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All the basic concepts of algebra at your fingertips
How I Use It
Algebra Touch would be a great resource for both younger advanced learners who want to learn the basics of algebra in an intuitive way, and for older students when they first learn algebra.
I would use its interface to introduce concepts to the whole class using a digital whiteboard or with individual students as an introduction or extension activity.
The app would also be useful for students to check their work on problems they have solved with paper and pencil by using the problem set mode.
Algebra Touch is a very clever and useful iPad app for teaching all the basic concepts needed for solving for a single unknown.
Increasingly difficult problems are given as a series of lessons which teach both how to use the app and concepts such as like and unlike terms, order of operations, isolating variables, and factoring out.
Explanations and guides through example problems are written as text at the bottom of the screen while the interactive problem is at the top.
Want to add two numbers?
Just tap the plus sign.
Want to simplify a fraction? Tap the numerator and the denominator and the app will show you all the possible factors. Select the ones you want to use and then swipe through the matching factors.
To add or subtract something from both sides of the equation, just move it with your finger and the signs change automatically.
Algebra Touch does the computation for students so that they are left with the job of solving the problem by determining where and how to manipulate the variables.
The app also won't let you make mistakes such as performing operations in the wrong order.
Each new lesson can be followed by any number of practice problems.
There is even a mode where you can enter your own problems to solve.
I really liked this app because it makes algebra seem easy and intuitive.
Students will need to be able to read the text at the bottom of the screen to get the most out of the app, so teachers will need to make sure students understand the vocabulary involved.
Correction is very subtle.
A gentle shaking of the problem is an indication that something cannot be done while a slight color change of the screen to green indicates a correct answer.
Students can take the "long way" to solve a problem and no correction or guidance is offered so teachers need to be aware of how students are using the app to solve problems and offer support as needed.