As a kid with dyslexia, Kim Halliday dropped out of school when he was 15, only semi-literate. It was only when he got a job in the Merchant Navy that he devoted himself to learning, devising a system of flashcards that helped him where years of schooling didn't. Now, he is taking the system that helped him learn and putting it into an interactive app called Flip Flash Cards, which will be trialled in Aussie classrooms this year.
Flashcards are a time-honoured way of learning everything from mathematics to a new language, one which most of us have likely used at some point in our education. For Halliday, it was this technique that helped him study to become a qualified Engineering Officer, even when he had been known as "the dumbest kid in the room" throughout his years of early education. “I have dyslexia and learning was a constant struggle. When I left school at 15, my future wasn’t looking too bright. I drifted in and out of labouring jobs, struggling to find my place in the world.”
Of course Flip Flash Cards is not the first mobile flashcard app available, and nor will it be the last, but it's clear that a lot of thought — as well as Halliday's own firsthand experience of being a kid with learning difficulties — has gone into the design of this app. "Flip Flash Cards is based on the exact results-driven techniques that I used to follow my dreams,” says Kim.
The aim of the app is to provide a personalised and interactive flashcard experience for each student, letting them add their own images, sounds, videos and text — along with a range of necessary mathematical and scientific symbols. While its test within the Australian education system will involve early learning educators, the app is designed to be used by students of all ages — all the way up to university age and even beyond.