Math gaming, math campaigning, and more

Here's the buzz in math education today. The New York Times has a cool story about eighth-graders in Brooklyn using video games to drill algebra. Apparently this is a growing field. Microsoft announced it's going to dump about $1.5 million into "games research" to attract those elusive, glued-to-the-screen pre-teens.

In a presidential campaign that has been VERY quiet on reading, writing and arithmetic, Education Week has a story about ideas from Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for boosting the math and science teaching corps.

Also, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings talked about funding for math education yesterday in a forum convened to discuss the National Math Panel's report, and she said No Child Left Behind is helping to improve math performance.

I'm interested in learning more about math gaming. If any one has heard of any particular games, gaming companies, or schools that are using them... let me know!

Also,what do you think of the presidential candidates' views on improving math and science education? Do you see any promising ideas coming out of this campaign?

By Michael Alison Chandler  |  October 8, 2008; 11:01 AM ET  | Category:  Technology
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I still love 24 game! I even play it sometimes when riding the bus with house numbers or numerals in license plates. It's not algebra, but we played it competitively in our algebra class in 8th grade, so much fun. I've also been lucky that the people I have tutored in math have humored my love for the game. It does have a bit of a learning curve, figuring out what you can do to make the four numbers equal 24, so, breaking it into multiplication problems, or 18+6, 16+8, 14+10, etc. We played it at my birthday party, 24 game for the 24th birthday! Mental math turns out not to be good for a party, but it is great for math practice.

I think it's fun to make math a game like this. Beyond memorizing a select set of facts, I also learned to move numbers around in my head quickly, how to describe what I was doing to other people, and got the chance to learn how other people got to answers when they said their solution, too.

Posted by: potmeetkettle | October 8, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

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