On average, it took 41 minutes and 44 seconds for students to master Algebra skills during the Washington State Algebra Challenge using the DragonBox App.How was this mastery evaluated? That's not mentioned in the story.
The Challenge, co-sponsored by Washington University’s Center for Game Science and the Technology Alliance included 4,192 K-12 students. Together, they solved 390,935 equations over the course of 5 days in early June. According to the Challenge’s calculations, that’s 6 months, 28 days, and 2 hours worth of algebra work.
What’s even more impressive, “of those students who played at least 1.5 hours, 92.9% achieved mastery. Of those students who played at least 1 hour, 83.8% achieved mastery. Of those students who played at least 45 minutes, 73.4% achieved mastery.”
I downloaded the app and was astonished to see how quickly my son (then 7) learned to do complex algebraic equations.Does anyone believe that a normal 1st grader can really do algebra? It drives me nuts when non-math people show off something some young child is doing and say "this is algebra!" Uh, the vast majority of the time it's not. If it were, we wouldn't still be struggling to get some 12th graders to pass algebra.
Unless you think that this app is the silver bullet we've been missing all along. My experience is that there is often a huge gap between the game or manipulative and the transference of what's learned there to actual algebra.
Yes, I'm skeptical. Show me.
Update, 7/9/13: Linked by Joanne :-)