eLearning on the iPad with our new appThomas May
New app supports understanding of written maths problems
The huge potential of tablets and smartphones for eLearning has been widely recognized. Yet, most existing applications don’t even try to take advantage of the vast opportunities that these devices offer regarding multimedia based and interactive teaching concepts. Most eLearning apps still do nothing but map old concepts like vocabulary card boxes or tasks with blanks to the new technology.
The idea of the app “Sachaufgaben 2.0” (available only in German) which we developed for the Institute for Didactics of Mathematics at Technical University of Braunschweig is to really use the potential of tablets in order to support the understanding of written maths problems. The app is used in research in order to explore the effect of different representations of the problems on understanding and learning. When used by pupils on their own, it allows to try different presentations and interactive tools to solve the tasks, answer them and get feedback. The app shows only a few sample tasks, but it highlights how the technology offers scope for new eLearning concepts.
Pupils can read the maths problems like in a book, of course, or have the tablet read it to them aloud. There are also visualizations of the problems in videos. The representations that are most different from traditional concepts are interactive scenes which show the situation that the tasks refer to and allow the pupils to experiment with them. Finally they can also draw diagrams on the tablet that represent the problems in a more abstracted way.
We are convinced that eLearning on tablets and smartphones can bring great progress if the potential of these devices is really exploited in new teaching concepts. We are happy about the opportunity to contribute to this development. Here are further informations about the application of digital media for teaching mathematics (in German).