Math Rocks! is a Math Education App for iPad for elementary-level students and teachers. It teaches kids number sense, presenting a model of our number system that allows them to play, explore, and discover how numbers work. Most Math Apps on the market today are just game-ified flashcards. Math Rocks! is a tool more than a game, using the technology to allow a learner to explore numbers without ever loosing sight of the quantities that our number symbols represent.
The idea for this app grew out of work I was doing with an amazing group of math education activists in Delhi called Jodo Gyan. I made a documentary film about them, and in the process deepened my own thinking about the learning process, especially in relation to elementary math. My friends at Jodo Gyan are brilliant with human learning, but they don’t really do tech, so this project translates what I learned from them into an app, which will launch for sale soon.
Incidentally, my grandmother Lore Rasmussen was a leader in the New Math Movement in the US in the 1960s. Her three sons all became math teachers. My two uncles in California founded Key Curriculum Press, one of the bright spots in math publishing and software. So perhaps it is no surprise that I’ve always loved both math and teaching. And although iPads are currently turning classrooms up-side-down, our basic understanding of how to teach mathematical literacy remains as elusive, and as contested, as ever. It’s time for my generation to weigh in. (I write more about my ideas on teaching math well, and badly, here.)