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.
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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. And video games are particularly well-suited to exploring math skills and principles.

That's why the education services and technology company Pearson and the mathematics game developer Tabula Digita have announced the Pearson DimensionM Indiana After School Challenge, a program designed to encourage Indiana students to practice their computational fluency and problem-solving skills by playing the DimensionM educational video game after school hours.

The After School Challenge will be held the week of November 11-18, between 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. (EST) each day. Students can download a free version of DimensionM Powered by Pearson, the customized multiplayer game developed by Tabula Digita, at www.DimensionU.com/Pearson/Indiana. The games are aligned directly to the math curriculum in Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley enVisionMATH and Pearson’s middle school programs, Prentice Hall Middle Grades Mathematics and Connected Mathematics (CMP2).

“This fusion of digital content and technology-based immersive learning systems will propel students to be more engaged in their own learning, practicing math even when they aren’t at school,” said Ntiedo Etuk, chief executive officer of Tabula Digita. “And the best part of all is that the students won’t even realize how much they are learning because they will be having so much fun.”

The daily challenge will have students going head-to-head using their math skills to advance through timed video games. Each participant’s scores will be recorded and will accumulate throughout the weeklong challenge. To win the competition, students will have to navigate through numerous mathematical obstacles, and compete against students around the state to score the most points as a grade over that same grade at any other school. Two winners from each grade level, grades three-eight, will receive $400 in educational materials for their schools.

Four years in the making, enVisionMATH is a research-based program that blends visual animations and interactive problem solving skills to build a strong foundation in math concepts. Published in both English and Spanish, enVisionMATH’s design includes a Visual Learning Bridge in each lesson, with step-by-step pictures that bridge the gap between the learning activity and guided practice.

Prentice Hall Middle Grades Mathematics draws upon math expert Randy Charles’ expertise to continue developing students’ problem-solving skills with real-world applications and meaningful connections. With its student-centered, problem-based approach and focus on engaging students in mathematics discussion, investigation, and application, CMP2 can help students develop deep mathematical understanding by becoming active participants in their own learning.

“Math can be a challenging subject for many children, but strong math skills are vital to success in school and in life,” said Mike Evans, Pearson’s senior vice president of mathematics. “We believe that the games encourage and motivate students to practice and master complex material. Their success is fueled by individual comprehension.”

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