Dr Math is a maths tutoring service to school learners that uses MXit, the South African mobile instant messenger application. Laurie Butgereit of the CSIR Meraka Institute, Pretoria, presented an update to the project at ICeL titled IM Dr Math: Using Instant Messaging in a Mathematics Tutoring Project.
Points to note since I last blogged about the project:
- It now runs 2-8pm, Sunday-Thursday, with some 20 tutors.
- 3,200 learners have used service, some as young as grade 3
- Tutoring is still mostly done in English, but some Afrikaans cases are occurring.
- Learners contact Dr Math from many different places, not just their homes, e.g. while on buses, taxis and on the sports field. One learner even contacted Dr Math while in the bath!
It’s great to see such an innovative project develop.
Sitting next to Laurie at the conference dinner she described a simple math arithmetic competition that is now running through Dr Math. Learners answer simple maths questions to compete in real time to be in the ever fluid top 10 list.
We also spoke about the the apparent opportunity for a MXit/MIM-based text adventure/role-playing game to support maths learning outcomes.