Gaming | News
Wowzers Tackles Elementary Math with Online Games
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A company that creates educational virtual worlds has introduced a new online product designed to help third through fifth graders get better at math. Wowzers comes from Brain Hurricane, a company that develops academic material for K-8 students in reading and math. The new release, which combines adaptive math instruction with game-based collaboration, was shown during the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, which took place in San Diego last week.
The instruction can follow a number of instructional standards, including Common Core State Standards. Activities include the use of student avatars, virtual "math missions," games, quizzes, and feedback on right or wrong answers. Students can use coin awards to outfit their avatars. Teachers can set up and manage a classroom of users; adjust the amount of time students can use the program; set the program to be adaptive in order to adjust questions based on a student's understanding of the subject; review scores by class, section, or student; check a dashboard for student performance; and do reporting. The program also provides teachers with professional development for specific topics and can deliver reports to parents about their students.
"As an educator for many years, I saw first-hand that even the top students will lose focus if lessons aren't fun and engaging," said Reed Howard, founder of Wowzers. "Wowzers' unique platform truly offers the most individualized, engaging learning experience available today, while the analytics and online reporting offer teachers real-time updates on each student's progress, allowing them to adjust their curriculum accordingly."
Wowzers is priced at $25 per student or $7,000 per school and delivers 33 weeks of unlimited access to hosted content.
The Web-based service recently won the CODiE award for the best classroom management system and K-12 solution from the trade group Software & Information Industry Association, which runs an annual education-focused award program.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.