jump to example.com

Math iPad app created by Virginia Tech researchers quickly exceeds expectations

M_060915-science-candybot2It didn’t take long for CandyBot, the latest math iPad app created by a research group from Virginia Tech, to start getting noticed. The app – designed to teach fractions and functions, among other concepts – has been downloaded more than 40,000 times since its April launch.

CandyBot is the fourth in a series of applications developed by the GAMES Project, part of the Learning Transformation Research Group at Virginia Tech that focuses on transforming kindergarten through 12th grade education. The team is comprised of researchers and developers from Virginia Tech’s College of Science, College of Liberal Arts and Human Science and College of Engineering.

The project has been funded by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Anderson Norton, associate professor of mathematics and Candybot co-developer, explained how CandyBot is better than the previous apps because it brings together four key elements: engagement, game design, software engineering and math concepts.

“CandyBot is the first time we got it all right,” Norton said. “This is what we wanted the others to be.”

The app’s main focus is on fractions and functions and assists students in understanding how to transfer inputs into desired outputs.

Players begin the game by creating their own robot and getting to work in the candy factory. The first level starts out easy, requiring players to only input whole numbers of candy bars. As players progress through the levels the orders become more difficult, including improper fractions and mixed numbers. Players are able to use their robot to create different functions to accurately complete orders and satisfy their customers.

The game also includes features that become available once certain levels are reached. These features include the ability to bundle and slice the candy bars.

The CandyBot Game is available for all iPads and iPad Minis with iOS version 6.0 or higher.

The main developers for CandyBot were Osman Balci, professor of computer science; Serdar Aslan, a computer science doctoral student; Steven Boyce, a mathematics doctoral student; and Norton. Kirby Deater-Deckard, director of graduate programs in psychology, is also a member of the team; his focus deals directly with how the apps work in a classroom environment with the students.

As a part of the NSF grant, teachers in Danville, Virginia, and Martinsville, Virginia, have been using CandyFactory and CandyDepot apps since 2013 when they were released. CandyBot was just recently introduced to the teachers as well.

One middle school teacher at Shawsville Middle School, in Montgomery County also uses the apps with his students.

The development team would ideally like students to download the games on their own, but have found it extremely helpful to have it introduced to them in the classroom first.

Discussion
 
Recent Posts
 
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.