Thursday, January 22, 2015

Math 42 app and IXL

My Algebra II class is currently learning to factor and graph quadratics.  With the new common core standards and the increase of technology use in everyday life, I have to decide what part of the material should be taught.  In regard to quadratics, I have settled on factoring the standard form of a quadratic, imaginary numbers, finding the vertex equation and the quadratic formula because that is really all they need to know to work with quadratics.  I do not even teach completing the square or vertex forms because most of the time, I can have students just graph the equation or use the quadratic formula to find roots.
I had my two T.A's try the training part of the Math 42 app and they struggled with it because they did not know the vertex form or even how to complete the square.  This lead me to the though "Are apps keeping pace with what do students really need to know to succeed in today's society.  They can download apps to their phones for use.  My mother remembers when the computer at work took a whole floor and it was the latest.  I had to learn all this because we did not have access to calculators or apps on digital devices.  I had to know so much so I could graph equations. 
I find that IXL has the testing part that allows me choices so I can decide if I only want my Algebra II class to factor or work complete the square.  I can even have my Algebra I class take a quiz focused on the slope-intercept form or point-slope form
I think the Math 42 app will be better as an app to help reinforce learning.