What Do Teachers Think About EdTech ?

We know there are a lot of teachers out there using technology in their classrooms.

social media math tech

We also know there are a lot of teachers who aren’t – whether they can’t due to financial constraints or just flat out don’t want to (or some combination thereof).

We interact with a ton of teachers on social media who are super stoked about technology, and that makes us happy. But we do know that the folks we get to interact with aren’t necessarily a great representative sample of the entire teacher population, so we know we’re not getting quite the whole story.

The Pew Internet and American Life survey addresses teacher’s attitudes on technology in the classroom.

Take a look and tell us what you think – do the findings match up with the teachers you know from your school or other professional connections?

  • 45% of US adults have a smartphone
  • 58% of teachers have a smartphone
  • 68% of teachers under 35 have a smartphone
  • 93% of teachers own a laptop, compared with 61% of US adults
  • 39% of teachers own tablets, compared with 24% of US adults
  • 47% of teachers own e-book readers, compared with 19% of US adults
  • 78% of teachers use Facebook and LinkedIn, compared with 69% of US adults
  • 26% of teachers use Twitter, compared with 16% of US adults
  • 42% of teachers think their students still know more about technology than they do
  • 18% of teachers say they know more about technology than their students do

Tell us why or why not by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Buzzmath on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Source : Edudemic

New York loves Buzzmath

To close the achievement gap in middle school math, the NYC Department of Education’s iZone challenged software developers to submit ideas. Buzzmath embraced the “Gap App Challenge” and the result was a tremendous success. Since then, Buzzmath have been featured in an inspiring video by the iZone where educators, students and professionals praise the initiative. Watch “Gap App Prototyping” below to learn how Buzzmath met the needs of the teachers and enhanced math learning for NYC schools.

How Buzzmath Excels for One-to-One Peer Tutoring

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Summary:  One-to-One peer tutoring programs require math resources that have rich activities, instructional support, and actionable data. Buzzmath delivers on this by providing a service that consistently delivers content designed specifically for the Common Core along with on-demand examples and solutions for each and every practice activity. In addition, Buzzmath’s data and administration tools make it easy for tutors to track how their individual tutees are doing while also allowing program administrators insight into the effectiveness of their tutors.

 

Challenge: Giving peer tutors what they need to provide high quality, differentiated instruction

The DPS Lear Tutoring Program, winner of the 2014 National Tutoring Association Public Schools Program of the Year, is an innovative peer tutoring program that pairs high school tutors from East English Village Preparatory Academy with third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students at JE Clark Preparatory Academy for one-on-one math tutoring.

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Every tutor and tutee pair meets for forty minutes twice a week to check on the tutee’s progress in math class, learn new math skills, and reinforce prior skills.

 

Because the tutors are high school students, not trained math teachers, DPS Lear Tutoring needed a math program that would help the tutors give good math explanations. In addition, DPS Lear Tutoring wanted to fully capitalize on its one-to-one structure. They needed a math program that supported differentiated instruction.

Photo02@2xSolution: Detailed explanations, interactive activities, and easy to access data

DPS Lear Tutoring began using Buzzmath during the 2013-2014 school year. Each tutee and tutor was set up with a Premium Buzzmath Account so that they had access to on demand examples, detailed solutions, and detailed reporting tools.

 

Immediately, Caitlin Theisen, the DPS Lear Tutoring Program Director, found that Buzzmath checked all the boxes of what the DPS Lear Tutoring needed.

Quote“What we needed was a program that was interactive, which Buzzmath definitely is, and we needed  something that would provide support in terms of explanations. Now, if our high school tutors need support in explaining what went wrong, they can click on ‘Show Example’. That was a great change for us. We also love that Buzzmath is personalized. With our previous product, the lesson plans were assigned each week so every single student in the class was working on the same exact plan every week, and it was essentially a PowerPoint presentation. Now our tutors can go back to previous activities and gear their instruction towards each individualized student.”

Results: 5% Growth on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program

The difference in the tutees’ growth on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) between the 2012-2013 school year and the 2013-2014 school year, in which Buzzmath was first implemented, was 5%.

This picture is of TreMaine Dwight and Keana Jones. TreMaine is in the class of 2015 and an NTA Certified tutor, Keana is an 8th grader. They've been working together since fall of 2013.

While the growth cannot be attributed directly to Buzzmath, Buzzmath was definitely “one major improvement,” says Caitlin. DPS Lear Tutoring will continue to use Buzzmath for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond as it hopes to expand its innovative one-on-one peer tutoring program.

 

 

 

This picture is of TreMaine Dwight and Keana Jones. TreMaine is in the class of 2015 and an NTA Certified tutor, Keana is an 8th grader. They’ve been working together since fall of 2013. 

 

 [ Download the report in PDF form ]

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Summer of Fun & Learning – Best Math Apps

We were very happy at Buzzmath to learn via Sharon Turriff from appymall that our application made it into the “Best of Apps Series to help keep your kids and students learning whilst having fun on their Summer Holiday”.

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She also had some kind words to say about your favorite application.

“This app is engaging, has more than 2,800 problems aligned with the Common State Standards, a variety of answer inputs, and single-click activity assignment. It will help students as they work towards mastery.”

Thank you Sharon and we hope you have a great summer.

To read the full post, click here : Summer of Fun & Learning – Best Math Apps

The magic of Fibonacci numbers

Arthur Benjamin is a Mathemagician. You know the kind of people who explores hidden properties of the Fibonacci series and reminds you that mathematics can be awesome.

