Posted on August 30, 2017
Prof Gerrit Stols, Head of the Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at the University of Pretoria, has been responsible for the development of five apps for Android tablets and mobile phones. They are all available on the Google Play Store.
Prof Stols' other teaching innovations have included the development of two interactive e-books, an interactive website for mathematics teachers and their students, and a website supporting mathematics teachers by means of information and communication technology (ICT) intervention. More than 30 000 copies of the MS Word and GeoGebra manuals that he developed have been downloaded from the website.
The first app, called LESSON STUDY, was developed by Prof Stols in collaboration with Prof Yumiko Ono from the Naruto University of Education in Japan. It enables participating teachers to plan and research a lesson together, then present the lesson, and finally reflect on and improve the lesson. This recursive improvement of a lesson continues until the teachers are satisfied with its quality. LESSON STUDY is about more than just teachers preparing and planning together, it 'integrates teaching and research, theory and practice. It is a systematic, research-orientated inquiry into the quality of classroom learning that results in a professional community of teachers who learn together,' said Prof Stols.
The second app, called INTERACTIVE MATHEMATICS, focuses on mathematics for learners in grades 8 to 12. It consists of more than 200 interactive mathematics applets that can help learners to discover and enjoy mathematics. The first version of INTERACTIVE MATHEMATICS has been downloaded 12 629 times and had a rating of 4,28 out of 5 in March 2017. The interactive applets were designed using open-source software called GeoGebra.
The third app, CIRCLE GEOMERTY, tackles a grade 11 topic that is problematic for both teachers and learners. The interactive nature of this app helps users to visualise, understand and enjoy geometry. The app gives users the opportunity to explore interesting properties of circles. It has already been downloaded 500 times and had a rating of 3,8 out of 5 on 13 December 2016.
Prof Stols also developed two apps for grade 8 and 9 learners, called FACTORIZATION and NUMBER SYSTEMS. His iBooks, Interactive circle geometry and Geometry notes: Coordinates geometry, are available from USA iBooks Store. The second book was co-authored by Dr David Thomas from Great Falls University in the USA.
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