Hour of Code

Although I have been busy with a new position in instructional design for online education at a community college, I want to continue to add educational technology posts at this site and keep you posted of great ideas out there.  As a part time developer of educational apps for the iPad and iPhone (iOS platform) and as a coder of Objective C, SpriteKit, Cocoa Touch, and many other Frameworks, it would not have been possible to have released my apps on the App Store at Apple without studying computer programming. There are many applications of computer programming in today’s world as you will see in the video.  I hope this Hour of Code Video inspires you to consider using their materials in your classroom or at the very least to promote these services to your students.

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Find Calculate Color, a math memory game for your iPad

Find Calculate ColorFIND CALCULATE COLOR is a math memory game that is designed to run on the iPad. In a grid of 48 tiles a user finds a number, calculates an equation, or chooses a color that will eliminate as many tiles on the board as possible. FIND CALCULATE COLOR is what it is. It is a math memory game.

There are four levels to explore and all levels produce random FINDS, CALCULATES, and COLORS. There is a easy level which can be demoed in the free version of Find Calculate Color. The Easy, Medium, Hard, and Equations levels are available in the purchased version, and by their names those levels are a bit more challenging. There are various versions of basic math and color choices, and the game generates random finds, equations, and color nodes. The game is very intuitive and simply requires the user to select by double tapping an answer or menu item. To play FIND CALCULATE COLOR a user needs to know his/her math facts and to have a good memory.

FIND CALCULATE COLOR is designed by Absolutely Learning and implements Objective C, Cocoa Touch and Sprite Kit animations to make the user interface more interactive and enjoyable. It is optimized for the iPad (iOS 7.1 versions and above).

FIND CALCULATE COLOR meets many math standards and learning strategies, but these Common Core State Standards are definitely implemented for grades 1 – 5.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10.

CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.
CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.B.5
Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.C.7
Fluently multiply and divide within 100.

CCSS.Math.Content.4.OA.A.1
Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.

How to play Zoombla, a math app for ages 8 and up

As Zoombla is my first app on the Apple App Store, I am receiving a lot of good feedback about how to improve it.  But I am also finding that some don’t understand its main benefit so I wanted to review the benefits of its design for teachers, parents, and students.  First, it is a math game with endless solutions.  It is not right or wrong.  There are many ways to win the game, and thus it provides competition and more fun when played head to head with two or more players.  It is also designed to help students think about math and not necessarily be right or wrong along the way, but to use and see math for a real purpose.

The five random cards that are produced each round can be used in a variety of ways to reach the target number.  Participants who use all operations and operands should be awarded more points, but I left the game open ended so that students and families could find creative ways to play and apply points to the game.  So while our natural inclination is to search for specific right and wrong answers.  Zoombla gives you a problem to which you apply creative math solutions and have fun with how you want to score the results.  Every solution should be rewarded as some are more challenging than others, and I wanted students and players to talk with each other instead of only facing some unknown on-line participant.

I have added a video link below that is currently on Youtube, and I hope it helps better explain the game.  I would also appreciate your suggestions for improvement.  In fact if you send me a direct review to my email (matt@mattmoore.net), I can send you a free promotional code so that you can give the app to a friend or a colleague.  As I finish my studies of Core Data, I am also beginning to find data game ideas such as State Facts Games etc.  If you have an idea that you would to see developed on the iPhone and iPad, let me know and I can give you a free copy of it if I design and develop it.

 

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Math Suggestion for Parents

Does your child need extra practice with math facts?  Are you in search of tools that will help children increase their arithmetic confidence?  Then you should consider using this app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.  It runs on iOS7 and you can download it from iTunes today. Zoombla 1.1 is a great way to practice math in a gaming atmosphere, and you can learn more about it by watching this YouTube video or going to iTunes and searching for Zoombla by Matt Moore

With a deep understanding of programming concepts and theory, Matt Moore has designed and developed apps for the iOS platform.  Currently Zoombla a math game for students, classroom environments, and home learning is available on the iTunes App store.  Absolutely Learning is currently working upon a game about state facts by using Core Data Programming concepts and skills.

Zoombla for Teachers

AppIcon120Zoombla a math game for students and adults, was designed with upper elementary students in mind; however, after the release at the iTunes App Store Absolutely Learning is discovering that older students and adults are finding it enjoyable for increasing math facts speed, sharpening the mind, and competing with others and other generations.  While there has been no official study that this game increases memory and attention, it would be interesting to get feedback from an independent study on various age groups to see if it has the same added effect as the games from organizations such as lumosity.

For teachers and parents, it is suggested that Zoombla be implemented as a stand alone game station or as a game of two or more players. For the stand alone game station, teachers could record the games completed during the class time allotted or simply let the students play a math game.  In the competitive mode of two or more players playing head to head on separate devices, students could keep score in a variety of ways.  One goal is to score all different types operands used, and another is to use as few cards as possible.  A third goal could be the number of games completed for a specific set of time such as five or ten minutes.  As the game has been known to get a little competitive it is also suggested that students of like math abilities compete as there is not timer only a beep upon completing a match.

Zoombla Solve 2 Screen shot Nov 17, 2013, 10.23.45 PMAbsolutely Learning also wants to let its readers know that the current version was specifically created for the iPhone and iPod running iOS7, but it does run on the iPad too.  AL is currently developing a different version for the iPad to take full advantage of its unique dimensions and capabilities but currently the program runs on all devices.  There will also be updates as user feedback and suggestions are analyzed and implemented.

Absolutely Learning designs, develops, and maintains creative educational technology solutions for digital, blended, and traditional learning environments. Among many projects for various clients, AL has created SMARTBOARD lessons, designed creative materials for Spanish teachers, developed computer science lessons, produced educational technology projects, trained Moodle users, hosted on-line learning systems, and tailored multimedia projects for schools and other clients.

Zoombla, a math game for your iPhone or iPod

AppIcon120Zoombla created by Absolutely Learning is a math game that requires the usage of arithmetic facts to find a target number. First, a player creates a math equation that produces either the target number or a number that is useful in creating an equation to reach the target number. Then the player takes that answer to create another math equation while always attempting to reach the target number. Once the user reaches or matches the target number the user receives credit for the fewest moves used and most operands used.

The product was created as a math game for ages 8 and up.  Students in grades 3 – 6 can hone their math skills while older students in grades 7 – 12 can review their math facts in preparation for Algebra classes. This game also has uses for adults who want to practice their math facts, help their children, or increase life long memory skills.

Zoombla Solve 2 Screen shot Nov 17, 2013, 10.23.45 PMAbsolutely Learning recommends several best practices and uses for this product.  It can be implemented as a stand alone product for students who need reinforcement of basic arithmetic and tutoring, but it can also be implemented as a game where students who have the product downloaded upon their device compete head to head trying to score the fewest moves or the most types operands used.  The game is random which provides for unique outcomes and interesting explanations.  When used as a game it is recommended that students and participants reflect upon outcomes and discuss and answers to promote reflection and explanation of ideas.

The game records the most recent games played so that teachers, parents, and players can review recent work and progress, but that data is not recorded for the long term.  Once a the app is restarted it will reset the scores saved after the first round.

Absolutely Learning designs, develops, and distributes creative educational technology solutions for schools and unique training needs. By using the Xcode environment, Object-C coding structures, teaching experiences, and instructional design, Absolutely Learning is providing unique solutions for the modern learner who uses the iPhone and iPad. For more information about us please visit http://www.absolutelylearning.com or contact absolutelylearning@gmail.com.

Zoombla – Matt Moore