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Cisco and MIND Research Institute Are Reimagining Math Education

August 15, 2013 at 10:47 am PST

This post is derived from the 2012 MIND Research Institute Annual Report.

When Tylicia transferred to third-grade at Occohannock Elementary in Virginia’s Northampton County, her teachers described her as polite but extremely quiet in class. She was failing math, but wouldn’t ask questions when she needed help.

Two months into the school year, Tylicia had what her teacher describes as a breakthrough moment. She had created her own place value chart on a white board to work through a series of ST Math problems on the computer. “It wasn’t a strategy any one had given to her, and she was able to explain to me how she was using this tool she’d created,” says third-grade math teacher Jenna Bassette. “She was problem solving independently.”

Tylicia is one of 6,000 Virginia students who began piloting MIND Research Institute’s Spatial Temporal (ST) Math program in 2012 with a grant from the Cisco Foundation. ST Math is a web-based, self-paced software program that uses language-free animation to help students grasp key concepts.

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Visual Approach Helps Students Learn Math

April 15, 2013 at 10:21 am PST

The importance of improving math education is increasingly urgent. America ranks 25 out of 34 industrialized nations on math tests. Tomorrow’s jobs -- more than 8 million by 2018 -- will require skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Cisco supports an organization, MIND Research Institute, that is using an innovative approach to improving math skills. MIND’s program presents math problems visually, which can show students why their answers are right, as well as why their answers are sometimes wrong. As students move through the math games at their own pace, they receive immediate, informative feedback on each interaction.

Today, about half a million children in 30 states are learning math with the Spatial Temporal Math program, or ST Math. MIND reports that on average, schools implementing ST Math improve their math proficiency as measured by their respective state-mandated tests, at two or three times the rate of their peers.

A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute

A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute

Cisco support has enabled MIND to, among other things, pilot ST Math with more than 4000 students at 14 schools in Arizona and convert ST Math to an online platform, which expanded the program’s reach from 55,000 students to nearly 500,000, an 800 percent increase, in 5 years.

Read more about the ST Math Program in a Huffington Post blog by MIND Co-Founder & Chief Technical Officer Matthew Peterson.

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