How Mobile Applications are Helping Home Educators

Our feature this week is on iHomeEducator, a family run business who creates educational math applications for kids. Their team is comprised of a full-time mom/teacher with 3 kids, a part-time hobby programming dad, and a 6th grade Product Manager. Visit this creative and inspiring family online at, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook.

Given that “kids are able to hold the world in their little hands“, the value proposition for mobile apps in education continues to grow:

Flexibility: Teaching opportunities are not limited to the classroom. Teach anytime and anywhere.

Ease of Use: Touch screen devices empower a much younger audience. Our four year old asks for the iPod Touch all the time.

Feedback: Applications automatically provide feedback and constructive progress scores.

ROI: Teachers and parents are starting to use iPods as a lower cost option to compliment laptops, netbooks, and text books.

Digital Media Learning (DML) also states, “…participatory learning refers to young people’s learning that: is intrinsically motivated because it is connected to their interests and passions; is inherently social in nature because it involves interacting, providing feedback, and sharing with others; and typically occurs during tangible, creative activities, that are open and discovery-based, involve tinkering and play, and are not highly prescriptive.”

Our Story:
Because we wanted to help our 4, 6, and 11 year old appreciate math we developed MathSpinK, 1, 2, and 3 which includes spinning math dials, timers, and counters for counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and inequalities. MathSpin1 uses Chinese and Mayan numbers to spice up the math with culture. We found the spinners allowed more freedom in learning as our children began to pick problems on their own.

When our 11 year old and some of her peers struggled with word problems in exams, we tried to make it fun by developing iLiveMath. The series is based on exciting themes like Animals of Africa, Winter Sports, and Animals of Asia.

  • Each has 3 levels of difficulty for 1st to 6th grade
  • Randomly generates over 1 million word problems from basic math to advanced order of operations, percentages, time, averaging, etc.
  • Photo images are used to build interest and encourage future exploration.
  • For participatory learning and tracking of progress all questions, answers, counts, % correct/incorrect/unanswered can be shared to and/or email.
  • Collaborate with friends and followers using Twitter by tweeting questions

More App Info:
Below is our latest app welcoming in the Year of the Tiger: iLiveMath Animals of Asia, which teaches time concepts including the use of the Chinese Zodiac animals and calculation of differences between years.

iLiveMath Animals of Africa was developed for our children after a trip to Safari West in Sonoma, CA.

iLiveMath Winter Sports was developed as a teaching opportunity during the Winter Games in Vancouver with a twist to make the sports more kid friendly, such as snow ball fighting and snowman building.

In development is a new iLiveMath app using marine life to teach additional concepts for 1st to 6th grade after visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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