Denver, Colorado. For Immediate Release.
Elephant Learning has announced today that they have awarded 100 scholarships of Elephant Learning’s Automated Math Academy to the Homeschool Foundation, the charitable arm of Home School Legal Defense Association of Purcellville, Virginia. The scholarships are aimed at ensuring that homeschooled youth, and their parents, have access to the same tools that private & charter schools obtain. Each scholarship enrolls students for 1 full year within the academy without tuition.
Elephant Learning is an Automated Math Academy that can be accessed via desktop, mobile, or tablet. The system advances math skills by one grade level in three months. The secret is focusing on understanding concepts and advanced technology.
The academy is an initiative in the University of Denver’s social enterprise initiative and is a partnership between alumni, professors, and the University to bring advanced learning techniques to the public.
"We did a report of all the children in our system that have played for over 5 weeks but less than 10 weeks," says Dr. Aditya Nagrath PhD, CEO of Elephant Learning and PhD Mathematics and Computer Science 2008, "the result was that on average the children were 1.5 years ahead of where they started after only 10 weeks in the system with an average playtime of 29 minutes."
"One child in the system played 60 minutes per a week and gained 4 years of math skills. The child is a five year old boy who is homeschooled preschool and is now multiplying and dividing with questions that are difficult for most 9 year olds." said Dr. Alvaro Arias, Professor of Mathematics and Co-Founder of Elephant Learning. "Math played at the right level is challenging and fun. When it is too hard, children become frustrated and when it is too easy they become bored."
"Our technology is able to quickly detect gaps in understanding and we fill those gaps with proven activities written by experts in early education." added Dr. Nagrath. "The results are so astounding that the University of Denver is running a study to independently verify in a controlled environment."
The scholarships provided are a part of Elephant Learning’s social outreach program to help underserved children learn math. "Children in low income neighborhoods are 3 years behind their funded peers in math. This directly contributes to the cycle of poverty." said Dr. Alvaro Arias, "that is why for each student we have in our system at full tuition, we provide a full-ride scholarship to an under served child."
To find out more information about applying for a scholarship or about the Elephant Learning Math Academy, visit https://www.elephantlearning.com/.
Math anxiety — a fear of getting math concepts and problems wrong and the resulting avoidance of math because of that — is something I’ve seen many times over my life and not just in children. It’s just as prevalent in adults and, believe it or not, despite my PhD in math, I experienced math anxiety as a child, too. While some children allowed their math anxiety to grow into a lifelong avoidance of math, mine fueled my competitive spirit and led me to push ahead of my peers, learning advanced math concepts even when I wasn’t able to get into the advanced math classes my middle school offered.
It is never too late to understand math. At a young age, many of us had the experience of being told that “we are just not a numbers person.” Books have been written on this social phenomena, and half of all Americans report Math anxiety. As it turns out, mathematics is really about learning jargon, a jargon that is so fundamental to humanity that we consider it vocabulary.
At the end of the day, algebra comes down to these three steps: define, recognize and produce. No matter if your child is in middle school or a PhD math program, it’s all about defining (can you understand it?), recognizing (can you identify it?), and producing (can you use it to produce results or new research?). If you can help your child with these three aspects of algebra at home, they’ll be better set up for success in the classroom and the future.
Most students learn to multiply in school by memorizing their multiplication tables. There’s nothing wrong with memorizing multiplication tables, but a child must know what the multiplication tables mean. If they’re multiplying seven by six, they need to have that picture in the back of their head of six groups of seven or seven groups of six. If not, they don’t have a true understanding of what multiplication actually is and it won’t serve them later on in life.Take, for example, a child who knows that five times four is 20. She can solve the multiplication problem with ease.
In early elementary education, the first concepts that we work with are counting and comparisons — that is, quantity comparisons versus what's bigger and smaller. We might show a child an image of four objects and an image with 12 objects, and ask them to identify which has more or fewer. It's important for children to know the difference because it sets the stage for addition and subtraction.
Making math fun for your child within the confines of your everyday world is easy. Let’s say you’re walking down the sidewalk with your child and they say, “Oh, there’s a train.” That’s an opportunity for you to ask how many train cars they can see. How many engines are on the train? Even if it’s just their toys sitting out on the floor, you could ask them, “Can you give me three toy dogs right now?” Then your child has to identify what’s a dog, what’s not a dog and how many of them equal three.Take whatever your child can identify and formulate a math lesson that’s on their level.