District expands use of math video games - Tech Learning

District expands use of math video games

 According to Texas state law, all 8th grade students must pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) mathematics test in order to be promoted to the 9th grade.  They have three chances before the end of June.
Publish date:

According to Texas state law, all 8th grade students must pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) mathematics test in order to be promoted to the 9th grade. They have three chances before the end of June and then a Grade Placement Committee determines their fate. Couple that pressure with the uneasiness many students already feel about learning math, and the result is some very anxious students. At Austin Independent School District (AISD), educators have addressed students’ fears by teaching math through games -- immersive educational video games, that is.

This month, AISD is expanding its use of the DimensionM educational video games to 7 middle and 15 private schools. The district first began using the immersive games in a summer pilot program that proved beneficial to math-challenged students.

Developed by Tabula Digita, the DimensionM multiplayer video games are designed to teach and reinforce key mathematics concepts from grades 3-12.The games incorporate a series of first-person action adventure missions that feature graphics, sound and animation similar to those in popular video games. By successfully navigating a myriad of embedded lessons, students can master the mathematics concepts previously discussed in class.

The introduction of the supplemental games began in July, as part of the intensive 10-day JumpStart program for 350 students in the 8th grade who failed the mathematics portion of the TAKS retest, for the third time.The program, designed to prepare students for 9th grade Algebra I, ran from July 22 – August 4 and offered students four hours of accelerated core instruction each day.

“Students were given 30 minutes a day to play the games,” said Norma Jost, Secondary Mathematics Supervisor for AISD. “What we saw next was amazing – our students were not only succeeding but truly becoming interested in learning mathematics again.”

According to Dr. Mary Thomas, who oversees state and federal accountability for AISD, “An important consideration in selecting the DimensionM gaming software for the pilot program was the mounting research showing that game-based learning is a highly successful 21st century teaching and learning tool for today’s digitally-advanced students.Equally important was its alignment to standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Texas state standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for mathematics,” she said.

During the 10-day program, students were assessed twice by way of a survey. Nearly 82 percent of the student respondents indicated they were improving in understanding key mathematics concepts such as negative numbers and generalizing patterns. Over 86 percent of the students responded positively to the question about whether they liked the games and whether they thought they were helping them to improve their mastery of mathematics.



Florida district expands math games

Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) has expanded its use of DimensionU to include all middle school intensive math classrooms across the County’s 56 middle schools and alternative learning centers.tive learning centers. 

Math challenge uses video games to spur learning

Many educators agree that one of the best ways for children of all ages to enhance learning is through play and useful applications of the skills they have developed. Not surprisingly, then, many teachers are increasingly adding educational video games to their mix of classroom tools.

Maryland districts take math games seriously

Two Maryland school districts have implemented an adventure-style math game curriculum to bolster math competency for thousands of the state’s youngest students in kindergarten through third grade. 

West Virginia pilots math video games

 The Blue Ribbon Mathematics Partnership Committee in West Virginia has selected seven middle and high schools to participate in a nine-month pilot program using educational video math games.

Georgia districts expand use of cloud technology

Four school districts in Georgia recently completed a project funded by the Georgia Power Foundation to help them enhance their use of web-based tools to streamline and align processes including the management of meetings, strategic plans, policies, leadership evaluations, and communications.

Buffalo schools using gaming to teach math

Buffalo Public Schools (NY) recently selected DimensionM™ education video games to supplement their math curriculum for 12,000 students in 45 schools. The district will begin using the games during the upcoming summer school session and continue in the fall. Tabula