The assignment in Math 371 last week was for each student to review three iPad apps. Below is a summary of each review, including the grade level, the function of the app, and whether or not the student would use it in his/her classroom. One of their best comments was that they feel like the online iPad app rubric that the Math 371 class created 2 years ago needs to be modified. So that is their homework for next week. Stay tuned...

**Chad Blackwelder**
**IQ Gym**
middle school to high school
This app was made to improve your mental math skills for the user. There are three main categories add/subtract, multiply and division, with three subcategories below each: Challenge, Survival, and time attack. It gets increasingly harder as you work through the levels, to a maximum of level 99 for each subcategory. No real goal other than to improve mental math.
I do not think I would use this app in
the classroom. This app focuses on how to memorize multiplication tables
and addition, as opposed to actually learning why 3*8 is 24. It seems
like this app is for someone who just wants to work his or her brain for
a while instead of a learning app.
**Math Ninja**
Later Elementary to middle school
Math Ninja is a game that forces you
to fight enemies that are attacking your tree with a variety of weapons.
You use math as a way to earn money, to get better weapons, and to
defeat the boss.
I would consider trying this in my
classroom if I was in a middle school setting. It could possibly have
some benefit of getting the kids to do math in their heads instead of a
calculator, but it could possibly get repetitive.
**Khan Academy**
For all grade levels
Khan academy was created
to give students, who struggle in a subject, a complete video
walkthrough of different concepts. To something as simple as basic
subtraction to solving first order differential equations.
I would definitely consider using this
app as a second source of information for the students. Maybe have them
watch them on their own time outside of class to see the material for a
second time. I watch these videos now, so this app is very powerful to
the user.

**Jessica DeNeui**
**Graphing Calculator by Desmos**
6-12
This is a two-dimensional graphing calculator. The program plots
functions and creates tables. You can add sliders and set limits to
manipulate variables for an equation. Sliders also allow you the
opportunity to animate your graph. The program comes preloaded with
example interactive graphs of a variety of basic functions.
I would use this app. It’s really easy to
use and understand. It graphs really well, although you can only graph
one variable at a time. I really like the idea of the sliders and being
able to manipulate constant terms in the equation, and I think it really
helps students understand how manipulating constant terms affects the
function and graph.
**TanZen Lite**
6-8
This is an app for tangrams. This lite version comes with 45 free
tangram puzzles. The player can choose to have a pattern for the puzzle
or create the picture based on a thumbnail. Once all the pieces are in
place, the app saves your work.
I would use this app if I didn’t have
access to real tangrams. I think using the app makes it more difficult
to measure the perimeter of the shapes, which is something that’s easier
to do with the physical tangrams. I do like that you can choose to have
the template of the puzzle rather than just the thumbnail. Some
students really struggle with creating the puzzle with just the picture,
and the templates would help them complete the puzzle.
**Educreations Interactive Whiteboard**
6-12
This app is partly whiteboard app where students can use their fingers
or styluses to write on the screen. This app also allows you to create a
video recording that captures writing and talking. Teachers can create
classes and give their students a code to the class, where students are
able to watch the recordings. You can also share your videos with the
public and access other people’s work.
I think I would use this app. While there are parts of the app that are locked and cost money to upgrade to, the basic app is still pretty functional. I like using white boards because it’s
a quick way to check what students know. Using the app instead of
actual whiteboards definitely helps save time since you don’t need to
pass out boards, markers, and erasers. I also think
the video component could be really helpful. If students are working on
homework and projects at home and have questions, supplemental and
review videos can help them find answers if I’m unreachable. Overall, I
think this app is pretty nifty.

