In the last couple weeks, the media has showcased some less than inspiring stories about technology (especially tablets). However, I think we can agree that the major issue is not the technology itself, but rather the lack of planning in how they will be used. ST Math provides a solution by engaging students in work that is both productive and challenging. When using ST Math, administrators and teachers can be assured that students will be engaged in challenging, deep mathematical learning while on tablet devices.
As schools and districts increasingly purchase tablets as the technology solution for their classrooms, many administrators are asking, “What math curricular software should I put on these devices to increase student learning and achievement?”
Many math apps and websites are free or inexpensive to use on tablets. The lack of cost is often appealing, but in this case you get what you pay for. When making these decisions, school leaders need to make sure they are looking at quality instructional materials. When a school leader is thinking about using a math app at their school, they should ask the following questions:
Have these materials been proven through research?
Do they allow accessibility to data?
Are they able to adapt to the student’s learning needs?
Do they have tools to support teachers?
Providing a mix of free resources may seem like it would empower schools through the flexibility and breadth of content. But, in actuality this jumble of mixed math resources is incoherent and does not provide a focused sequence for learning. Most apps that are deemed educational are really developed for the consumer, without the research to support their approach. Educators should be cautious of using apps or websites deemed as instructional software when educational research was not used in their development and their efficacy has not been proven post launch. Educators can also only rarely access actionable data through these apps and websites because they were not built specifically for a school setting. The actionable data that ST Math provides is accessible not only on tablets, but on other devices as well, allowing both teachers and administrators to access the data they need when they need it.
ST Math is an answer to the question of how to enhance student learning and cognitive growth through the use of tablets. It was developed using neuroscience research on learning, specifically on immediate feedback, motivation, and mistake making, and the efficacy of the program has been proven across the country with thousands of students. ST Math is web-based and platform-agnostic. In addition, the touch version was reengineered to incorporate the important aspects of touch technology that make the learning experience even more interactive, hands-on and powerful for students.
Dana Luther was Associate Product Manager at MIND Research Institute and a former high school math teacher.