VT GAMES Project

Three O. T. Bonner Middle School math teachers are currently participating in a research project called Gateways to Algebraic Motivation, Engagement and Success (GAMES) through Virginia Tech. Mrs. McDowell, an eighth grade math teacher, and Mrs. Hatch and Mrs. Motley, two seventh grade math teachers, are taking part in this study. According to the parent/guardian permission forms that were sent home with students, the purpose of the project is “to investigate whether educational mathematics (e.g. fractions) and cognitive challenge (e.g. memory, attention) games can be used to promote middle school students’ mathematics proficiency and engagement.”

Students participating in this research study will be divided into two groups: the experimental group and the control group. Students in the experimental group will work with iPod Touch or iPad games, which are designed to help students learn fractions and other aspects of algebra. Students in the experimental group will also be provided with paper and pencil surveys as well as quizzes designed for the same purposes. Students in the control group will receive instruction as usual.

Students will be actively involved in different sessions of this research study throughout the duration of the 2012-2013 school year. VA Tech investigators Michael A. Evans, Osman Balci, Mido Chang, Kirby Deater-Deckard, and Anderson Norton hope to learn from this project. They wish to gain a better understanding of how educational and cognitive challenge games affect students’ engagement in math and academic performance.

Mrs. McDowell, one of Bonner’s eighth grade math and Algebra I teachers, said, “I am excited about our new technology. We’ve never had iPads in the math classroom!” Mrs. McDowell’s positive attitude about math and technology integration is sure to spread to her students to ensure they are equally excited about learning math this year.