It Only Takes About 42 Minutes To Learn Algebra With Video Games, writes Jordan Shapiro on Forbes, citing the Washington State Algebra Challenge, which used DragonBox App. According to Washington University’s Center for Game Science and the Technology Alliance, 4,192 K-12 students solved 390,935 equations over the course of five days in early June.
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.”
Shapiro downloaded DragonBox “and was astonished to see how quickly my son (then 7) learned to do complex algebraic equations.” Now his five-year-old is playing. “I watched him breeze through the first two chapters in about 20 minutes.”
Creator Jean-Baptise Huynh tells Shapiro that DragonBox teaches “the mechanics of algebra processes and abstraction,” but students will need teachers or parents to “transfer the knowledge to pencil and paper.”
Darren, a high school math teacher, is skeptical that normal kindergarteners and first graders can learn algebra. “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,” he writes on Right on the Left Coast.