Monday, May 26, 2014

ED 7724 Week 9 Prompt 1: MindTwister Math

For this week's initial prompt for ED 7724, we were asked to read a chapter on integrating assistive technology into the normal education classroom.  The authors, Bryant and Bryant's, primary focus throughout the chapter is the student.  They stress the importance for teachers to keep the students' academic abilities in mind when implementing ATs into the classroom.  I was very impressed with the number of resources that were listed and described in the chapter.  We were asked to pick one and investigate it a little more to provide a description, pros and cons of the system and anything else that would allow my fellow classmates to have a better understanding of the product.

Since I am a math teacher, I wanted to look into one of the math resources that were listed in the chapter.  I chose the math program designed to assist students with computation.  The program's name is MindTwister Math and it is created by Edmark, Inc.  The program is intended to be used by students in elementary grade.  Through my research, I found different reviews stating the projected age range of the participants.  The lowest grade that was recommended was 1st, while the highest grade was 4th grade.  Although most of the reviews have found that even 5th grade students enjoy using the software.

Photo courtesy of:

The software itself tests students math computation abilities.  It offers assistance to those students who struggle with math skills, but also challenges though who are proficient.  In addition to single player use, the program is designed to allow users to cooperatively play with their peers all while taking part in a competitive academic program.

The following are reviews that I have read through and found both pros and cons of the program:
Discovery Education Review
The Journal Review
SuperKids Review
AllGame Review

Instead of asking you to read through each of the reviews, I have compiled the pros and cons into bullet form to detail how others view the product and its success as an AT device.

-  User-friendly from both the students and teacher/parent standpoint
-  Age-appropriate
-  Problems reflect real world math examples
-  Multiple kids can participate at once
-  4 skill levels are available for participants
-  Students do not need to use a mouse with the program.  A keyboard will suffice with completing the tasks that are presented.
-  Can be used both at home and at school.
-  Price point is very good: $69.95 for two disks used for a school or a lab pack for 6 devices is $179.95.
-  School program offers teachers reproducible items to use in the classroom.
-  In addition to teaching and reinforcing math skills, it also teaches test taking strategies such as eliminating answers and using reasoning to find the correct solution.

-  There is one portion of the program that requires fast-twitch muscle reaction.  Some students with disabilities may find it difficult to complete this program due to the requirements of the user.
-  Student data is not available for teachers to analyze.
-  Competitive nature of the game can be difficult for young students to understand.
-  Students who cannot respond quickly may become frustrated with the fast response requirements of the program.
-  Can be used on desktops or laptops, but could not find anywhere that it states that it could be used on tablets or personal devices.

Overall I was impressed with what I saw from the program.  We are looking at different Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention strategies and programs to use at our school for math.  MindTwister Math seems to be a good resource that could be implemented into an elementary classroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment