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Algebra Touch review: Mathematics lessons on the iPhone never looked so good

As a former high school math teacher (who loves technology), I was often looking for ways – either visual or dynamic/interactive – to explain and show ways to solve math problems. Although geometry is easily a visually rich topic where students could get a “sense” of how angles and shapes interacted, the topic of algebra frequently didn’t offer the same visual approach that helped students “see” what to do and lacked enriching their experiences to keep students interested.

Algebra Touch is a perfect app for both beginning students in algebra and their parents who need the refresher (or tutor) to help their child. The app is simple and allows the user to focus on the problem and not be distracted by frills (this is a judgment on my part – but the focus on the work and developing skill is what’s important). The dynamic and visual development of the student is key to success in beginning algebra, and Algebra Touch, its lessons, and the instructions at the bottom are highly successful at helping students become familiar with the methods, the language (some of it new to me – e.g. “convenience”), and the strategies to correctly solve linear algebraic equations. This video best shows Algebra Touch in use on an iPhone (an iPad video here).

especially appreciate and am impressed with the need to successfully factor a product in order to “cross-out” (or “cancel”) and reduce a fraction! This is extremely important in algebra that is often neglected in elementary arithmetic (often due to a teacher’s lack of understanding of upper-level mathematics or a reliance on a textbook).

The lessons include

  1. Simplify: Addition
  2. Simplify: Terms
  3. Simplify: Negatives
  4. Simplify: Multiplication
  5. Simplify: Order of Operations
  6. Factorize: Pairs
  7. Factorize: Replacements
  8. Factorize: Prime Numbers
  9. Factorize: Convenience
  10. Eliminate: Cross-out
  11. Eliminate: Equals 1
  12. Eliminate: Division
  13. Eliminate: Products Only
  14. Solve: Variables
  15. Solve: Isolate
  16. Solve: Split
  17. Solve: Advanced
After the lessons, you have the ability to create your own problem (say, from a math text), and solve them step-by-step, or use the randomly generated problems with different variables (x, y, etc.) to continue your practice.

If you have an intermediate school, middle school, or high school student who needs some additional support (or even if you want to know how to solve some simple equations), this app designed for both iPhone and iPad and is a must-have.

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Algebra Touch is currently available in the App Store for $2.99

Algebra Touch was provided for review on Just Another iPhone Blog. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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