## Full version of Algeboats is out!

In case you’ve been waiting, the full version of Algeboats is out in the iPad store for \$4.99.

You can see some of the gameplay for the Lite version of Algeboats on Youtube.

The game is designed to teach students about what algebraic variables mean and to begin to understand equations. It’s clever because the students don’t see equations to solve, but in the process of finding crate values that “make” the flags, they begin working backwards and thus solving the equations created by boat=flag. I’ve seen learners as young as 5 be absolutely delighted by the game (and the fact that they are doing algebra). Parents, of course, will be delighted as well.

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## Coming out of the Closet: I’m a Game Designer!

I don’t even really know how to begin here. For the last three years I’ve been working on a secret little project that I wasn’t allowed to talk about in public (NDA). I’ve been designing digital games for learning algebra in my (ha ha) free time. The last couple months have been an absolutely insane flurry of activity as we approached the launch date and as a result, I haven’t posted much. Finally I can tell you that I’m no longer a wannabe game designer. I’ve designed four game apps that are now out in the iPad App store! I’m out of the closet and able to talk about it!

There are three years of stories to tell here about the development process, but I’m still recovering from launch week. So if you’re dying to see, here are the apps:

• Algeboats Lite is a taste of our resource management game for learning how to evaluate expressions. [Note: Full version is not yet available.]
• Algeburst: Topics in Algebra is a classic match-3 game for simplifying expressions, solving simple equations and inequalities, and using exponent rules.
• Algeburst: Topics in Arithmetic is a classic match-3 game for pre-algebra arithmetic, including signed numbers, fractions, decimals, and order of operations.
• Algeburst Lite will give you 12 free levels to try out the game (6 levels of arithmetic, 6 levels of algebra).

To see videos and screenshots from the games, please head on over to the Facebook pages: Algeburst or Algeboats and give us a LIKE!

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## Math about the Electoral College

This was a surprisingly good video about the math of the U.S. Electoral College system.  At first I kept saying “but wait a minute…” but all my concerns were addressed in the video, and then some.  I was surprised by the revelation (towards the end of the video) that it is theoretically possible (although not likely) to win the seat of President of the United States with less than 23% of the popular vote.  Wow.

There is some great math of ratios and percents here.  You can find data and other pertinent information about the Electoral College here.

You might also enjoy playing the Redistricting Game with your students, where you can “recast” who wins an election based on how you draw the boundaries on a map.

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## Mindmap: Play and Learn

At the end of yesterday’s presentation, I included a link to a new interactive Mindmap called “Play and Learn” (shortcut is http://bit.ly/PlayLearn).

This map is organized by subject and includes games or simulations that are available for each.  If you know of other games that are useful (focusing on high school / college age), please send them along to busynessgirl at gmail dot com or comment them in here.

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## Playing to Learn?

This is a rebuild of the Presentation I did in Texas called “Playing to Learn Math?” It is focused on a general audience in education and includes many more games and simulations than the prior version.  Before you click through, think about this …

• 99% of boys aged 12-17 play video games
• 94% of girls aged 12-17 play video games
• 50% of teens played video games “yesterday”

Pew Research, Teens, Video Games, and Civics, 2008

Since 2006, the rate of Internet use for teens aged 12-17 has been 93-94%, with roughly 40% using the Internet “Several Times a Day” (Pew Research, Millenials: A Portrait of Generation Next) The next time you have a student who says they don’t have access to the Internet, stop and consider.  To not teach students to use the Internet (and use it appropriately) is akin to leaving out a crucial job/life skill like reading.  If that same student said they “didn’t have access to books” how would you respond?  Our campuses have both computer labs and libraries. Is it unreasonable for students to be expected to use both if necessary?

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