January 13, 2011

IPad in the Math World

Working with the Ipad over the last couple of weeks has been an experience not only enjoyed by myself, but better yet, by my students. When I initially received the Ipads, I first thought how can I use it to work with many of my lessons. In the first couple of weeks, I found myself struggling to find specific applications that would work with my everyday lessons. Unfortunately, I found that many of the applications out there tend to focus more on the lower grades, and not so much on the upper grades. In the beginning this was great because it allowed me to work more with my lower level students. However, as time went on, my other students began to feel left out. I then realized that some of the applications could also be used with my upper level students as well.


For example, I have been using an application MathBoard for a while now. Many of my students enjoy this application for many reasons. One in particular is that it allows them to work at their own pace. I use this for my lower level students more, because part of the application allows them to go back to any specific question that the student might of gotten wrong and it actually shows them a step-by-step process of how to answer it correctly with out having to ask me. I am no way implying that it is a replacement for myself, however, when you are working in a class of 29 students, sometimes I am not able to accommodate the student at that time, so it allows them to work on their own and to try and see why they got the wrong answer. I have also found that when students figure things out on their own, they tend to remember what they had learned better.


As for my upper level students, I have been using an application called Math Tutor. In this application, it covers more skills, such as fractions, decimals, and integers, rather than basic math skills. I have found that my students especially like it when they are timed. This application works well, because it challenges my students, while it also tracks their scores over a time period into a line graph, showing their progress.


My goal is to eventually start utilizing my IPads to give weekly quizzes or even tests, which will allow me to better assess my students, not only quicker, but it will also give me more time to work with my students on specific skills that they are lacking in, as some of my colleagues have already done so. As for myself, I guess I have been more focused on the applications, rather than, having every student use it every week. I look forward to using my IPad to its fullest potential as these coming weeks.

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