Visual math says it all without any words at all

| January 22, 2013

“How do you help a little penguin cross a screen?” asks Dr. Matthew Peterson, co-founder of the MIND Research Institute.
The answer is the premise behind their remarkable software program: with lots of math and absolutely no words.

As Dr. Peterson explains in his talk, the software developed at the MIND Research Institute caters to the large population of students who prefer learning visually, as opposed to the small percentage of learners who prefer learning via traditional teaching methods.

But, how can you teach a subject that has historically relied on word problems and other verbal directions without the use of words? The simplicity behind the program is ever so clever: by incorporating visual, informative feedback, students can see exactly why an answer was right or wrong.

So far, the program has debuted to overwhelmingly positive reviews. But perhaps the most inspiring consequence of it is in the mathematical conversations it sparks among students and teachers. “When students play an active role in figuring things out,” explains Dr. Peterson, “they want to talk about it.”

Speaking of talking about it, head over to the conversation on Vialogues to share your thoughts on this visual method for teaching math. Watch the video to see examples of the program in action.

@01:12 laurascheibe: It is always interesting to me to see how personal experience plays a role in the work of innovative thinkers. In this case the challenges with dyslexia encouraged to think about and improve upon methods of teaching

@06:40 zhou: This is the key. Even if the instruction is visual based, students still have to translate the animations into their own words in order to understand. I suppose visual learning is superior just because it allows the students to interpret math problems in the way that works with them best.

This article first appeared on New Learning Times on 1/22/2013