“The principles and problem solving capabilities of algebra are, in themselves, fascinating.” – USA

With summer vacation here (or fast approaching), formal classes may be on hiatus, but as any math teacher will tell you, that doesn’t mean students shouldn’t continue to work on their skills. Over the long summer break, students may be tempted to “take a break from learning,” a tendency that has long frustrated teachers – particularly math teachers. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about games-based learning, which brings together one of students’ favorite pastimes with real math skill development.

One of those games-based math apps – available now for Windows 8 — is Algebra Touch, designed to help students learn and practice algebra. The app just made honorable mention at New York’s App Gap Challenge, an effort by the New York City Department of Education to challenge software developers to submit apps and games that enhance math teaching, learning and engagement for middle schools.

According to its developer, “People are inherently curious, and derive pleasure and satisfaction from mastering new skills and knowledge. Algebra Touch enables the excitement of learning through simplified, interactive, programmed instruction, and employment of styling and functionality usually reserved for electronic gaming… The principles and problem solving capabilities of algebra are, in themselves, fascinating. By simply facilitating the process of discovery, Algebra Touch makes math fun.”

Like Dragonbox, which we featured recently here at Daily Edventures, Algebra Touch employs games-based concepts to make algebra more accessible for digital natives. The app features 20 interactive lesson topics and supporting practice problems, as well as the ability to create unlimited new problems. All actions and responses are touch activated and animated.

Are you using apps like Algebra Touch or Dragonbox to help your students master math skills? Are you encouraging them to “play” with apps like these over the summer? Let me know @anthonysalcito.

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