The innovational project I have chosen takes places in France and it’s called Mathador, which is a digital resource to do maths in a different way. This kind of learning is called game based learning, an innovative technique used to learn theoretical contents presented through games. Also this is a research project, as it’s just the beginning of a huge study of modern education.
Twenty years ago, Éric Trouillot, a high school math teacher, discovered that the game is used to teach while allowing students to combine pleasure and learning. Then he imagined a game that combines random data and mental calculations. Since then, Mathador has grown and is available in a world of games.
DESCRIPTION AND CONTEXT
Mathador is a digital application focused on the development of mental mathematics skills. It involves 1500 students in 3rd cycle (last 2 years in elementary school and 1st year in lower secondary school) from the regional education authority of Dijon.
This application is just the base for a large-scale project in France which brings together 75 schools (both primary and lower secondary schools). This schools produce 700.000 mental calculation rows playing this game in an entire school year!
The contribution of the game in the mental calculation process has been proved by passing mental calculation tests, one at the beginning and another at the end of the school year, and it’s also supported with Mathador’s mass data analysis. There are also 20 control classes not using Mathador, also part of the project, to provide more data to the research.
This initiative is carried out under the e-FRAN project (training, research and digital animation spaces) and is part of the future Investments of the French Ministry of Education.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT
I believe this kind of applications are really useful, especially to show young people the “fun size” of knowledge and how they can face studies by many ways, not just at the traditional way of reading and feeling bored. I’m really happy that France has so many plans for the future education and I hope our country can do it soon.
There are also innovation projects in our country using the new technologies. The National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (INEF in spanish) is developing a virtual reality MOOC called #VRMOOC, that will discover the different pedagogical possibilities this technology can bring to education.
MOOC is the acronym of Massive Online Open Courses, CEMA in spanish. These are online courses directed towards an unlimited amount of people, an open and massive education.
The objective is not short-term, it’s focused in the future of education, when public schools are able to have enough resources to start up using virtual reality. This course just prepares teachers on how to use this tool, teaching them the necessary skills to use virtual reality. This course also proposes a debate on the conscious and critical use of this technology, to ensure the correct use of VR, both in education and in other fields. Maybe in a nearby future kids will be able to explore the ancient greece by walking through the acrópolis.
VR it’s the next step on online classwork, but now there are many resources like Mathador to make classes more dynamic and, in addition, motivate students by making learning funnier.
¿How would you motivate students without using the Internet?
→ Licht, A.H, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P. (2017). Open Book of Educational Innovation. Belgium: European Schoolnet.
→ Realidad Virtual en Educación (3ª edición). (s.f.). Recuperado de https://enlinea.intef.es/courses/course-v1:MOOC-INTEF+VRMooc+2018_ED3/about.
→ Réseau Canopé. (s.f.). Mathador: jeu de calcul mental, application, concours, jeu en ligne ou jeux de société. Recuperado de https://www.mathador.fr/.