Helping Children tell the Time with MathTappers: ClockMaster

10 Feb

Mathtappers clock master opening screenMathTappers: ClockMaster,  designed to help children tell the time on both analogue and digital clocks, ticks nearly every box in my criteria for a good educational App.  The designers are Math educators and have designed the App to be used as part of a wholistic approach to teaching time skills.  To that end, they have included a lot of information for parents and teachers. Their motto is Play, Explore, Understand! and this is certainly reflected in the MathTappers: ClockMaster App.  As they state in their accompanying information,

Children do not learn about mathematics from the quick ‘just do this’ solution – rather they learn by playing, exploring and understanding concepts and then by practicing skills to build fluency.”

Description

The screen is divided into top and bottom where the top has an analogue clock and the bottom has either a digital clock or the time in words.   The task is to match one half to the other.  There are a lot of options within the App that make it easy to adapt it to suit a number of children.  These include:

Levels – there are three levels of difficulty.

Three different Analogue clock faces.  They differ in the number of numbers visible on the clock.

Normal or Broken – The Top clock has an option for a normal or a broken clock – the minute hand has fallen off the clock.  This is very useful when looking at estimation of time.

The bottom clock has an option for digital or words.

Mode can be set for adjust bottom clock or adjust top clock.

Sound can be turned off.

mathtappers clockmaster analogue and word clocks

Supportive Features

Information – The information section is probably the first place you should start as it has details on how to change the settings and information on the people who made the App and the philosophies of Math education that have driven the App’s design.  Like I said before, this App was not just slapped together.

Customising – the number of options for customising this App make it useful for a range of ages and ability levels, and means parents and teachers can “fine tune” the App for individual needs.  It also means students with variations in ability in the same class can use the same App, making it an inclusive resource.

Age appropriatenessMathTappers: ClockMaster has a very simple look that would be age-appropriate for older children while still an excellent for older children.

Records are kept for each child and you can check their performance.

Advice for Parents and teachers – I’d seriously invite parents and teachers to read this section as it has some excellent teaching and learning strategies for learning time skills in general, and then for introducing the app and using it with children.

Concerns

You can’t save specific settings for individuals.  Instead, you need to reset levels and options for each user before they have their turn.  Then again, you might want a child to do a different activity each time they use the App. If using the App with a number of children, it might help to keep a note of different settings.

Verdict

Frequently one finds Apps that are described as “educational” when they are a few sums or words hastily slapped together.  Definitely not the case here.  A lot of experience and thought has gone into this App and the way it can be used as part of a whole learning program.  The designers recognise that you can’t just plonk something in front of a child and expect them to learn. They go into detail about how the MathTappers:  ClockMaster fits into the process of learning to tell the time. They have developed an excellent, versatile App that teachers and parents can use many ways with children of differing abilities.  This App is well worth the small price as it is one you might use for a few years with your child.

iPhone (but looks great on the iPad too)
Publisher -HeavyLifters Network Ltd
Free
MathTappers: ClockMaster - a math game to help children learn to read clocks - HeavyLifters Network Ltd.

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