DragonBox Algebra apps: A brief Analysis
- Mar 28, 2016
- Sudipto Das
Algebra generally gets introduced to students in their middle school mathematics curriculum. Seemingly, some children may find this pretty intimidating at first notice. Before they get familiarized with algebra, their primary calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) were involved with numbers only. Suddenly, certain variables appear involving alphabets which get incorporated into specific calculations. Say, for example “x” or “y” and the calculation involved is “x+y”. Soon they come to know of the fact that they can't perform addition in cases where the variables are unequal, like the case stated above. The “x+y” itself will be the answer. Addition is possible between similar variables like in the case of “x+x+y+y”, the answer will be “2x+2y”. Addition can only be done between constants (coefficient of a variable like in case of “4x+3y”, the constants are 4 (of x) and 3 (of y)) of identical variables. Then again comes multiplication where constant multiplication can be performed as per normal multiplication method but for variables, there's a new concept known as powers etc. There are many more technicalities. Seemingly, some students may get confused when they are suddenly introduced to such concepts which may seem to be pretty complex from their point of view. Moreover, the Algebra equations cum formulas involving variables and constants are abstract in nature. It's therefore necessary to make this matter more meaningful to children.
In this 21st century, it's expected that school lessons implement digital learning. Implementation of simulations, online gaming etc. are incorporated into lessons to make the learning experience more meaningful. Won't it be a good idea to incorporate the same idea in teaching algebra? DragonBox apps perform the same exact function of teaching algebra through games.
DragonBox is pretty beneficial for middle-school students. DragonBox apps are suitable for collaborative working between adults and children. The entire teaching approach of these apps is based on simulations and games which are pretty addictive as well as effective.
DragonBox doesn't take a traditional approach to algebraic lessons. It doesn't start its teaching methods with definite problems (like “x+y=5”) for students to solve. DragonBox apps focus at the very basic levels. Instead of providing problems and equations at the start, DragonBox teaches children various methods of distinguishing between 2 characters and separate them accordingly. Thus, the app provides the chance to practice those same steps which are implemented in algebra. The advantage is that those steps are provided in such an exciting manner that users would not even be aware of that fact. A simple example from the app can prove this matter. Let's take a simple linear equation to explain the process. The app would teach students to apply the same tactics to both the left side and the right side of that specific equation, like looking for all the like terms, transforming the whole numbers in the equation into fractions etc. The app would help the users throughout the sessions by providing step-wise directions at the start which would help them to proceed.
DragonBox uses specific Avatars and various other objects for Algebra Lessons
DragonBox apps do not use alphabets like “x”, “y” and “z” as variables. Instead of alphabets, the apps use certain avatars and various objects. Now, this is an important aspect of these apps. Random characters like “x, y, z” are seemingly pretty abstract. These avatars and objects and pretty concrete. Children can easily relate to these things. They find this way to be pretty meaningful and hence the learning experience is more gratifying. Children will find this much easier to retain the content taught through these apps.
You can go through this video to get some basic ideas of DragonBox.
DragonBox has 2 algebra apps suitable for different age groups.
- DragonBox Algebra 5+
This app covers these algebraic concepts:
As the name suggests this app is perfect for children from age 5 and up. Thus, young children will have that chance to get themselves familiar to the pre-algebraic concepts.
Some of its main features are:
- 10 chapters in a progressive order(5 for learning, 5 for training),
- 200 puzzles,
- The users will be able to learn the methods to solve simple equations using primary calculation processes like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
- Multiple number of profiles,
- Good graphics accompanied by music in each chapter.
DragonBox Algebra 5+ icon
Image courtesy- lh4.ggpht.com
- DragonBox Algebra 12+
This app is a little bit advanced compared to that of the other one mentioned above. As the name suggests, this app is suitable for students from age 12 and up. This app covers the following concepts:
- Positive as well as negative signs,
- Fraction additions,
- Selecting like terms,
Some of its features are:
- 20 chapters in progressive order(10 for learning, 10 for training),
- 357 puzzles,
- Implementation of a number of basic rules of algebra that the users can improvise,
- Multiple profiles,
- Providing minimal instructions so that the users can experiment and unleash their creativity,
- Good graphics coupled with music in each chapter.
DragonBox Algebra 12+ icon
Image courtesy- ecx.images-amazon.com
DrangonBox Algebra app are highly recommended for young students pursuing pre-algebra or algebra. So go ahead, make your children try them out, and you'll find that this difficult subject has turned into something amusing for your children.
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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