Team Usable Math Presents at MassCUE 2023

Team Usable Math Presents at MassCUE 2023

Our Journey in Showcasing Usable Math Online Math Tutor

Amidst the sea of transformative ideas and emerging tech trends, MassCUE 2023 stood as a testament to the bright future of educational technology. This year was particularly special for us as we had the honor of not just being participants but also presenters. Here's a glimpse of our presentations that aimed to shape the trajectory of math education using cutting-edge online tools.

Visuals showing the location of our session hall from Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Both our sessions occurred in Red Level, Suite 22 of the Gillette Stadium.

Usable Math: An Open Online Tutor for Elementary Students, Teachers, and Families

The very essence of math learning is problem-solving. With Usable Math, we tapped into the potential of online tools and virtual coaches to offer a more immersive, engaging, and effective math learning experience. Usable Math caters to young learners from 3rd to 6th grade, allowing them to practice problem-solving, mathematical reasoning, and more.

What's unique about Usable Math is its instructional approach. With virtual coaches like Estella Explainer, Chef Math Bear, How-to-Hound and Visual Vicuna, students receive dynamic strategies to address standardized test questions (from past MCAS tests). These virtual mentors employ text, images, and animations to assist students, ensuring every young learner evolves as a confident math problem solver.

A significant aspect of our presentation centered on how teachers can integrate these tools into their classrooms. From NoCode platforms like Google Slides to leveraging growth mindset feedback, Usable Math showcases the potential of technology in promoting holistic math education. The platform's emphasis on equity further cements its mission - making math learning accessible, inclusive, and enjoyable for everyone.

We've made our session slideshow available in open access here.

Elementary Students Designing Math Learning Slideshows with NoCode NoCost Programming Tools

Building on the ethos of Usable Math, our second presentation took a deeper dive into the world of NoCode tools, notably Google Slides. Aimed at 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, we showcased how students could become creators by designing their math learning slideshows.

The crux of this workshop revolved around how NoCode platforms can revolutionize the way young minds approach math learning. Instead of traditional coding, students use drag-and-drop features, media placeholders, and other easy-to-use elements. This process not only promotes math proficiency but also cultivates design-based thinking.

Equity, as always, was at the forefront. By harnessing tools like Google Slides, which is easily accessible and free, we are paving the path for a more inclusive learning environment. Every student, irrespective of their background, can dive into the world of math slideshow creation, expressing their unique problem-solving strategies.

Looking ahead, the potential is immense. As classrooms adopt these NoCode tools, a new wave of collaborative learning will take shape. Schools can share their projects with one another, fostering a community that thrives on creativity, innovation, and shared learning.

The slides for the second session are available in open access here.

MassCUE 2023 was not just a conference; it was a celebration of the future of education. As we continue on this journey, we're inspired by the educators, students, and tech enthusiasts we met and the shared vision we all hold. The future is bright, and we are excited to be a part of it. Here's to more innovations, collaborations, and transformations in the world of education.

A heartfelt acknowledgment is for UMass Amherst scholar, TEAMS coordinator and math major, Madeline Donnellan. Her unwavering support, deep insights, and passionate commitment significantly enriched our presentation and overall experience at MassCUE 2023. We're profoundly grateful for her collaboration and the expertise she brought to the table.

Until next time.

SE, RM & SG.