Friday, March 30, 2012

Maths learning with the iPad

For primary students a great free App to use as the basis for exploring maths concepts like money, quantities and budgeting is the Scan2list App. With this Australian App students can:
  • Create a shopping list by searching for grocery items or by scanning in barcodes
  • Choose the quantity to purchase
  • Choose the items unit of measurement (grams, litres, cans, bottles etc)
  • Input prices against grocery items
  • Add the items to a cart
  • Total the items
Unlike other shopping Apps you do not need to register for this App and it is not linked to just one store making it very accessible for students. It is an iPhone App but with the 2x feature the App still views well on the iPad.

You could extend this activity by getting students to use the Popplet App to brainstorm about things to consider when making a shopping list, such as essential items, costs, specials, seasonal food etc. The teacher could create a shopping situation where students have a budget to spend at the shops and need to purchase certain items. Students could use grocery shop websites via the iPad or printed brochures to get prices for items.

For Primary to Secondary students a great free App is Sketchpad Explorer.
"Drag, manipulate and animate visual mathematical representations to develop your understanding of fundamental concepts across elementary mathematics, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and beyond. Based on the award-winning software The Geometer's Sketchpad®, the Sketchpad Explorer app allows you to interact with, and investigate, any mathematical document created in Sketchpad. With a simple, powerful, multitouch interface, Sketchpad Explorer puts mathematics comprehension literally at your fingertips."

With access to already created resources for this App via the Sketchpad Explorer website on the 'Sketch Exchange' page this is a really useful App for our students. Additionally many of the Sketch Exchange resources are licensed under Creative Commons attribution license meaning that teachers can freely share the resources across class sets of iPads as long as they attribute the resource author. When you access any of the Sketch Exchange resources via the iPad you can easily download the files straight into the Sketchpad Explorer App. I've been using the Ten Frames activity by Daniel Scher to use the virtual counters to explore understanding of number patterns.

Another Maths App being recommended by our educators is 1 2 3 sheep *($2.99). Students can use this App to explore counting concepts in a variety of ways.

This App has been developed by App-titude Learning who are also offering reasonable cost licence plans for schools to use this and other Apps developed by them for all the students in your school.

Our maths educators at their Numeracy Now Ning recommend a range of Maths Apps. One in particular is the series of Hands-on Math Apps ($1.99 each) saying they would complement others hands on resources in the classroom 'especially good for students ready to move from concrete towards pictorial.'

The Hands-On Math Apps you can buy are:

  • Colour Tiles
  • Hundreds Chart
  • Number Sense
  • Bean Sticks
  • Base Ten Blocks
Where to find other Apps for Maths

Mark Gleeson has a great blog Mr G online which has a section on iPads and Maths activities. Read 'The iPad and Maths - are we there yet? Pt 2 (non maths Apps do the job?)" for a range of great non Math Apps and ideas to use them in Maths activities.

Other simple Maths ideas with the iPad

Use the camera feature to get students to see the Maths shapes and concepts in the world around them, they can take the photos using the iPad camera and then use other Apps to make labels, take measurements, include in a video or an online tutorial creation App like Educreations.

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