**Jamie Formanek**
**TED
**
6-12
This app connects students to more
than 1,700 videos of all different sorts, from education and technology
to music and business. It gives the students a chance to see all the new
ideas coming out into the world.
**Shady Puzzles**
K-12
Shady puzzles is
a puzzle game which requires you to shade the rows and columns using
the criteria given. It is a critical thinking game which challenges your
problem solving skills.
**Number Line**
6-9
This app is a tool to help students’ visual number sequences and model strategies.
**Carissa Hilmer**
**Triangle Solver**
6-9
Given 2 angles and one side, the app quickly calculates the remaining values for the remaining sides and angles.
I don’t think I would use this app in my
classroom. It is not appealing nor does it give the students a chance to
actually learn what they are solving. It is basically giving a student a
calculator to solve 1+1=2; it is something that they should know how to
find the solution without typing it into a solving calculator.
**Equation solver **
6-8
By entering an equation with one variable, the app will not only solve the equation, but also provide a step-by-step solution
I
still believe that face-to-face interaction with other students and
teachers in order to solve equations like this would benefit a student
more. If I were to pick an app to recommend to students that need help
at home, I would consider this one because it uses reasoning for each
step. It is not just giving the students an answer.
**Edmodo**
9-12
This
app is for both educators and students. It is an easy way to
communicate and also looks like Facebook, so it will grab the attention
of students at any age. There are places to post homework, grades, and
even communicate with other educators for ideas.
This is an app that my teacher used in my
high school Pre-Calculus class. It was an app that was easy to navigate
because it relates to Facebook, which also makes it more appealing to
upper level students. I think I would use it because it also has ways
for educators to communicate and to get different ideas on lessons or
how to solve problems in class.
**Jenna Stephens**
**Magoosh**
12th grade (Calculus)
This app gives short tutorial lessons
for calculus topics. It is organized based on different topics in the
general order that most classes would follow the content. It allows
students the opportunity to mark whether they understand or still need
more review of the content, to go through again later.
I would use this app in a calculus or
even pre-calculus class as supplemental material. I think this would be
a good way for students to review the lesson, or possibly even to
preview the lesson. I could make some of the videos mandatory for all
students to watch after a hard lesson, or just leave the choice to the
students as an opportunity for free “tutoring” after class.
**Math Splash Bingo**
K-6t
This app lets the user choose between
the four basic operations and gives a bingo card for that operation.
The user has the option of choosing easy, medium, or hard. Once the
student clicks start, the game shows a multiplication problem and the
user finds the answer on their bingo card. If they guess the wrong
answer, it goes to the next problem with no feedback. If you guess the
right answer, you get an animal bingo marker over that spot. Once you
get 5 problems right in a bingo, you win.
I most likely would not use this app
in my classroom, because it is an elementary level app. Also, this app
may rely heavily on memorization of multiplication facts
which is not what common core is all about! Also, students can click a
number and just happen to guess their way to a bingo without solving
any problems.
Although I would not likely use it, it
may be useful as a review before a quiz, or could be a good homework
game for students to play with their parents at home. (As a teacher, I
may consider sending home a list of fun games and apps – including this
one – that students could use at home to practice math with their
students.)
**Rose Fairfax**
**
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**SAT
[∞]**

**
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Middle
School to early High School

You play through levels answering questions about specific math
topics, eg “Properties of Integers” or “Coordinate Geometry”. You get points
for correct answers as well as quick answers. The goal is to beat the levels
and get points.

I would not use this app. Not only does it claim to be free while locking the
majority of its content behind a pay wall, but it ultimately is about getting
points and being right. Since mistakes are an extremely important part of the
learning process, I cannot see this app having much value in a classroom aside
from a fun way to review things a student might already be expected to know.

**yHomework
– Math Solver**

Middle
School to High School

Solves simple arithmetic as well as decently complex algebra
problems. User inputs the problem (eg 9x +5 = 14) and hits solve. The app then
solves the problem *and* gives a
detailed walkthrough of how to arrive at that answer. At the bottom of the
solution page there is often the option to change the method of solving
(addition versus substitution for systems of equations, for example).

I would use the app. Although it can be used to do all the work for the student, it can also walk
them through answers instead of just computing a number with no explanation. It
is also easy to use and has a tutorial at the beginning to ease in all users.

**MyScript
Calculator**

Elementary
through Middle School

The user writes with their finger or a stylus. They can enter
simple calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc,
or they can enter simple algebraic expressions using “?” to denote unknowns.
The app automatically balances the equation and solves for the unknown.

I would maybe consider using it. It’s a bit more intuitive
than a calculator, especially for younger students, and encourages
understanding order of operations because of the way the app interprets what is
written. (It also encourages neater handwriting.) However, it is very limited
in its solving abilities and would be little help for things with complicated
expressions or things requiring simplification. Sometimes its AI solves problems
in a bizarre way or gives an answer that doesn’t follow throw and seems wrong.
For example, it solves 9x + 1 = 10 by subtracting 1 from 10, not substituting
in a 1 for x. This would be the first
step in SOLVING the equation (subtract one from both sides), but it just stops
there, which would certainly be confusing for students who have newly learned
this material. That said, I remember stuff that translated my handwriting for
me being a really cool sell when I was in school so it may make learning to use
calculators more enjoyable and reduce “I pressed the wrong button” errors.

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