Justin Holladay wrote to me recently explaining he was just about to release his first app. It’s now gone live in the Apple Appstore and can be downloaded for free onto any iOS device. The app is a game based on using the scores when you roll five virtual dice to create BIDMAS calculations that equal a certain target number. I’ve had a play and think the app beautifully executes this simple idea and certainly makes practicing number skills more engaging and fun. Check it out at this link. Give it a try and I’m sure Justin would appreciate some feedback via some reviews
I looked into the feasibility of using iPads in the maths classroom last year and concluded that the time wasn’t quite right. The ‘planets were moving into alignment’, with the direction of technological development leading towards the iPad being a brilliant learning tool in the maths classroom, but they weren’t there yet.
The lack of Flash compatibility was a big issue as sites like MyMaths and Manga High use it. Also, QuickGraph is an excellent free graph plotting app but I couldn’t find an app that also handles dynamic geometry. If only Geogebra had an app for the iPad…
There is a Kickstarter project to develop the Geogebra app for the iPad. They need to raise $10 000 to develop it which will then be a free download from the App Store.
You can read more about the project on the superb Math and Multimedia blog here.
The Khan Academy has just released a free app for the iPad. For people unfamiliar with the Khan Academy, it is a website featuring over 2500 free educational videos about a variety of topics including maths, science, art and much more. Salman Khan, the site’s author delivered a superb TED talk last year explaining his vision. Many people who are trying out a Flipped Classroom teaching style are using the Khan videos for homeworks.
The app is good. It is easy to navigate to any video in the Khan collection and logging in with your Khan account details allows you to save your progress. Overall the user interface is well designed and intuitive.
I found out that all the pupils in one of my year 11 class own a iPod Touch. This has got me thinking about how I can use these wonderful devices to improve the learning of my pupils. When surfing the web one night I stumbled across a graph plotting app called Quick Graph.
First impressions are very good and the app has lots of five star reviews. You can stick to plotting straight line or quadratic graphs if you like but it does also have the functionality of plotting in 3D too. The interface is very well designed making the app much easier to use than any graphic calculator I have ever seen.
I’m going to experiment using this app to teach various graph topics this year, letting pupils use this on their iPod Touch rather than using a graphic calculator. Homeworks using the app could also be an option which certainly wouldn’t be available with a class set of graphic calculators. I hope the pupils will find this much more engaging than a low resolution black and white graphic calculator and look forward to seeing their faces when I tell them to get their iPod Touch out in my lesson!