Cignition’s Summer Learning Effort for 2017

Cignition’s research shows that students not only enjoy playing but make significant gains in their math knowledge when playing Fog Stone Isle, an online fantasy world that teaches the difficult math concepts through crafting activities. And for students playing this summer, they understand that they’re competing for their attention, so will be including extra incentives to play, including an award of five Nintendo Switch game consoles to the most improved players.

Cignition summer learning program also encourages teachers to administer end-of-year pretests in May/June and beginning-of-year post-tests at the start of the new school year, embedding an efficacy study for all interested participants. Ideally, they would like participating and non-participating classrooms to administer the same pre and post tests, in order to be able to better tease out the source of measured gains. Teachers can utilize the program for free and, upon registration, can enroll to participate in the summer efficacy study at:

Fog Stone Isle was created by neuroscientists, teachers, and game designers. As players craft their world, they grapple with the mathematics – learning the underlying concepts and building mastery. The system records every game move, enabling the measurement of cognitive abilities as well as mathematical understanding and skill. Those measurements, in turn, feed a machine learning engine which constantly adapts to every player and enables ongoing product improvement.

Given the importance and challenge of keeping kids engaged with a summer math intervention, Fog Stone Isle may work well for a number of reasons:

Rather than superficially reviewing an entire year of mathematics curriculum, it focuses on the most important mathematical concepts that are gateways to future learning. Procedural fluency is solidified by exercising those concepts and topics, so students are primed and ready to move forward in mathematics from the very beginning of the school year.

It provides an environment in which mathematics is intrinsic to crafting activities that resemble real-world application of mathematical understanding.

It allows students great creative freedom in crafting their own unique world.

The world kids are crafting grows throughout the summer – kids can continuously observe the fruits of their labor.

Detailed measurements of progress in mathematical understanding and fluency are shared with students, parents, prior-year-teachers and following-year-teachers.

Detailed adaptation and scaffolding enable students across a wide spectrum of abilities (mathematical and cognitive) to progress and succeed.

Cignition will also be working with teachers that are interested in participating in a comprehensive nationwide efficacy study, gauging the overall success of the program.

To learn more visit:

[Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on Digital Promise’s site here.]


[1] White, W. (1906). Reviews before and after vacation. American Education, 185-188.

[2] (by Leah Shafer, June 24, 2016)

[3] Duffet, A., Johnson, J., Farkas, S., King, S., & Ott, A. (2004). All work and no play? Listening to what kids and parents really want from Out of School Time. Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation

[4] Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay, and Greathouse, “The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review”, Review of Educational Research, Fall 1996, no 3, pp 227-268

[5] National Summer Learning Association (NSLA)

[6] Digital Promise: How School Districts Work to Improve Summer Learning with Ed-Tech Programs

and Digital Promise: Rapid Cycle Pilots: Summer Ed-Tech Programs

About the Author:

Mike Cohen is the CEO and Founder of Cignition. Karen Cator is President & CEO of Digital Promise. You can follow her on Twitter at @kcator.