5th Grade Tablet PC Math System
5th grade students in Kelly Long’s math class have been piloting the Tablet PC Math System developed at Carnegie Mellon University. As described by CMU, “The Tablet Math System is a suite of applications, consisting of a thin client for use on tablet pcs and a web interface. The system allows students to write directly on a tablet pc to solve various types of simple mathematics problems. It also allows students to create scratch work for harder problems (i.e. long division). The students can have exercises assigned to them by their teacher, or practice on their own. The teachers interact with the system through a web-based interface. Through this interface, teachers can monitor student and class performance, assign exercises and manage their class. Teachers can also view class results in real-time, and view individual scratch work of students filtered by various criterias.”
To this point the students have utilized the system for addition problems on a limited, in-class basis. Despite a few technical glitches early in the deployment process, the students found the software easy to use and reacted positively to the experience (e.g. they actually asked if they could do more math problems!). With the addition of a second Tablet PC cart scheduled for January, the potential exists to use the program more fully and frequently. Should the Tablet Math System prove an integral part of the curriculum, its use could expand to include all 5th grade math students.
Although the main purpose of the pilot was to help our students improve their math skills, we have been able to assist CMU with fine-tuning the application and they have been very responsive to our suggestions and feedback. A new version of the Tablet Math System was recently released, we are looking forward to testing its features and functions in the months ahead, and will share our findings in the near future.