Pop Quiz! Dont worry; its only two questions...Question #1: Did your school recently purchase a truckload of iPads or iPad minis for your students?
Lucky for you and your students, math-based iOS apps are beginning to catch up with tablet technology to offer kids some seriously awesome learning experiences.
Read below the break to learn about five steps you can take to find the right iPad math app for your students and curriculum.
Finding the right math app in five easy steps
However, as a few of you may be noticing in your own search, iOS apps that provide actual engaging and worthwhile learning experiences don't exactly grow on trees. If your school is still stuck on Question 2, try using this quick study guide to pilot your search for effective iPad-compatible content and apps.
1) Identify the technology requirements
Mobile education math apps often require a variety of different updates, peripheral upkeep, and bandwidth capabilities. Regardless of what apps you choose to offer your students, make sure your tech infrastructure and tech personnel can support the chosen content/apps as smoothly as possible.
2) Predetermine your budget and your student learning needs
Is your school looking for online math content to supplement instruction or is your school seeking an online math resource that functions as the classroom's core text? Maybe you're looking for content that can meet both personas? Map out your math curriculum, data, and instruction needs (differentiated, individualized, etc.) and what your school can afford before beginning your search.
3) Check if the platform is tailored to your school and/or state learning standards
For instance, if your school or state has adopted the Common Core math standards, be sure the app or content you select is built around the standards (or at the very least is aligned to the new standards). Otherwise, you may be left with conflicting messages between your grade-level math curricula and the standards covered via the digital learning tools.
4) Ensure the app you choose is on par with the iPad's technology
Don't just settle for digitized textbooks. Instead, seek fun and adaptive interactive features (digital manipulatives, game-based learning, etc.) that are engaging and personalize the student learning experience. Also, ensure the content functions via an iOS-native app. Running content through the iPad's browser (instead of an app) significantly reduces the powerful tablet's processing abilities.
5) Seek minimal professional development and maximum function
So, you think you've found the math app that fits your curriculum's needs? Be sure to give it a full trial before making the final decision. What kind of tech support and customer service does it offer? Is the content user-friendly, does it provide progress data to the teacher, etc.? If you are struggling with the basic concepts and functions, there's a good chance other teachers and students will struggle too.
More Mobile Learning Resources from Wowzers
Hopefully these steps have helped you narrow down your iPad math content search. Be sure to check out the blended learning section of the Wowzers Blog to learn more about mobile learning and educational technology tips.