There is a segment of the population for whom the words “math” and “fun” are mutually exclusive (such as Yours Truly here!). Still, considering that there’s an app for everything and it seems that there isn’t anything an app can’t do, it’s entirely possible that there are apps out there that can make math fun. Hey, stranger things have happened.
A math app offers convenience, portability, and better engagement as pointed out in the article “5 Benefits of iPad Math Apps”. After all, everyone seems to have their eyes glued to mobile devices.
So, in the spirit of keeping an open mind and promoting fun with mathematics, here are five apps for the iPad that could make you see math in a different way. Yes, it is possible to learn something using a mobile device!
Cloud Math Free
As the title implies, this is a free app, though it only offers addition and subtraction challenges and counts only up to 50. You can increase its complexity and bring in multiplication and division if you buy “Cloud Math”. It works on the iPad, iPhone, and even the iPod Touch.
The app challenges children from preschool to elementary school levels, presenting problems through engaging sound effects and animation. This method is a good way of getting kids used to basic math. If they enjoy it and want more, you can upgrade to the pay version; sort of a “try before you buy” deal.
Pizza Fractions 1
So hey, who doesn’t like pizza? Pizza is amazing stuff, and there’s nothing it can’t do, including teaching kids about fractions. This free app, usable on iPads and iPhones, introduces kids of grade levels two through five to fractions. Think of your basic round pizza, sliced up, and you can get a good idea where this one is going.
Telling Time Free
We live in the digital age, where skills like telling time on an analog clock seem to be heading the way of the dinosaur. But despair not, for this free app teaches kids (and adults who are sadly out of practice!) how to tell analog time. It has over 700 clock values, and two game modes: Practice and Quiz. After completing the quiz part, kids can even get a letter grade for their final report. Don’t let analog time-telling become a lost art! Teach them while they’re young!
iTooch Middle School App
Okay, we’re cheating here; this free app teaches math AND language arts. Compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, this app features synthesized speech, a virtual blackboard, and a calculator. The iTooch app bundles feature a variety of worksheets and fun games to teach math, and yes, language arts.
Last but not least, we have this app that sells for $2.99 and is compatible with the iPhone and iPad, though it requires OS 6+ and will not work with iPad 1. Math Evolve features Story Mode and Practice Mode, with the latter doing the job of flash cards in helping train young minds while the former is a math video game adventure.
Math Evolve covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and is customizable to accommodate children of all ages although children age six through eight are the primary target.
These five apps make a fine launching point for getting children interested in math, and then taking them through a good handful of grades. By the looks of them, it truly does seem that the apps can make math fun while still serving as a valuable learning tool.