Self-Directed Math with MyBlee

I have recently shared the app MyBlee to the Cube for Teachers database as a math curriculum resource. 

MyBlee is an effective app to promote self-directed learning in mathematics. I have used this app for the past three years with the student I tutor. Here are some reasons I highly recommend it:
  • The app requires the student to enter in data about themselves such as their age and grade. The app then creates a learning environment with lessons geared towards the grade level that student is at. Lessons are highlighted so that students know these would be a good starting point for them. They can still access levels above or below their grade level. I believe this feature shows how the app tries to personalize learning pathways for students. I have found even as a tutor/teacher that this app helps direct me towards the interactive lessons that would be an appropriate starting point for my students.
  • It provides individual lessons that cover a wide variety of specific curriculum expectations that align well with the Ontario curriculum. The app goes beyond just providing lessons mixed with different math concepts. Instead, it provides many different interactive lessons that narrow in on specific concepts within math strands that students may be struggling with. It really helped me as a tutor because I could have the student work on a lesson that gradually built up to teaching a specific skills.
  • Each lesson is split-up into levels so that students are scaffolded to learn the specific math concept. Before advancing to the next level, there is always an instructional video explaining the concept and then explaining how the student will complete the activity after. In the classroom, these instructional videos would really support independent learning. However, as a tutor, most of my students need more explanation and explicit instruction. This app allows me to pause it after the instructional portions of the lesson and provide more in-depth explicit instruction before the student continues. 
  • It is more than just multiple choice questions. The lessons are usually very interactive and really take advantage of the digital-touch based technology that iPads offer. I have not used every lesson in my tutoring sessions, but here are some examples of how interactive it is: it provides movable protractors and rulers, it allows students to select an answer by moving the iPad to slide a marble into the correct answer spot, or it gives students the opportunity to connect matching answers/pictures, write answers, or tap the correct answer. It has other tools such as a calculator for the student to readily use during certain lessons. This is just a snap-shot of what this app has to offer in terms of interactivity. I highly suggest checking it out based on what grade level you are teaching to see the different interactive lessons.
  • If a student gets an answer wrong, the app immediately explains the concept again to the student to provide even more built in scaffolding. This seems to really support self-directed learning for students and would be a great feature to have while using this app in a classroom setting. As a tutor, I always add to the apps's explanation and provide further explicit instruction. However, if this app is used to foster self-directed learning, the built in feedback to support students is very well done and clear for them to understand. They provide extra visuals sometimes to really help the student understand a concept before they move on and try again.
  • The app has a really unique and motivating reward system. Throughout each lesson as students complete the levels within it, students are given immediate feedback regarding their progress. After each level, students earn puzzle pieces that they can eventually put together to create a fun image! Students can then save their image to the iPad or other device. Students are also receiving badges throughout each lessons depending on how many they have completed or how well they have been doing with earning puzzle pieces. I have found that the student I tutor finds this reward system to be really fun. My student always looks forward to adding to the puzzle and working towards the complete picture!
  • And finally...before I forget...this wonderful app just so happens to be free!
Overall, MyBlee clearly encompasses key features that suggest a quality app. Built in scaffolds and immediate feedback are always huge indicators of an app that was built for the classroom. As a teacher myself, this is one of my favourite apps to help provide explicit instruction in mathematics. Click the app icon above to visit the MyBlee webpage!

Hope your enjoyed this review!

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