On the eve of the 2013 Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s annual conference, I was getting a little nostalgic. I started thinking of the great conferences, great Ontario locations, great educators and great Ontario successes that I’ve witnessed over the years.
And, in the category of “Where are they now?”, I thought about the ladies from Mathville. Mathville was one of the very applications that made its way into younger classes and had them using the computer to do something other than simple word processing. Mathville and Mathville Jr could be used as a stand alone application and it did so in some classes. But the power of the programs came when you had students working together in twos and threes to talk about how to solve the problems. The original Mathvilles took you through Math in every day life. I’ve seen classes extend the concept so that the students were challenged to created their own real-life mathematics problems. At that point, it took on its own life.
My wondering had me doing some searching and, sure enough, the applications are available on the web. In the past, Mathville had spun another direction Wordville but now I see even more targeted applications at the http://www.mathville.com website.
I think that the exciting part was the approach taken – that working with Mathematics can be fun. Just as with the originally licensed product, the programs shouldn’t stand alone and need further enrichment and activity to get the most from them.
Applications from Courseware have been developed as well for the iPad. The applications are available at http://www.ipadthinker.com.
It was a nice trip along memory lane looking at the applications. It did bring back many memories of times when Mathville hit the classroom. For many teachers, these programs were among the very first that they used with their students and enjoyed success.
In this day and age, you won’t be building a mathematics program around these applications but they may still have a purpose in some classes.
And, because they’re on the web, they’re also accessible at home.