Interactive Tool to Let Students Play with Math
A new, free learning tool coming out of Indiana University Bloomington aims to make static math problems easier for students to solve.
IU researchers formed the education technology startup Graspable Math to deliver their technology to algebra classrooms. The application can be accessed via web browser and used as both a teacher presentation tool — where the teacher is standing in front of a smartboard or projector — or a homework tool for students to receive immediate, step-by-step feedback.
Graspable essentially allows students to rearrange terms on the screen to solve math equations, recording and sharing all of the steps they take to arrive at their answer with the teacher.
“Graspable Math turns alegra into a real thing that you can interact with, and that's something fantastic for students, who can actually now go and explore algebra,” said Erik Weitnauer, research associate and co-founder of Graspable.
The United States Department of Education funded the IU research project to develop interventions that would help students see the dynamic properties of algebra the way that experts do. The Graspable team is working with schools in Massachusetts, Virginia and Indiana to study how kids learn.