Articles: Teaching & Learning

Almost everyone I meet who deals with education technology has the same misconception about learning. We all think that the promise of technology is that students will be able to whiz through more content in a shorter period of time. With adaptive software-based instruction, there’s nothing stopping ‘em, right?

When Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools opened its state-of-the-art campus in 2007, A+ Anywhere Learning System by K12 was a major part of the landscape.

Within four years, the elementary building’s “School Improvement Status”—assigned by the Ohio Department of Education because of poor student performance—was replaced with “Excellent,” and the district received its first-ever “Excellent with Distinction,” the state’s highest rating.

What a difference a year—and online math practice—can make. 

Cherry Hill, N.J. students who struggled with math in first grade mastered their second-grade work after piloting IXL Learning that year. 

“Students love it,” says Waleska Batista-Arias, the former district technology coach who returned to the classroom. “We’ve even had parents write us thank-you notes.”

As districts across the country adopt the Common Core math standards, many district math coordinators are looking for effective tools to help their students transition to the new curriculum.

For administrators at the Grand View Public Schools in rural Oklahoma, small size and challenging student demographics shouldn’t stand in the way of providing a world-class, technologically rich education.

In a school with a large population of special needs and non-native English speaking students, frustration and surrender are major challenges for the staff. Turns out an animated penguin can make life easier for everyone involved.

Special Education and a New Normal in Math 

By Matthew Peterson

In fifth grade, I was allowed to enroll into a normal class with normal students. I even started to feel “normal” until I had to ask the teacher how to spell the word “girl”. I could never remember if it was spelled G-R-I-L or G-I-R-L. I made a wild guess and penciled the word “gril.”

Administrators in the Richland School District Two in Columbia, S.C., made the decision to pursue a 1:1 computing environment in 2011. But with a target of over 19,000 district students in grades 3-12, and a wide variety of devices on the market to choose from, putting a computing device in the hands of every student was no easy task.

By Matthew Peterson

As a college student, I set out to create games to teach math. Now, 17 years later, I’m still working on it. Over those years, I’ve designed 2,327 games. The vast majority were failures. At one point, I even declared it impossible to teach math using computer games. 

By Nigel Nisbet

Here at the MIND Research Institute, we often are asked, “What does the ST stand for in ST Math?” Well, ST Math is a non-language, web-based mathematics program that uses and develops students’ spatial-temporal, or ST, reasoning skills.

Erin Kominsky knew she needed some magic to keep her school open.

In 1996, Jack L. Weaver Elementary in Los Alamitos, Calif., was the only school in the award-winning, high-performing district that allowed non-residents to enroll. But that opportunity wasn’t enough to fill the classrooms. With only 112 students at the time, Kominsky—principal then and now—looked for a new selling point. 

Part of MINDING MATH, a special report from MIND Research Institute

By MATTHEW PETERSON
Co-founder, MIND Research

Part of MINDING MATH, a special report from MIND Research Institute

Part of MINDING MATH: A special report from MIND Research Institute

Most teachers wouldn’t appreciate giving up the spotlight to a penguin. But at Colorado Springs School District 11, teachers don’t seem to mind.

That’s because their students are hooked on ST Math, MIND Research Institute’s innovative program that teaches math with the help of a computer-animated penguin named JiJi.

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