Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Rekenrek by mathies app

The team that I work with produces digital resources for Math which are catalogued at  This week we finally are able to add the Rekenrek for mathies app we developed for the App Store (iOS), the Google Play Store (Android) and desktop computers (Flash-enabled browsers).

The rekenrek is a powerful tool for helping students develop early number concepts.  It can be used to support the learning of addition and multiplication facts by helping students understand different ways these values can be constructed.  Information about how to use the app can be found by clicking on the i button within the app which provides a link to a wiki page with informative screenshots, links to PDF supports and two how-to videos.  It has been really rewarding working with primary educators to understand how learning tools can help students with skills like subitizing which as a secondary teacher I had no idea about.

One feature that is unique about our app is the annotation tool (accessed using the pencil icon) which allows students to draw on the stage and explain their thinking.  It is, in fact, a drawing app in its own right.  You could delete all the rekenrek rods and use it to draw on the screen.  We plan to add the annotation tool to all of our future apps.  One of the next ones under development is a notebook tool which is simply the annotation tool together with some stock backgrounds simulating a plain sheet of paper, grid paper and isometric dot paper.

The app was developed using Flash CS 6 and its export to iOS and Android AIR functionality.  This allows us to develop once and deploy in three versions.

It really has been a thrill to open up the official mobile stores and see our app there, ready for free download.  Please have a look, tell others and perhaps even provide a review.  If your students do something interesting, we would be happy to hear about it and, with their permission, even post their work to our wiki.