MatrixMath is an app that teaches Math in a clean, focused and intuitive way on touchscreen devices. Our existing research tool works on Windows, we're looking at Kickstarter to complete its content and as a bonus to provide online access to the same content from iPad, Android tablets, Mac and Linux.
Do you think Math matters?
Some recent studies show that better Math skills are related to better paying jobs, others show the US ranking 32nd in Math proficiency rate. Clearly there is reason to study Math and need to improve the way it’s taught.
In the age of technology learning Math is more important than ever. Not just for making simple calculations - we have apps for that - but for developing a good foundation for all Science and Technology subjects. At a time when manufacturing is moving overseas creating new technology remains an indispensable tool for sustaining economic growth.
Teaching and learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) has long been perceived as “hard” and we set out to find ways to improve the process, make it more easily accessible. After over 15 years of research we have created a method and techniques that not only makes learning Math easier, it also makes it faster, more intuitive and fun. The software can also meet some special needs, opening doors that were previously closed.
Describing the method behind MatrixMath is no simple task but luckily we can package everything nicely in a touchscreen computer app that knows what to do and can guide you through all the small steps you need to take. If you are curious about some of the secret sauce we use read on, if tech talk makes your head spin - skip it over the next few paragraphs.
MatrixMath utilizes several guiding principles and basic techniques: Knowledge is not given, it’s acquired through guided discovery; The path to each goal (module) is broken down to the most basic steps possible (activities); Each activity is designed to be as intuitive as possible; Students must prove they have achieved each goal by performing standard multi choice tests; The computer tracks student performance using several measures and adjusts difficulty and content as needed for optimal learning performance. Everything is kept as simple as possible, but not simpler.
HINT Method: Learning works best when the student is on the fine line between bored and overwhelmed. MatrixMath ensures each student is in that sweet spot by tracking errors and confusion signs and offering assistance when needed. Each activity is presented in one of three modes: Help, INdependent or Test, continuously raising the bar as students learn or temporarily lowering it when they struggle.
AVK Method: Creating an intuitive environment depends on using easily recognizable Audio and Visual cues (sounds, rhymes, colors, textures, shapes) and offer a natural Kinesthetic (touch) interface to perform each task. The audio and visual cues are often combined in higher order Cognitive cues (mapping, visual mnemonics, patterns, puzzles, sequencing and others). Cues are designed to be intuitively recognized even by young students and lower the learning curve significantly. As a result learning happens faster than with traditional methods and feels effortless.
Module Testing: each module in MatrixMath starts and ends with a test. If the test is passed with at least 90% correct score the module is considered completed and allows other modules to be started. This ensures there are no gaps in student's knowledge and that if there are any they are filled before the student can move on.
Reward system: students receive award badges for completing each activity or module, motivating them to work further.
Progress Tracking and Reporting: the software can compare several performance indicators for each student to average values and guide teachers or parents to these students who need most help and to those who excel and need to be challenged further to stay interested in learning. Analyzing the report data can also be used to find out which students may have certain special needs.
There will be a lot more details in the PDF from "Inside Job" award
Who is it for, what's included?
MatrixMath K-4 is suitable for most students above 3 years and some exceptionally gifted 2 year olds. There is no upper age limit and we have often seen 14-15 year olds who benefit from using it.
The software identifies gaps in student's knowledge and addresses them specifically or gives students a refresher on content they've learned but aren't fluent in.
Reading is not required for most activities, most instructions are spoken or the screens are intuitive enough for students to go straight to solving the tasks they are presented with.
Teaching is self-paced and student's progress is saved between learning sessions. If we succeed in passing the first "long shot" milestone (see below) we will include progress charting in our software.
The content provided by MatrixMath covers everything needed to pass 4th grade standardized testing.
Can it be done?
The video mentions MatrixMath Research Tool, which already exists and has been used in trial runs at several schools and one local YMCA summer camp. It covers most of the content needed for 4th grade standardized testing - over 60 fully functional activities have been made for testing and research.
We have done some successful experiments with web technologies and we have made several web-based activities that can run on desktops and iPads alike.
The long shots
Our desire is to include several features that go beyond teaching K-4 Math and depend on our funding:
Assessment reports and progress tracking charts for parents ($300,000)
Incorporate several color schemes for color-blind students ($325,000)
Incorporate motor-skills assessment and adjustment to assist students with motor difficulties ($350,000)
Studio-recorded sounds, voices and speech ($400,000)
Because KickStarter's guidelines don't allow for a web app our backers will receive a copy of MatrixMath that will run on Windows. As a bonus to our supporters we will provide online access to the same educational content for use on devices other than Windows-based PCs.
The MatrixMath Research Tool that's offered with several of the rewards as an early preview of some of the activities requires a Windows XP, Vista or 7( recommended) computer with at least 2Gb of RAM and internet connection for activation.
Touchscreen is not required, mouse can be used by students who have sufficient motor skills for it (ages 5 or 6 and above, check with your student)
But why so much money?
Developing good software requires motivated and talented people. Neither motivation nor talent are cheap!
We are striving to keep development of MatrixMath in the US and for that we will need to have three developers paid full time for a year plus other expenses such as servers, computers, web design... You can do the Math, and if you can't - call us :)
Computer games sell for $50, it's hard to imagine $50 is not worth for teaching the Math that one will use on a daily basis all their life!
Spread the word: tweet it, like it, tell it!
Back the project , especially if you're a parent or a grandparent of a child younger than 10 you will make a great investment in their future.
Backing is also a fabulous way to invest in improving Math education.
There will be more on Twitter: @StenPetrov
We are grateful to those who help!
Have a question?
If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Emergency: Early access to pre-production Windows app. The same content as Fully Baked, made available before it's production ready to eager and curious students. Includes a copy of production-ready MatrixMath K-4