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10 Virtual Tools for the Math Classroom

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It is no secret that many students are not passionate about math. Students feel disconnected from what is taught in class, unsure of the benefits of math and reluctant to pursue careers in the field. Edtech is trying to change these attitudes by providing them with new ways to engage with numbers. Many companies have developed virtual tools for math, which allow students to learn, practice, and have fun with different math concepts. We will discuss ten of the best on the market.

1. Stepping Stones 2.0: Comprehensive Mathematics- from ORIGO Education integrates print and digital resources to give teachers flexibility in how they teach K-6 math. SS 2.0 is loaded with additional practice, effective strategies, visual models, and teacher supports. Slatecast lets the teacher broadcast a resource onto the class whiteboard to emphasize or reteach a concept. Kathy Beach, a teacher in North Thurston Public Schools, says about Slate cast, "What a great way to practice facts and have everyone on the computer."

2. Geometry Pad- This virtual graph paper allows students to draw shapes, charts, and other geometric features.  Students can change the properties of shapes, zoom in, save their work and add written notes on the side. Geometry Pad is a great application that can be used with students of any age and across mathematical disciplines.

3. Pattern Shapes- Understanding the properties of shapes, fractions and creating precise figures is easy with Pattern Shapes. Students can use the virtual protractor to measure angles, change the dimensions and color of forms and annotate answers. It is ideal for elementary and middle school students, and the bright colored shapes can inspire creative design.

4. Globaloria- Learning math through games is a great educational tool. Globaloria allows students to create games that test STEM subjects. With a gallery full of games, students can explore creations that were made by their peers. This application aims to promote STEM subjects on a global level through games and social networking.

5. MathsPlayground- This collection of math-based games is perfect for younger students. Aligned with Common Core standards the games are separated by grade and topic. Students will enjoy learning while playing interesting games. The games test timetables, fractions, and other mathematical concepts. Combining education with easy to play games is what makes MathsPlayground ideal for young students.

6. FluidMath- FluidMath is the first "pen-centric "platform that works on iPads and interactive whiteboards. Students and teachers can write, in their own handwriting, as they solve problems and engage with difficult concepts. FluidMath has won many awards, and its many features make it a great tool for both teachers and students in any math classroom.

7. GetTheMath- The aim of this tool is to relate algebra to the real world. Through topics like "Math in Music" and "Math in Fashion," students can learn how math is an integral part of everyday life. There are videos, exercises and other ways that students can engage with algebra in its real world setting. GetTheMath is an excellent way to combine theory with application.

8. Dragon Box- This learner-based approach to math claims that 83% of children learn the basics of algebra in an hour. Through interactive games and explanations, students as young as five are introduced to algebra and how variables work. Students have no idea they are engaging with academic content, and the graphics are colorful and cute.

9. Academy of Math- Aimed at children struggling with math in school, Academy of Math is a comprehensive tool that helps students get results. Videos and ongoing assessments tools put students in the driver's seat of their own education. There are various topics to choose from, and educators can implement the resources on this platform into their teaching.

10. Studygeek- Mathematical vocabulary is fundamental to understanding math. Study Geek is a great learning tool that has an alphabetical glossary of thousands of math vocabulary words. There is also a selection of informative videos that cover everything from geometry to algebra. The games aim is to test math vocabulary retention, and students will enjoy playing a game and learning at the same time.

So, there you have it. All of these tools push students towards self-exploration and allow them to see how math is an integral part of the world they live in. Through the use of these tools, students can also take control of their academic achievement, and foster a positive relationship with a subject that previously felt ambivalent about.

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The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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