Are you looking for a math app for your students? According to EdWeek, there are four important steps that will help you evaluate whether a math app will be helpful to them.

Know the app’s limitations: No two math apps are exactly alike, and all foster different kinds of thinking and learning skills. Some apps introduce students to new math concepts, while others help them practice concepts they already learned. Since apps don’t necessarily make students better at math, educators should choose apps that are closely matched to the objectives of what they are trying to teach.

Choose apps that contain challenges and feedback: Instead of picking an app that tells students whether their answers are wrong or correct, choose an app that guides them through progressive challenges and offers hints that lead students to the correct answer. Such apps will help them learn and prevent them from becoming discouraged. Some apps can even tell when a child is struggling and document it for their teacher’s future reference, and move the student to a different challenge before they disengage.

Pick an app that integrates math into the game: Math content should be embedded into the game. A good example is DragonBox Algebra, which tasks players with moving digital boxes to solve an equation. 

Choose an app that is suitable for students’ age: Very young students may struggle with an app’s user interface. For example, if an interface involves a touch screen that requires pointing and dragging, it may cause a young child to get the answer wrong even if they know the correct one because they couldn’t figure out the interface. For this reason, make sure the game you choose has an interface suitable to your students’ age range.

Looking for fun STEM games for your students? Check out this list from IEEE TryEngineering.