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Using Adaptive Learning Programs as a Form of Math Help

By Jim Wheelin Subscribe to RSS | December 6th 2011 | Views:
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There are a variety of tools used to help students learn the basic concepts of math, and a recent focus has been on interactive online games and puzzles. This type of math help is fun and rewarding for the student and specifically tailored toward his or her individual learning style. Although traditional classrooms rely on teacher-led discussions, research shows that students learn in a variety of ways, and it’s these very learning styles that should be nurtured. Since it can be difficult to tailor lesson plans toward each student, parents and tutors are using adaptive learning tools outside the classroom to keep kids on track.

Adaptive Learning: Study Help for Every Student

The concepts learned in math start at an early age and include such skills as counting, adding and subtracting. A child can’t continue on to another lesson until they firmly grasp the concept prior. For example, many students struggle with multiplication and division because they do not fully understand adding and subtracting. Even though tutors are a valuable asset and can assist in a better understanding of the material, many students still struggle to learn the concepts because the tutor is only offering one-on-one interaction, not a different learning approach.

There has been more focus on adaptive learning as a form of math help, and this type of learning takes place over the computer and includes comprehensive games and puzzles. The atmosphere is fun and engaging for young children, and the interactive games are built around the student’s learning style. The programs are designed to fill in the gaps and foster how the child grasps material. The games take basic math concepts and encourage students to use them in different ways so that they are comfortable using the skills. 

These adaptive learning techniques can be used by educators and parents and are much more in depth than any other free online learning program online. Unlike mainstreamed online programs, adaptive learning online programs are structured toward each child and are capable of supporting all students no matter where they fall on the learning spectrum. Students are expected to show their work and apply the concepts in a variety of ways. 

Adaptive Learning vs. Online Math Games

One of the criticisms that online math programs have received is that they don’t replicate the value of the teacher, tutor or parent. With these significant individuals, students receive one-on-one attention and guidance, as well as the necessary encouragement to develop new skills. When students sit in front of a computer and click on answers, they miss out on opportunities to work closely with an instructor and properly develop their skills.

While these criticisms are certainly valid, it’s important to recognize the difference between online games designed for entertainment and online games that are part of an adaptive learning program. Adaptive learning games are built around rigorous math concepts and learning strategies that foster the use and understanding of basic math concepts. With millions of ways to navigate through the curriculum and options to adjust the levels of difficulty, these math help programs are intuitive, forward-thinking and valuable.

Adaptive learning programs are essential educational resources that are not only used by tutors and parents, but also within classrooms. With the opportunity to deepen the understanding of math concepts and problem solving skills, students can excel at their own rate and be ready to apply new concepts to continue building on the curriculum. With programs for advanced and struggling students, this type of computer-based math help is beneficial for all students.

Jim Wheelin - About Author:
Jim Wheelin writes about many different educational topics for parents and teachers. Jim is always keeping an eye out for the latest teaching techniques and tools, including programs that can help children in elementary who need math help. He also likes to test out-of-the-box educational resources such as http://www.dreambox.com/

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