Slate Science combines math and fun
Dec 20, 2012 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
If you find children glued to their tablet computers during a mathematics lesson, it may not be because they are bored. They may simply be doing exercises. A mathematics learning program for tablets and smartphones called "Ten Fingers" won first place in a start-up competition held as part of the international education conference held by the Levinsky College of Education.
The program was developed by Slate Science, which was founded a year ago. Among the company's founders are Prof. Shimon Shocken, founding dean of the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and Prof. Raz Kupferman, chairman of the Einstein Institute of Mathematics at the Hebrew University.
The idea is to learn mathematics through trying exercises taken from the word of the child, from simple tasks such as counting toys, counting fish, arranging birds in pairs in order to understand odd and even numbers, to complicated tasks like solving equations and work with functions.
"We believe in learning through the hands," say the entrepreneurs whose original development won a prize of NIS 30,000. The winners decided to donate the prize money to a school that they believed needed it, among other things so that it could buy tablets with the program.
The program is currently at the pilot stage, and is being used at three schools in Israel, in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
The "Ten Fingers" may not solve the crisis in mathematics education, but it could at least do something that for many of us was a dream -- to combine mathematics and enjoyment.
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