The Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit (GMMDU), in partnership with the NMMU Department of Computing Sciences, will launch their new Mobile Mathematics App on Wednesday 22 August.
In Version 1, participants will be able to test their maths knowledge, compete for the top spot in one of 10 levels, as well as overall position. More than 3000 multiple choice questions, ranging from basic arithmetic to Grade 12 Maths have been entered into the database. Later versions will include a maths glossary, dual challenges between participants, detailed maths syllabus content, as well as tutorials.
According to Prof Werner Olivier, Head of the GMMDU and First Rand Foundation Chair in Maths Education at NMMU, there is a critical need to move away from the exclusivity of traditional delivery of learning maths.
“Technology has spawned a colourful spectrum of new ways to construct meaning through different modes of techno-interaction. The Mobile Maths App adds yet another exciting layer of opportunities for learners to engage independently with a variety of mathematical ideas and experiences,” he said.
Professor Jean Greyling, head of the Department of Computing Sciences, sees great potential in this collaboration.
“Combining the syllabus expertise of the GMMDU with our department’s expertise in developing mobile applications, gives us a unique opportunity to make a contribution towards the teaching of maths in our country.”
In 2011, the department launched a MXit app aimed at the school subject Computer Application Technology (CAT) that is proving to be very popular. It has over 16000 registered users, of which 2000 joined in July 2012. Although the Maths App will also be launched on the MXit platform, the plan is expand it to other mobile platforms in the future.
“We find that MXit reaches mainly learners from disadvantaged communities, and therefore this is a priority to us,”, says NMMU’s Dr Melisa Koorsse, the main developer in the group.
Marlon Parker, who heads up MXit Reach, MXit’s social innovation enterprise, is main speaker at the launch. He is a social entrepreneur and activist of using social media and mobile technology for social good.
The Mail and Guardian, represented Africa and South Africa listed him in 2009 and 2010 as one of the Top Young South Africans at the Young Leaders conference in Italy during 2010 and Social Innovation Summit in Washington DC in 2012.
His passion for community development has influenced his work and led to being the founder of the Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs), a global movement currently having activities in 15 countries worldwide. He is also the founder of start-up JamiiX that is currently the backbone to the largest mobile chat support counselling network in the world with more than 2.5 million people being reached since its inception.
Marlon recently joined popular Mobile Social Network, MXit where he heads up their social innovation enterprise, MXit Reach, currently reaching 14.3 million people across Africa.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/08/new-mobile-app-for-maths/