MathsOwnMaking Maths Fun ? A software solution for kids and teachers alike? Making maths fun? has been a mantra for maths teachers for many year.
Now, a Wellington company has made the goal easier with a software programme that makes maths not only fun, but also simple and effective as a teaching tool.
Wellington software marketing company Chequers Software released ? MathsOwn` as a basic maths teaching system, using Internet delivery and a free demo download.
Chequers Software Director Dr David Hingston, who lead the software development team, was inspired to develop the program when his daughter`s school teacher suggested he exercise his daughter daily with 10 basic maths questions.
Dr Hingston said there was no way he was going to be able to reliably do that, however he knew he could persuade a computer to do it! Dr Hingston wrote the original program and over a two week period his daughter`s test results climbed from 59-97%.
His daughters teachers at Wellington Queen Margarets College were suitably impressed. Given such stunning results from the prototype Dr Hingston was encouraged to develop MathsOwn.
With some input from the Queen Margaret College Teachers the programme is now more enhanced. The sophisticated maths drill program is designed to integrate basic maths learning in homes and schools.
MathsOwn is designed to complement teachers efforts, but it also encourages students to interact with their peers and learn together. Dr Hingston said this is a very powerful teaching method as students speak and understand their peers communication probably best of all.
MathsOwn is also developed as a more positive computer game, where learning is the focus, yet there is plenty of opportunity for students to compete at different levels, for example against the clock and each other.
Dr Hingston says that teacher resources are limited and software like MathsOwn can take away some of the mundane work, translating this into more teaching time.
For example MathsOwn takes over marking, doing it in an instant. Queen Margaret College is now looking to use ? MathsOwn` as a teaching tool in the Junior School.
Essentially the Windows-enabled programme is able to be operated by anyone from three years and upwards. Apart from the obvious numeracy and maths advantages, the programme also encourages first learning of computer and keyboard skills.
An additional advantage is the ability to have peer-reviewed tests on the programme, which is believed to be a first for programmes of this kind.
Traditionally assessments have had little learning value, however MathsOwn also introduces marking during assessment to encourage learning during assessment.
It all adds up to an efficient learning tool which consolidates and extends numeracy education. Early impressions are that MathsOwn creates a whole new maths confidence and attitude, which is surmised to form a solid foundation for future maths learning.