solving skills challenging.
- Find note-taking challenging.
What is working memory?
Working memory is the ability to keep information in your mind for a short period of time, focusing on a task and remembering what to do next.
An excellent example of working memory is adding 5+5 in your head without writing it down. This may be tricky for pupils who have not got a good memory, but over time, like a muscle, if you work on it, it will start to improve.
Working memory allows you to carry out complex learning, comprehension, and reasoning tasks. It is necessary to stay focused on a task, blocking out any distractions that may affect their learning.
We use working memory in our daily life all the time. Remembering specific instructions from your boss, remembering what is on your grocery list or interacting with friends at a social gathering. These are all things that involve working memory.
Working memory helps us to:
- Learn new things
- Focus on brief instructions
- Participate in team sports.
- Follow a conversation.
- Meet deadlines.
- Get to work on time.
Small habits are learnt over the years and built on over time. These do not just happen but get better through practice. Therefore, the saying goes go that practice makes perfect.
Why choose Cogmed?
Cogmed is an easy-to-use training software programme that helps pupils increase their working memory while using new technology.
Cogmed does not aim to teach pupils new skills but rather to formulate or build on existing skills that need more help or reinforcement. This programme enables students to practice their working memory and improve.
We find that once pupils’ working memory has improved, they may find that acquiring new skills is much more doable, allowing them to excel in other aspects of school.
At Japari, we find that Cogmed opens many more doors to our pupils that would have previously been shut or harder to get to with standard teaching methods. Cogmed allows our students to build on their working memory and feel more confident to do new things once they have conquered this skill. Because of this, we have seen a vast improvement in our pupils’ behaviour and overall happiness.
How does Cogmed work?
Cogmed is a computer software programme with 40 online training sessions, each 25 minutes long. Pupils will complete five weekly sessions at school with teacher supervision.
In each session, the pupil completes a series of video-game-like exercises – for example – remembering and repeating the order in which a panel of lights or a field of asteroids is illuminated. The system responds to right and wrong answers. Correct choices trigger an increase in difficulty designed to push the limits of working memory. Incorrect choices cause the difficulty to decrease, so players don’t become frustrated. Exercises test both visual and verbal working memory. In each session, players complete approximately eight different activities.
After the exercises are completed, and pupils get to higher levels, they are rewarded with stars collected through the training days. These stars are added up at the end of the day and given to reward and motivate our pupils for training.
When training is completed after five weeks, pupils can enter a virtual world where they can create their designs. This is the fun part where our pupils can explore their imaginations. They can build roads, place buildings, trees, and islands together. This is a great way to expand their knowledge.
We have had many pupils produce unique world-like designs, and we have been blown away by their creations. Not only does Cogmed build their working memory, but it allows them to be creative in a virtual space, unrestricted by rules.
What are the benefits of Cogmed?
Cogmed is proven to train and improve pupils working memory. Eight out of ten pupils show measurable improvement.
Post-course evaluations have shown that many pupils perform better in school. Many parents and teachers have also reported improvements in social skills, taking the initiative, remembering instructions, and completing assignments more independently.
Pupils with ADHD have seen a huge improvement in their working memory after the Cogmed course and can focus and do better in a classroom setting.
How does Cogmed help pupils with ADHD?
What is ADHD?
ADHD(Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. This disorder affects attention. Pupils with ADHD are more easily distracted than other pupils who do not have ADHD. ADHD can make it harder to focus, listen well or wait. ADHD affects a pupil at school, at home, and with friends.
Cogmed aims to help pupils with their working memory. Including problem-solving, staying focused on a task and ignoring distractions.
These skills are hard to build as an ADHD pupil, but they can be learnt with working memory. Cogmed’s five-week training does improve memory and develops self-control for ADHD pupils; making them sit down for just 45 minutes allows them to focus and improve their working memory skills.
Japari teachers have seen a vast improvement in their pupils, especially those that struggle with ADHD and have reports to show for it.
To wrap up
Cogmed is an excellent way for our pupils to build on their working memory and take it with them into their academic future.
At Japari, we have been doing this five-week course for over two years now, and we have seen a difference in our pupils’ results, especially for those who struggle with learning difficulties. Cogmed is a great way to build up our pupils’ confidence to do basic tasks and move on to much harder things they may not have been able to do without Cogmed.
This five-week course has helped many children bridge the gap into mainstream school and aided them in their future academic paths.
We are incredibly proud of our pupils and their achievements with Cogmed and look forward to what will come.