The fifth-grader who just last year was at least one grade behind in math is now a year ahead and helping his classmates. Sebastian Johnson’s grasp and meteoric understanding of math did not happen because of the tutor he met with twice each week.
It was, his father Fred said, because of an iPad app called Tabtor Math, a tutoring program that assesses skills, analyzes learning snags and designs a personalized curriculum to raise math proficiency in students grades K-8.
At 9, Mariah Martin already has a handle on future careers. “Veterinarian, professional figure skater, fashion model and teacher – not all at once.”
For now, she must settle for tech entrepreneur.
The Seattle fourth-grader and her father, Scott, understand learning math for many children is no joyride but they have developed an iOS game app they believe will put kids in the driver seat on a road to mastering the basics.
CarQuiz allows drivers to navigate a track with math equations along the way and a choice of three answers a little further down the road. Once the equation appears, the driver must quickly figure out the answer as three choices appear. With a finger swipe, the driver moves into the lane with the correct answer.
My math-averse daughter wanted to cheat on her algebra homework. So we downloaded PhotoMath, a free app that lets you take a picture of your mathematical and algebraic equations, solving them for you and showing the steps to the solution.
PhotoMath has been at the top of the App Store charts for a couple of weeks, hitting number one on the Education, Kids Games and Top Apps lists. Small wonder, as it seems like a great way to get out of doing homework.
However, despite the concerns of some parents and teachers, apps like PhotoMath just won’t help when it comes to cheating — they’re far too limited. Still, it’s a promising technology that, once it matures, might actually turn into the type of wonder tool for education we’ve long been promised, turning our iOS devices into useful educational tools that will help kids actually learn math, rather than simply giving them a shortcut to homework answers.
Although a graceful crystal ballet danced in the world of symbols, for those of us who aren’t particularly math minded, all those plus signs, minus signs, dividers and parentheses can get confusing when we’re trying to figure out a problem.
For us, iOS app Soulver is a godsend, allowing you to perform various mathematical captions and functions by just typing them out on real text. Today, the plain text math app has received a beefy update, not only updating its look for iOS 7 on iPad, but also making it universal.
Soulver is pretty much the best calculator app on the Mac and iOS, mostly because it doesn’t tie itself to the UI of old pushbutton calculators. But Llumino will probably win the award for the best-looking calculator app in the App Store, coming on like a 1970s flashing disco floor and, uh, a pushbutton calculator.
The reason Orchestra has set it up this way is to prevent demand from crushing their servers, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying (for more info on Orchestra’s rationale, see this article). When we download apps, we expect to be able to use them right away, not sit in a queue for an indeterminate amount of time.
We can’t help you get to the head of the Mailbox queue, but we can tell you roughly how long you’ll have to wait based on how fast Mailbox has let people into the app in the past. Here’s how.