Here’s a set of great free Java midlets for learning about several secondary-level mathematical concepts, such as graphing of various equations, equation solving, sketching graphs, fitting graphs to data, and quadrilateral geometry: Math4Mobile.
The functionality of each application has been based on sound pedagogical principles: for example, the development page states the development team’s understanding that “learning is a social-cultural process and teachers and peers are part of the individual cognitive process”. The social-constructivist aspects of teaching and learning theory are reflected in the functionality of these midlets – they integrate with the multimedia messaging capabilities of phones, to enable graphs, diagrams and work to be captured and shared between peers, teachers or mentors. The midlets take full advantage of the mobile phone keypad for interaction and data input, and each one is supported by a set of lesson plans/learning activities that utilise each midlet.
All of the midlets work on mobile phones supporting Java 2 Mobile Edition (J2ME) with a screen resolution greater than 128×96 pixels (which, by my recent research, includes the vast majority of mobile phones sold in Australia within the last two years). Technically, the implementation aligns favourably with best practices in mobile application design.
Math4Mobile is a project of the Institute for Alternatives in Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa. Thanks to Arik, from the development team of Math4Mobile, for bringing this to my attention, and well done!
Maths can be a challenging subject especially – when some students have out of date math books and calculators. Studying hard sometimes isn’t enough: get the help you need with new applications that are available now.
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