Tablet Computing Finds Its Perfect Match in MIND Research Institute's ST Math Touch Virtual Manipulative Courseware Launched at Florida Educational Technology Conference
Orlando, FL, Jan 23, 2012 The non-profit education researcher MIND Research Institute announced that it will be launching its new ST Math® Touch at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC), taking place Jan. 23-26 in Orlando, Fla. ST Math K-5 web based software games have been enhanced by changes that exploit the properties of touch-screen mobile devices and feature interactive animations that show students how math works. The year-long suites of grade-leveled games are designed to cover virtually all math standards by introducing concepts visually, initially without symbols or text. Students experience how math works by interacting with virtual manipulatives to solve math problems. The ST Math® K-5 software has been shown to roughly double math score annual growth, particularly in schools with historically low achievement levels. ST Math Touch can be played on the major tablet operating systems including iPads, Android and Microsoft. It provides a multi-sensory experience for students with natural gesture-based computing, allowing students to make deeper neural connections in mathematics. Hands-on demonstrations of ST Math Touch will be offered in MIND’s FETC booth #401.
“With the explosion of touch-screen mobile devices today, it’s the ideal time to leverage their capabilities in the classroom, creating a new industry benchmark for student interactivity with mathematics,” said Andrew R. Coulson, Education Division president, MIND Research Institute. “Beyond the initial excitement about tablets and going mobile, you have to ask do they fundamentally improve the student learning experience. The visual approach MIND has been pioneering is a perfect match for touch screens, and provides a game-changing use of manipulatives, guided and made rigorous through software, through all of elementary school math. In this way students literally see how the math works, and learn new concepts by direct experience, before dealing with math’s abstract representations.”
ST Math Touch takes the form of interactive math puzzles. The “ST” stands for spatial- temporal, taken from reasoning in space and in time. Thinking ahead over multiple steps with added insight from animation improves understanding and retention. With ST Math Touch, control that has previously been one-step removed through a mouse-and-pointer is now direct, intuitive, and gesture-controlled. Students now literally manipulate the on screen manipulatives directly with their fingers, and then see how the math works as the computer animates these objects. This interactivity also helps raise engagement and concept retention. In comparison to MIND’s software which uses mouse connectivity, the new format provides students with additional multi-sensory input using touch. User actions previously impossible due to “mouse fatigue” are now easy and natural. As a web-based system, ST Math Touch also allows for learning anytime, anywhere.
This latest generation of ST Math also takes intrinsic motivation to a new level, by providing students the ability to take more control of their learning environment, such as selecting individual colors of math manipulatives featured in the games. As with all ST Math games, every answer is followed by animated, informative feedback showing the students and their teacher whether the answer is right or wrong, and why.
ST Math Touch is far more than a playlist of apps; it runs on MIND Research’s fully featured, Integrated Instructional System. Teachers benefit from ST Math Touch’s instant, mobile access to reporting, and full administrative control of the system. These live results can now provide roving teachers with insightful information both at the class level, and for each individual student. Teachers are provided with information on how a specific student may be struggling with a particular math concept.
“Our new ST Math Touch is a proven blended learning solution that supports instruction both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Matthew Peterson, MIND co-founder and ST Math program author. “The student can switch seamlessly between tablets and conventional workstations, depending on location. This creates a real value add for schools and districts looking for the right way to differentiate instruction and leverage their teachers’ ability to do what they do best—helping students develop curricular connections.”
MIND Research Institute Hosts Special Summit Jan. 23 and Executive Lunch Jan. 25. As a gold sponsor of FETC, the MIND Research Institute is also a major sponsor of a special summit on Monday, Jan. 23 which highlights best practices for using mobile technology in education. In addition, MIND will host a private executive lunch at the conference on Wednesday Jan. 25, where approximately 50 superintendents, math supervisors, curriculum instruction experts and district administrators will be the first to experience a hands-on look at ST Math Touch.