Can you teach mathematics through digital games, apps and websites?

Can you teach mathematics through digital games, apps and websites?

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 15.02.08Jean Piaget once said that “play is the answer to how anything new comes about.”
As educators and developers in the digital age, it is important that we embrace the power of play in our classrooms.  One of the ways that we can redefine our practice is by using game education in our schools.  Game education is a powerful way to engage 21st century learners in a variety of cognitively complex tasks that lead to deeper levels of understanding.  Educational games help students to learn about certain subjects, expand their thinking on specific concepts, and reinforce skill development while they play at the same time increasing engagement, empathy and excellence in the classroom.

Here is what Courtney Pepe a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction in Hudson County New Jersey, has to say :
As a Supervisor of Curriculum, when I look at tech tools that can be used in a school setting I like to opt for games that can be used with students who are small and students who are tall. Also, as someone who taught all types of students on the educational continuum ranging from special education students to general education students to gifted and talented students, I like apps that are adaptable to students with different learning styles. The Land of Venn – Geometric Defense is a game that meets all of the above criteria.

When making the choice – what apps should go on the iPads in my school – the decision maker needs to 4consider many different factors. One thing to consider, is this something that the teachers will implement? One big factor in classrooms today is whether the app or ICT product is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Teachers will be more comfortable trying a new technology if they see that the technology can be integrated with their course of study and curriculum. As someone who has authored math curriculum, I leave a spot next to the standards for different apps/21st century tools that work to teach to that standard or skill. One thing I love about Land of Venn – Geometric Defense is that the game encompasses broad range skills which are connected to Geometry Common Core State Standards for Grades One, Two, Three, and Four. This means that any decision maker about apps on iPads in an elementary school can put this app on the iPads and feel confident that it will be used by ALL of the math teachers in the building.

1The beauty of The Land of Venn Geometric Defense is that it also can be used with middle and high school students. The game has 30 levels so students who are super competitive love to be divided into teams and see which team will be able to pass through the different levels the fastest. In one of my last assignments as a teacher, I used the game with gifted and talented eighth grade students. They loved the game so much that they all crowded around the iPad and shouted out tips about which spells to buy to defeat the evil Wizard.
At the high school level, a game like The Land of Venn – Geometric Defense can be used as a motivational tool. Our current population of students, Generation Z has grown up playing games and they are tech innate. High school students will spend 45 minutes working on sine, cosine, and tangent if they know that at the end of the class they will be able to have 5-7 minutes to play Land of Venn. You could use this game as a trigonometry or geometry teacher as a way to make sure you have your students’ attention from bell to bell while sneakily using it to review important math vocabulary words that students need to know at all levels.

So if you are the person making considerations about what games should be placed on student iPads, no matter what the age and stage, The Land of Venn – Geometric Defense is a win win for students and teachers alike.

iMagine Machine™ is an educational gaming company that develops STEAM
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) related games, with an emphasis first and foremost on a rich gaming experience, weaving in the pedagogy transparently.


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