Making Maths Approachable with Usable Math. Accepted to #BRLI2023.

Making Maths Approachable with Usable Math. Accepted to #BRLI2023.

Team UsableMath hosts workshop at the BERK12 #BRLI2023 Conference + pics from conference.

In collaboration with Robert Maloy, PhD and Sharon Edwards, PhD from Elementary Math Education.

Our Google Slides-based learning technology focuses on peer collaboration in elementary math learning and utilizes research-backed math teaching practices by inviting young learners to design their own math word problems.

Usable Math is an online math tutor that is designed to support elementary students, teachers, and families. This digital space, which I've lovingly crafted over the last year using @ajlkn's nocode tool Carrd, aims to create multiple approaches to understanding math word problems.

As designers of Usable Math, all three of us believe in fostering a mathematical growth mindset, inviting creativity, and promoting problem-solving skills. This is our common goal. We strive to make math more than just numbers and equations. For us, it is about understanding the world around us, making informed decisions, and cultivating logical thinking, with the use of simple nocode technology for learner success.

The virtual coaches in their "math characters" show different math problem-solving strategies presented to young learners. Read more on our website.

"I help children understand the language and meaning of questions using kid-friendly vocabulary."

"I provide computational strategies (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) for solving problems."

"I present strategic thinking clues (rounding, estimation, elimination of wrong answers)."

"I offer ways to see problems and their solutions using animations, pictures, charts and graphs."

From its foundation, Usable Math is unique in its instructional approach. It doesn’t just provide solutions to problems; instead, it extends an invitation for students to author their own word problems and create math slideshows. It stimulates learner imagination and promotes critical thinking, in ways that transform maths from a dreaded subject to an exciting journey of exploration, storytelling and discovery.

We understand that some parents may have data privacy concerns about their child’s online learning. That’s why we are proud to say that Usable Math, our online math tutor, does not log any user activity. Neither does our Google Slides platform, which is powered by UMass’ Google Suite for Education. We want to provide a cookie-free and secure learning experience for your child. So, for all those who are data privacy-conscious, we're your friends.

Usable Math at the BRLI2023 Teaching with Technology Conference

With this vision, we were thrilled to be part of the Berkshire Resources for Learning and Innovation (BRLI) 2023 Teaching With Technology Conference. The conference, held at the Berkshire Innovation Center, brought together some of the most brilliant minds in the ed tech space, providing a platform for us to introduce Usable Math to a broader teaching audience. Our workshop focused on how Usable Math can be a tool to enhance learning and creativity among 3rd to 6th graders. We discussed various strategies for promoting word problem-learning and problem-solving, using the iPads which were originally funded by MassCUE. The engaging session was met with enthusiasm, curiosity, and interest from the participants, encouraging us to continue our endeavor to innovate in the realm of education.

What started as a revision of a legacy codebase 4MALITY system, into an exciting testbed which now evolved into a passion-fueled mission for us at Usable Math.

Here are some pictures of other presenters and workshop hosts:

UMass CICS teaching faculty Cheryl Swainer was the BRLI2023 keynote speaker.

Here is Julia Berkowitz Sabourin from the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office, presenting their latest from the world of edtech tools and data privacy:

Professor Edwards showing a student-designed math word problem at the workshop:

#UsableMath #EdTech #BRLI2023

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