Merging Math and Social Media
Social media has arrived in math education with a new website called Sokikom. Introduced at ISTE 2011, Sokikom is a massive multiplayer social learning game for elementary students. The research-based program is based on Social Learning Theory, the idea that people learn by observing others’ behavior and using these observations to model their own behavior. Sokikom has created a safe, fun environment where students can join teams, compete with each other, and develop their math skills.
The game is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and NCTM Focal Points and follows the guided discovery learning model, which allows students to explore different solutions to each problem. The program also features Challenges, individual learning activities in a self-paced environment. In addition to games, there are also animated lessons with adaptive instruction for students who need additional help.
For now, there are three games, each of which covers a strand of mathematics. Frachine involves fractions, decimals, and percents; Opirate focuses on mathematic operations and algebra; and Treeching includes measurement, algebra, patterns, time and money. A new game with an emphasis on geometry will be released at the end of the summer. Kids can either play individually or in a multiplayer mode. When playing individually, the program adapts to the student’s level. On teams, the students help each other to solve the math problems. Since the website is for young students, it does not include a chat feature, but instead uses predefined signals and hints for kids to communicate with one another.
An engaging social media game may be a great way to keep kids’ math skills sharp this summer. And parents can keep track of their kids’ progress through a web-based interface, even receiving alerts when their child reaches a math topic with which he or she struggles. As social media and online gaming become more popular, why not engage kids in math learning in an environment that they will find stimulating and instructive?