Teaching maths to ‘generation gadget’


20 Aug 2010

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Engaging the modern student must involve making subjects such as maths and science more appealing by incorporating technology in a way that reflects the tech savvy of these digital natives says interactive education firm Prim Ed, distributors of yTeach e-lessons.

"A part of the Project Maths mindset is to use digital technology. Considering teenagers use technology in almost everything they do the best way to get them interested in subjects like science and maths is to speak their language,’ says Patricia Redmond, yTeach.

Redmond explains that part of the new way of teaching, which is currently being introduced in Project Maths, is to focus more on real life examples and inquiry-led learning while moving away from purely rote learning and being able to work on maths problems and continue lessons from home through e-learning platforms is an important part of this.

With more multimedia and a move away from traditional teaching methods in combination with the increasing failure rates of recent years some have asked if secondary level education is "dumbing down".

"Some people have expressed this concern and I don’t think is a worry. It is simply a change of emphasis. Remember, e-learning services like yTeach cultivate independent and critical thinking because it is not so much teacher-led as it once was and students get the chance to work independently while receiving valuable feedback," said Redmond.

In years past students would ask why they were learning off formulas and proofs and sometimes the only answer was "for your exams," says Redmond, but now they are getting real-life examples and subjects like maths are becoming more relevant.

Prim Ed’s yTeach is currently developing content for Project Maths, which will be available soon.

"We’ve rolled out yTeach to over 100 schools across the country and the feedback to date from teachers, pupils and parents has been phenomenal," said yTeach managing director, Seamus McGuinness.

 "The programme has proven particularly effective with weaker students or those with learning difficulties, as such pupils typically perform better when stimulated visually with video or images," he added.