Could you please describe your project?
Mighty Maths is a new application for ipad and iphone which I have designed to help children improve their recall of mental maths facts. Animal friends guide the children through 4 game areas which allow them to practice the number bonds to 10, 20 and 100; addition and subtraction facts; all the times tables and all their corresponding division facts. The games include time limits of 1 or 2 minutes and the children then race to complete as many questions as they can in the given time. The children’s scores are recorded in a table so when they return to the game they can try to beat their previous score. It is also possible to compete against friends in a one minute challenge by logging onto the Apple game centre.
I have had an ipad for a couple of years now and have seen how much children enjoy using it so I decided that I wanted to create a numeracy application that would be both fun and educational and that would compliment the numeracy curriculum at Caxton College. As most year groups complete weekly mental maths tests and speed tests this seemed like the perfect area to focus on so, together with Alejandro Pozo Jiménez, my fiancé, we designed and created a bright, colourful and stimulating game to help children practise for these.
Do you have any related projects planned for the future?
We are just about to begin Mighty Maths 2 which will use the same structure as Mighty Maths to allow children to practise four further numeracy areas and we are also planning to create Mighty Maths 3. Within these we intend to include addition and subtraction of 10s and 100s, partitioning, rounding, doubling and halving. We are also thinking about creating Mighty Maths Measure which will allow children to practise converting one unit of measure to another. Hopefully, during the next year, all of these applications will be available for the iPad and iPhone so keep an eye out!!
What are the benefits for children? What are the differences with traditional teaching methods?
Children always learn best if they enjoy what they are doing and Mighty Maths aims to promote learning in a fun way. The application has been used with children from Years 1 to 6 and I have observed that, as well as enjoying playing the games, they are eager to improve. By having a table of results, it is easy for the children to check their score from the previous time they played and to then try to beat it. In this way, the children can take control of their own learning and challenge themselves to do better.
It is selling all over the world. Had you expected such success?
I have been amazed at the variety of countries in which we have sold Mighty Maths so far. It has already sold in more than 25 countries including much of Europe, Brazil, Russia, Japan, South Africa and New Zealand.
What is your opinion regarding new technologies as applied to education?
Technology is such an important part of life today so it is essential that children are given opportunities to use it as part of their education to ensure that they are prepared for the future. At the same time, it is essential that we, as parents and teachers, look for quality programs and applications which are both fun and educational to help the children to get the most out of the technology on offer to them
What do you think about the school’s efforts to make sure the students are up to date with new technologies?
Caxton College always embraces new technologies and the school is well equipped to develop the confidence of children of all ages with the latest developments in technology. In Primary alone, all the classrooms have their own computer and interactive whiteboard which are used to bring lessons to life and support our teaching. We also have weekly ICT lessons in the ICT room where all children can work independently on a computer to develop their own skills. Now Caxton College has taken the next step forward by opening the Technolab, which, as well as containing more computers also has 14 iPads and a smart table so the children can become proficient with the latest applications, including, of course, Mighty Maths!
At fun day, we will be holding a Mighty Maths competition. There will be a different game for each year group, from 1 to 6, to play and a prize for the best score from each year group so come and have a go!!