The BPS EdTech Team and BHS Student Tech Crew have had a very busy start to the year. Soon this BPS EdTech blog will begin to grow with information for Burlington staff and students. We will also feature App reviews for iPads and iOS devices. Reviews will be posted by BPS EdTech Team members, BPS teachers, and BHS Student Tech Crew members. I am also excited to announce our youngest app reviewer so far.
Nicholas is a six year old first grader. He doesn’t attend Burlington Public Schools. And yes, he is my son. Nick enjoys school but would like to see his teachers use more “stuff like the iPad” in class. He doesn’t always understand that his teachers don’t have access to the technology tools he is used to at home but he seems to realize that he learns a lot when he uses interactive technology devices. Of course, he plays the games and uses the apps on our iPad because they are “wicked fun” but he is starting to become more and more excited about what he learns from them as well.
Recently, Nicholas asked if he could help me with one of the blogs I work on. He said he could talk about the “iPad and stuff.” So now he a full-fledged App Reviewer. I was actually pretty excited to hear that the first app Nicholas wanted to review was an educational app – an educational app that features his favorite hobby – baseball.
Everyday Math Baseball Multiplication 1-6 Facts is an educational app available for iOS devices. The app is published by McGraw-Hill and currently costs $1.99. McGraw-Hill also has an Everyday Math Baseball Multiplication 1-12 Facts app and many other educational apps.
This app is a great app for Grade 3. Nicholas hasn’t had much experience with math outside of some of the games on the iPad. This app appears to have the kind of potential that I love about many other educational iPad apps. Kids learn quickly without feeling that they are being instructed. This is a great example of an app that has the ability to engage kids with something that they enjoy while teaching them about an important topic. Obviously Nick doesn’t understand it but this is an app that helps create the student centered classroom, something I often use to judge the value of educational apps.
The app is very simple to play. The pitcher throws a multiplication fact. The student uses a number pad to enter the answer. A correct answer equals a hit. Incorrect answers equal strikes. Three strikes and you’re out.
Here are some of Nick’s Everyday Math Baseball highlights:“It’s fun.” “It makes you learn numbers easily.” “It’s easy to do math.” “The coolest thing about it is you know when you get a hit you got the right answer.” “You get to hit for both teams.” “It helps me know math better than a grader.”
So what doesn’t Nick like about the app:“I can’t field or use the (base) runners. I guess he is used to more control over the action. “The batters all look the same.” He wants Big Papi and Adrian Gonzalez in the game. Overall, Nicholas and I think Everyday Math Baseball Multiplication Facts is a great math educational app. However, Nicholas thinks everyone loves baseball. A young student who doesn’t may not be as engaged by the app. Please stay tuned to this BPS EdTech blog for more technology information and app reviews. Dennis Villano firstname.lastname@example.org