This is a brief background to the story behind MathsTrainers.
Originally conceived as an idea to help Maths students and pupils with their understanding of specific Maths topics, the intention was to develop Apps that could run on iPod, iPhone mobile devices - that could also run in classrooms using Abobe Flash...
As a Maths Teacher, I (Alex Watt) purchased Adobe's Flash Professional in May 2011 and set about learning to develop Flash Programs that ran on web pages and also Apple mobile devices...
- the first App was to assist with Logarithms
Within a few weeks of head scratching and effort in the evenings - the Logarithm Trainer was born and released on iTunes. Apple required a website to support the application - and a temporary free site was used, subsequently succeeded by www.trapps.co.uk where I was able to create more user-friendly web pages that could incorporate the Flash functionality I wanted to freely provide for teachers and students alike.
I carried on developing further Training Apps: from Maths, to sciences, to history and trivia - but all with a view towards learning and education.
As my website grew - it ran out of its allocation of web pages: so I invested in www.mathstrainers.co.uk (this website) and started supporting Maths apps here.
My feeling towards Maths learning is that it requires ongoing practice in order to improve numeracy skills - pupils and students just don't "get it" that they have to keep practising - so they don't and they find it difficult in class, especially when lessons become more abstract - they are often let down because of their lack of numeracy. By providing something that they could enjoy using and also provide that quick practice that they need - I truly believe that we (as Maths Teachers) can witness a step-change in numeracy improvement.
November 2011 saw a milestone when Apple decided to reject further uploads because my trainer apps (standing at 20) were beginning to look too alike - Apple required me to use "In-App" purchase functionality to continue issuing these trainers. This meant another huge learning curve for me - learning their Objective-C.
After four months of pain and long evenings - MathsTrainers was created... I believe that Apple were right - incorporating functionality within a single App was the right way to go - and using Objective-C opened up greater functionaly of their mobile devices that I could only have dreamed of before: nice standardised graphic elements, file handling, object-oriented architecture, bluetooth communications, and in-app purchases.
I have now developed (July 2012) Mathstrainers Pro - this has all the functionality of Mathstrainers but is totally free (there are no in-app purchases). It is hoped that using this free trainer users can improve their numeracy and get on with a better education. At this time, Mental Gold (a speed and accuracy game based on Mathstrainers and Pro) is due for release. Using Game Center you can set your own personal best times to achieve different numeracy goals and compete against the world.
Going live with MPro and MPro Console.