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DoodleMaths is an educational iPhone/iPad app created by married couple Tom Minor and Nicola Chilman who met during a Math class. Tom has been teaching for sixteen years and specialises in Maths and Nicola has being teaching Maths, English and Modern Foreign Languages for twelve years. Five years ago, they opened an Education Centre in Bath offering tuition in Maths and English to students after school. Currently tutoring more than 200 students each week, their main focus is improving confidence and motivation in Maths.
“Watching our own small children (aged 2 and 4) using an iPad, Tom had a ‘eureka moment’. He realised that the interactive qualities of the iPad could be used to teach Maths through intuition. With teaching backgrounds, a love of Maths and five years of tutoring children on an individual basis we felt uniquely positioned to design such an app. The result is DoodleMaths”, says Nicola.
DoodleMaths has been fifteen months of design, development, trial and improvement. DoodleMaths has an initial assessment which places a student on an individual programme of study taking into account their personal areas of strengths and weaknesses. The tuition programme offers sets of daily practice questions, a weekly “new topic” which teaches a new maths concept with audio explanations, worked examples and a set of questions.
There are three games to help with multiplication, division, adding and subtracting. There is an index of over 170 individual maths concepts with a search facility to provide help with tricky homework. There is also a parent area with the facility to request a weekly email updating them with information on their child’s progress. As a motivational feature each child acquires a pet when they start the programme, every visit to DoodleMaths earns DoodleStars which can be spent in the pet store purchasing pet accessories.
Currently DoodleMaths covers most of the maths taught between ages 6-11 yrs in England. They are working on DoodleMaths 11-14 yrs and a schools version which will have additional teacher functions.
“Whilst it is by no means perfect, we are working hard to provide an app which helps all children feel good about maths. So many children dislike maths from an early age, they lose confidence, misunderstand the foundations or simply develop slower than some of their peers, hence the “doodle” concept. We are aiming to engage all children in maths and especially those who feel demotivated”, says Nicola. “We are also working on a facility where children can create their own doodles to appear in the app in order to further personalise their learning experience”.
A new and improved version of DoodleMaths is due for release in the App Store in the next few days.
Check them out at: www.doodlemaths.co.uk