Stories of Service


By: Shayla Thiel Stern


Math Corps Students Get a New High-Tech Way to Boost Fact Fluency

iPads and kids

Remember the commercial, “There’s an app for that”? Math Corps tutors are about to start quoting it quite a bit as a new Math App (which will eventually receive a more creative name) rolls out over the next school year.

The app was a natural way to help deliver math interventions, said Benjamin Swift, the information systems expert who has helped develop the new app for Math Corps.

“Math Corps provides additional support to students in math, which is a STEM subject, and so there’s a sense that Math Corps can continue to be innovative and having a technological element to the way it is delivered, rather than just paper and pencil,” Swift said. “The app is a value add. We’ll continue to deliver Math Corps in the same way, but now students will have an additional, fun way to practice fact fluency – a foundational skill.”

Currently in pilot testing with several select schools, the app is intended to be used in the school with tutor oversight and can be accessed by desktop, laptop or tablet. The team hopes to make it available to all schools that have Math Corps in the coming year, said David Parker, Ph.D., the Vice President of Research & Development at ServeMinnesota, the nonprofit organization that oversees AmeriCorps in the state and works with Reading Corps and Math Corps.

“Our main hope is that students and school staff will find in the Math App an effective, engaging and efficient approach to ensure math facts facilitate math learning rather than inhibit it,” said Parker. “Students must have efficient math fact skills (even moderately complicated division and multiplication involves/subsumes math fact skills) to fully maximize other math skill development.”

Swift said the app interface is still quite basic, but the delivery is intended to be a fun way to learn math facts and engage students.

Parker noted the math app’s system “rests on multiple evidence-based approaches to learning, and also includes an engaging way to motivate student performance.”

“As a result, it should make the process of solidifying math fact skills, quick, easy, fun and effective,” he said.

Do you want to learn more about Math Corps and the new math app? Visit Minnesota Math Corps for more information.

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