Friday, August 10, 2012
Canadian-based Interactive Elementary recently released two new resources for Apple's iPad while also adding features to its flagship educational application, Middle School Math HD.
Jacob's Angle, an iBook, tells the story of a grade school shot put competition while relating basic geometry concepts.
“Math and mathematical language can seem very inaccessible to many students,” explains Dave Brown, an Ontario teacher who doubles as the company's president. “Literature opens doors. Through connecting mathematics with literature, students use their background knowledge, make connections, predict and infer. Literature stimulates discussion, creativity, and innovation. As math teachers, we need to recognize the deep connection between storytelling and learning.”
Developed using Apple's iBooks Author software, Jacob's Angle includes Keynote slideshows, animations, and several reading comprehension widgets, which allow students to monitor their understanding as they read. The iBook is geared for students aged 9-12.
While Jacob's Angle premiers on iBooks for $2.99, Interactive Elementary's other new offering, Probability Tools, will debut at $0.99.
"Probability Tools is a very simple tool, but we feel it's a resource that teachers will find indispensable,” explains Brown, referring to the application that provides students with virtual manipulatives like coins, dice, and spinners.
Although he suggests schools will benefit from the savings on some reoccurring expenses due to their adoption of his company's product, he asserts the application is more than just another means for schools to save money through tablet-based learning.
“The app really augments the learning experience because it allows students more flexibility in how they interact with materials that have always been static. There's definitely a dynamic component to this resource.”
Interactive Elementary also announced a free update to Middle School Math HD. Added to the application are student assessment tools, a report card feature, and instructional videos to complement each of the eight activities included in the bundle.
The app, which emphasizes game-playing and skill development for children aged 11-14, debuted on Apple's' App Store last June. Embraced by teachers around the world, it includes activities related to basic algebra, data management, and coordinate geometry.
Brown says he and his development team strived to create a product that not only followed from curriculum standards but also served to liberate teachers from tedious tasks like preparing and marking the drill work.
"North American schools have entered into a major period of transition. Technology is being infused everywhere you look. Of course, tablets are beginning to play a prominent role in this movement. What we offer is just one piece of the broader puzzle. We aim to build resources that effectively replace the worksheet while providing students with immediate feedback on their understandings."