Technology has always provided a faster and more efficient way to teach children new skills.
With the growing interest in tablets, educators and parents everywhere are excited to see just how to use this device in an educational capacity.
One company, Motion Math, is excited by the tactile and visual ways that iPads can help conceptualize abstract mathematical concepts for kids for four-12 years old.
The two-year old company, founded by Gabriel Adauto and Jacob Klein as a master’s project at Stanford, uses the touch screen and accelerometer to help children get more hands-on feel to the often dreaded math topics.
I caught up with Klein to see just what areas of math the tablet lends itself to and what his company could add on to further its elementary education subjects.
“There has always been a great need for better education tools,” Klein explained. “And when we saw parts of the iPad that we could use, such as the accelerometer (which knows when you move the device side to side or front to back), touch screen, camera and compass, we started playing with elements kids have a hard time grasping – like fractions and the number line.”
Motion Math is currently aiming on helping younger children with beginner math skills, but have some levels of the fractions and multiplication games that could challenge the average adult so there is room for co-play.
The company is using a freemium model where the apps are free to use and then you can buy additional packages to increase the difficulty as children improve.
“We want to give kids a better number sense,” Klein stated. “ So we will mature with our base and add more mathematical levels and then start on a suite for science skills.”
With more than 600,000 downloads and more than 50% of them returning as monthly active users, Motion Math is getting great feedback from its consumers to build off of.
Recently, a USC Professor, Michelle Riconscente studied whether students were actually absorbing the lessons via iPad and found that 5th graders’ fractions test scores improved 15% after playing Motion Math, for 20 minutes over 5 days. This was a significant increase compared to the control group.
Students' also reported an improved attitude and confidence towards an average of 10%.
“The hardware is very exciting since keyboard and mouse was challenging with the younger kids to play with,” Klein said. “And while there are some concerns that there is a monetary barrier to get these tablets, we think that the driving success of these devices as tools will force the industry to make them more attainable for parents and schools.”