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1. THE BEGINNING
This innovation came to life when…
A particle physicist and a management consultant joined the Teach for Australia program, where they taught for two years in disadvantaged high schools. They each strove to build resilience in their students, motivate them to take ownership over their learning and pitch learning material at precisely the right level. With limited teacher time and inadequate tools on the market, they quickly found that it is currently impossible to do this systematically for every student. After their two years, they resolved to team up to create a new online resource to enable teachers to do just that.
2. WHAT & HOW
The purpose of this innovation is to…
Dramatically improve mathematics learning outcomes in Australian high schools, such that every graduate is equipped with a full understanding of basic numeracy, and a much greater proportion of graduates can pursue mathematics-related careers.
It does this by…
Using a new eLearning tool to create a practical alternative to ‘lock-step’ teaching, so that students no longer need to learn in step with their peers; instead, they work at their own level, gaining a full understanding of the work they are doing. By removing curriculum time constraints, this allows teachers to provide more hands-on real-world learning experiences.
3. PURPOSE & BENEFITS
This innovation improves on what came before because…
Existing computerised mathematics learning tools only tailor student learning to a degree. Without complete and tailored curriculum coverage and embedded formal assessments, these tools can only be used within the rigid, uniform unit plans used by schools; our product has no such limitations. We also balance student self-direction and choice and student accountability against teacher expectations — another innovation.
The benefits to the customer/end-user include…
For students, providing dramatically better mathematics learning, building resilience and removing the disadvantage they would have from being behind or ahead of the pack.
For teachers, increasing efficiency and allowing class time for engaging, hands-on lessons.
4. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE
In the past, this problem was solved by…
Mathematics eLearning tools used only within the structure of lock-step units of work. These may be games that motivate students to drill basic skills, or more complex learning activities that teachers assign as a set to the class. The only exceptions that could remove the lock-step do not have the necessary curriculum, assessment and accountability mechanisms to be practical.
Its predecessors/competitors include…
Popular mathematics tools in Australian classrooms include Mathletics, Maths Online, Sumdog, Manga High, Hot Maths and Khan Academy. Of these, only Khan Academy could be used to effectively remove the lock-step. However, its limitations render this impractical.
5. TARGET MARKET
This innovation is made for…
Year 7-10 students in any Australian school where students have access to individual computer devices (laptops, tablets, iPads). This is a market of at least 360,000 students across 470 schools. This is a growing market — the proportion of schools with technology access in Australia is growing, and this could be sold outside of Australia in the future. Most of these schools and students are already paying for online versions of textbooks – our product would replace and surpass these, and also be less expensive; Maths Pathway is a social enterprise, and is establishing itself as a not-for-profit organisation.
6. DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY
It is available for sale through…
School-based subscriptions or student booklist arrangements. This comprises an annual subscription fee per student, with cost dependent on the financial means and level of disadvantage of the particular school community.
Our marketing strategy is to…
Target mathematics coordinators, teachers within schools and education departments and offer a minimum viable product for 12 months for free, with our staff offering hands-on support, including professional development for teachers. After this, the school would be encouraged to upgrade this to the full year 7 course and expand over time to cover years 7 to 10.
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This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.