Making Maths count: Top ten Apps for learning

Helen Wellings
Experts are convinced the answer to Australia's declining Maths abilities lies in mobile applications that link Maths to real life experiences. Photo: Getty

With Australian students' international ranking in Maths sinking to 17th out of 65 countries, a leading education expert says we need a radically different approach - and it starts early, in the home.

Only one in 10 of our students study advanced maths, because we're among the few countries where compulsory maths isn't needed to graduate from high school.

It has resulted in employers struggling to fill jobs in science, technology and engineering.

Experts are convinced the answer lies in mobile applications that link Maths to real life experiences.

"We want parents to be able to talk to their children about mathematics and display positive attitudes," says Maths Education Lecturer at the University of Western Sydney Dr Catherine Attard.

She says good Apps are ideal for drilling, problem solving and teaching concepts - and so are games.

With more kids using tablets, the Maths education expert has named her top 10 Maths Apps.

The top 10 apps for children

Amazing Time - helps children learn to read the time as well as understand the language of time. Age group: 5-12.

Bee-Bot - helps children practice the language of position. Age group: 5-7.

Concentration - covers a range of mathematical concepts beginning at number recognition, all the way through to equivalent fractions. A very useful app for building fluency and improving concentration. Age group: 5-12.

Coop Fractions - a fraction app that provides practice at placing proper and improper fractions in a number line. Players choose a level of difficulty. Age group: 10-12.

Friends of Ten - uses ‘ten frames’, a resource used in most classrooms in Australia and allows children to practice their number skills using the familiar structure of the ten frames. Age group: 5-7.

Math Quiz - for older children, the game can be played individually or in multi-player mode, and covers a wide range of mathematical concepts. Great to help children revising for maths tests. Age group: 11+.

Mathsterious Mansion - based on whole number understandings, addition, subtraction and the 100s chart, it supports the development of mental computation. Age group: 7-10.

Ninja Factor Free - builds fluency around multiplication facts. Age group: 8-12.

Number Lines - helps children with basic addition, sequencing and skip counting. Great for practicing the number skills learned at school. Age group: 5-6.

Threes - teaches children to double numbers and to use strategy. Age group: 10+.

  • The top 10 apps were produced by Dr Catherine Attard at Engaging Maths

Research shows the sooner kids incorporate Maths into everyday home-life, the better their chances of being great mathematicians and enjoying it.

"This game Mabble is fantastic for teaching number skills and it is a game all the family can play together," said Attard.

"The kitchen is full of maths. We can talk to children about weighing things, we can teach them to read labels on packages, about length, volume and capacity."

News break - 3 February