Depicted as a number wizard, Arthur Benjamin is a masterful teacher who has the capacity to see the unseen. In this short video, I learn so much about his favorite collection of numbers, the Fibonacci numbers, than ever before. Did you know that the number of petals on a flower is typically a Fibonacci number, or the number of spirals on a sunflower or a pineapple tends to be a Fibonacci number as well.

And as a middle school students you are probably wondering Why are we learning this?”  

Because it’s fun ! Mathematics is the science of patterns, and we study it to learn how to think logically, critically and creatively. As we spend tremendous time learning about calculation and application let’s not forget about the most important reason of all, inspiration.

Now watch the video and prepare to be amazed :

Pixar : The math behind the movies

The folks at Pixar are widely known as some of the world’s best storytellers and animators. They are perhaps less recognized as some of the most innovative math whizzes around.

Pixar Research Lead Tony DeRose delves into the math behind the animations, explaining how arithmetic, trigonometry and geometry help bring Woody and the rest of your favorite characters to life.

“The main thing I want you to go away with today is to just remember that all the math that you’re learning in high school and actually up through sophomore college we use all the time, everyday, at Pixar.” – Tony DeRose.

Are Children underestimated and unchallenged about Math ?

We hear a lot about how American students lag behind their international peers academically, especially in subjects like math.

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This is how Annie Murphy introduced a study published in the April issue of the American Educational Research Journal, finding that kindergarten students learn more when they are exposed to challenging content such as advanced number concepts and even addition and subtraction.

She also pointed out another study, published last year by Dr. Claessens with co-authors Mimi Engel and Maida Finch, concluded that as things stand, many children in kindergarten are being taught information they already know.

Discussions about how to improve learning for young children usually focus on the length of the whole school day or the number of students in classes, but rarely on what is taught during the hours school is in session.

Increasing the time kindergarten teachers spend on more advanced math concepts may be a simpler and more cost-effective way to boost learning.

In fact young students are ready to learn more advanced math concepts, as long as they are presented in an engaging, developmentally appropriate way

Read the full article here : Underestimated and Unchallenged

You could read more on the latest in social science research about how we learn, like Designing Smarter Homework, on Annie Murphy Paul’s Brilliant blog. 

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Buzzmath gets international recognition in London, UK

Students and teachers at the American School in London love Buzzmath.

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They chose Buzzmath because it is designed for the Common Core State Standards and because it gives immediate feedback to the students. Not only do the teachers use Buzzmath in class, they also use it for engaging homework assignments. And, when the Buzzmath Contest of the Year came around, students at the American School in London stepped up to the challenge! Ms. Brown, one of the American School in London’s teachers, raves, “The kids love it!”

To read the full story, please click here : Grade 6 rise to the challenge of Buzzmath!

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HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT OUR NEW BUZZMATH APP YET?

Have you downloaded our updated Buzzmath application yet? We hope you like what you see! It’s filled with more functionality than ever before, to help you enjoy your experience when it comes to practicing your math skills.

Some of the cool new features in Buzzmath Middle School (V.1.5.0) include:

  • New drawing mode! Select the pencil to draw directly on the screen. Doing math on the iPad has never felt more natural.

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  • The calculator has arrived! Optimized for the iPad screen, the new calculator will show you the last calculation and let you paste it in the answer zone. Now every single tool your student needs to work on Buzzmath is right in the program itself!
  • The introduction of our integrated messaging system is just one of the ways we are making it easier to teachers and student. Teachers can now send messages to their students. Sent messages will appear on their home screen.
  • 10% more space! Pages have been redesigned to give more space to what matters most, the content and your work.

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Stay tuned for more updates and let us know what you think of the new Buzzmath app!

NYC Teachers Change the Buzzmath iPad App Forever

The New York City Department of Education Innovation Zone created the Gap App Challenge to find apps that would help middle schools fill the gaps in student skills, interests, and motivation. Buzzmath’s applied and we were matched with two rockstar NYC teachers, Lauren and Candice.

As part of the challenge, Candice, Lauren, Carl, and Deborah met almost every week to discuss how Buzzmath was going in their classrooms and their ideas for how to make Buzzmath better. Deborah visited the school to see how Candice and Lauren used Buzzmath in their classrooms.

The wonderful thing about working with teachers is that they always surprise us with what they do. Lauren uses Buzzmath with her students in small groups and created an assignments tracker so that students will keep track of how they’re doing. Candice created a data wall and celebrates the students who’ve earned the most stars and used Buzzmath the longest. “The students love it,” Candice says. “It holds them accountable and gets them to talk about math.” Candice also created a PowerPoint to share Buzzmath with other teachers. As a result, all the other teachers at the school wanted to start using Buzzmath, too.

Picture Buzzmath NYC GAP

Left : Buzzmath Tracker Right : Buzzmath Data Wall Center : Buzzmath PowerPoint

Transforming the App Based on Teacher Feedback

We’re busy taking the feedback Candice and Lauren give us all the time to make Buzzmath even better. One thing we’re changing during the Gap App Challenge is giving students and teachers the ability to write directly on the iPad. Imagine students working with math problems on the iPad as easily as they would work with pen and paper!

We’re also exploring modifying existing features, such as how teachers can assign activities and the reports they get from those assignment.

Left : Initial ideas for the Assignments Feature Right : Showing work on the Buzzmath iPad App

Left : Initial ideas for the Assignments Feature
Right : Showing work on the Buzzmath iPad App

Do You Have Feedback for Us?

We’re always looking to learn from great teachers and like Lauren and Candice and great students like the ones in their classroom. Please contact us with your questions and ideas about Buzzmath!

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