As instructors we are constantly asking ourselves, “How can I motivate this student?” and “How can I set up the learning environment to best meet a student’s needs and challenges?” The dramatic increase in educational software adds another question to be asked: “What program or app could I use here?”
Technology has been rapidly growing within the forum of education for some time. Not only can technology provide highly effective tools for engaging students’ interest and attention, it can also provide an enormous spectrum of functions and applications to help students access, process, manipulate and present information in ways they could not with traditional methods. For example, a learner with weak visual-motor abilities would be very challenged to hand-draw a floor plan to scale with pencil, paper, and ruler. However, with a program such as SMART Notebook, where the user can simply input data to create an accurate model, the task would suddenly become achievable. Success!
The tricky part for both instructors and parents is selecting the best tools from the thousands available. Not an easy undertaking, but to help you get started, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite (most of which are FREE!) programs and apps, related specifically to math.
Microsoft Learning Suite is a collection of FREE add-ons for Microsoft 2010. Specific to math, there is a Math 4.0 update and Math Worksheet Generator program. Both updates provide user friendly tools for teaching, interpreting, and interacting with numerical information.
One Note is a FREE organizational, learning, and teaching software program that allows users to do a multitude of things including: voice and video record. There are several tutorials online to guide users.
Luminosity is an online/app brain-training program that can be personalized for the user to help strengthen memory, attention, problem solving, and math fluency through interactive games and puzzles.
IXL is a comprehensive math practice site for Grades K-11 that provides unlimited questions in over 2000 topics. It tracks progress and time spent on tasks.
Clips is a Ministry of Education supported resource aligned with Gap Closing material found on EduGains that offers learning tools and lessons in fractions, patterning, and algebra for Grades K-12.
Lino is a virtual bulletin board with sticky notes that can be used for any subject. It’s great for brainstorming, organizing, and sharing information.
Educreations allows users to create and share lessons of any type. The site stockpiles lessons created online for other teachers to use.
Show Me allows users to video/audio record a lesson or learned skill and share it via email.
MathBoard is an app that is configurable for the user and applicable for K-12. It provides lessons and quizzes while allowing students to work out problems on the scratchboard and refer to the problem for step-by-step support.
SMART Notebook & SMART Exchange are comprehensive systems most used on classroom SMART Boards for creating high-impact, interactive lessons.
Google Sketch Up is a 3D modeling software that enables users to design and communicate ideas otherwise restrained to a paper and pencil.
If you have used different software, apps, or sites to help instruct or support your students, please share in the comments below!
For more information on using technology to support learning, please contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225or visit http://www.ruthrumack.com.