Mathematics Department Creates Apps to Facilitate Learning
A group of mathematicians, mathematics educators, and software programmers are working together to create an integrated app-based mathematical learning environment for Filipino school children. Funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), the Ateneo-led project hopes to address urgent educational adaptations in the Philippines brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ma. Louise Antonette N. De Las Peñas, mathematics professor from the Loyola Schools and Mathplus team leader, says, “In the learning of mathematics, the use of mathematical applications that target the development of problem solving and critical thinking in school children is a rich supplementary resource that can aid teachers in blended and online learning during this time.’’
Mathplus and Senso Eskwela Pilipinas (SEP) are just two initiatives that fall under the project, Technology Innovations for Mathematical Reasoning, Statistical Thinking and Assessment. Mathplus mobile apps are designed to promote mathematical reasoning and visual thinking so that Filipino children can learn to think by and for themselves. They are free, run on moderate system requirements in laptops, tablets, or cellphones, and can be readily used by teachers and students in blended and online learning environments. The apps are research-based and are aligned with the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs) of the official Grade 1 to 11 Mathematics Curriculum of the Department of Education. More importantly, they are designed to be navigated with minimal instruction. Students will be able to use the apps at their own time, while math teachers may assign work on the apps for both asynchronous and synchronous lessons.
Last September 24 and 25, 2020, the School of Science and Engineering hosted the webinar series, “Senso Eskwela Pilipinas at Iba Pa: Introducing the new Mathplus Apps.” It was where SEP was introduced to mathematics public and private teachers from Grades 1 to 11. Focusing on statistical learning in Grades 1 to 11 and mobile applications on mathematical topics for Grades 1 to 10, the web app aims to promote statistical literacy in Filipino students. It is the first online platform in the Philippines for gathering, storing, and retrieving authentic data that can be used for statistics teaching and learning. Through the guidance of their teacher, students accomplish an online survey where responses will be part of the database. This can be accessed for use in different activities for statistical learning.
The two-day webinar highlighted the ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ateneo de Manila and its partners in education: the Department of Education Schools Divisions Mandaluyong and Marikina cities. Through the MOU, the partners strengthen the mission to provide support to all teachers and educators in ensuring that quality mathematics education is provided to the learners via math-based apps.