Monday, February 25, 2013

Math Educational Apps for the iPad

By Savannah Hill, RME Professional Development Coordinator

Apple iPads have taken the US by storm. One of the major markets they push for is education. If you are new or unfamiliar to this technology, here are some additional resources to help you get started.

You may ask, "Is it really a valuable tool for me to use in my class?" There have been several research studies done on this topic, but here are a couple.
  • In a study done by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in California showed that students using iPads saw their math test scores increase 20% in one year compared to students using traditional textbooks (Bonnington, 2012).
  • A study centered on Motion Math has shown that the iPad can help with fundamental math skills. Fifth graders who regularly played the game for 20 minutes per day over a five-day period increased their test scores by 15 percent on average (Riconscente, 2011). Click here for the final report.
During the lunch hour at the RME Conference, we explored some mathematics educational apps for the iPad and had many requests for more information about these. Here is a little more information about them!

  • Motion Math: Hungry Fish (Free version) Students can practice mental addition and subtraction with this app. The fish are hungry for numbers. Students can make sums by pinching two numbers together - instant addition! Keep feeding the fish to win a level and unlock new colors and fins. Also check out Motion Math: Wings - This game is for children ages 4 and up to develop a conceptual understanding for multiplication. Students play by tilting your bird to the bigger number. Students will master multiplication in 6 different visual forms: rows of dots, clusters of dots, groups of dots, a grid, a labeled grid, and symbols.
  • MathBoard (Free version) MathBoard is a highly configurable math app for students in kindergarten through elementary school, addressing simple addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. More than just standard drills, MathBoard encourages students to actually solve problems, and not just guess at answers. This is done by providing multiple answer styles, as well as scratchboard area where problems can be worked by hand.
  • Chicken Coop Fraction Game In this hilarious educational game you will be shown a fraction and your job is estimate the decimal equivalent by placing a nest on a number line. Our hens are mathematical experts and they will fire their eggs towards the correct answer. If your estimate is good the eggs will be caught in the nest but if you’re too far out it all gets very messy.
  • Teach Me 2nd Grade ($1.99) This app keeps children engaged with a unique reward system where children earn coins by playing learning games at the school. The simple and intuitive user interface is designed to be child friendly, which allows children to play with help from the teacher. An animated teacher gives verbal instructions and feedback to encourage the child to learn and succeed! In addition, the learning screens are colorful, fun and rotate between six different subjects so children don't get bored.
For a table of all of the available apps to use for mathematics education, visit TCEA's iPad List and click the mathematics tab. This list is organized into concepts and gives the price of the app with a description.

Bonnington, C. (2012, January 23). iPad a solid education tool, study reports. CNN Tech. Retrieved from 
Riconscente, M. (2011) Mobile learning game improves 5th graders' fraction knowledge and attitudes. Los Angeles: GameDesk Institute.

1 comment:

  1. I've written about the 20% gain in math study. Read about it here:

    I think their research methodology is somewhat suspect and their results are a bit inflated.

    I've certainly seen some excellent applications for the iPad that I suspect could improve learning outcomes for students, and this application described may even be one of them, but I don't think that's what their research shows.


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