SSTRF_2017_ETD_3 Explore-Useful Learning Math Apps 


Mobile devices are increasingly adopted for teaching and learning in and out of classrooms. In addition, One Portal All Learners (OPAL)[1] resource library shows that Primary mathematics makes use of outdated web-based applets which are not compatible[2] with these mobile devices. Moreover, many of these applets are also not localised to our national curriculum (Wee & Mak, 2009).

Aligned with the ICT Masterplan 4[3] goal of “Quality Learning in the Hands of Every Learner - Empowered with Technology”, we propose an approach to design and develop open sourced Mathematics learning resources, compatible with almost any mobile devices in an efficient and sustainable manner. For scaling up these ICT practices, we will be guided by the 3A framework of Accessible (Licenses creative commons attribution), Adaptable (Open source codes) and Affordable (free of charge).

Our Spanish collaborator will provide in-depth app development guidance while MOE team members work closely with teachers to scan the learning issues and desired curriculum outcomes, develop solutions (app, worksheets and guides), and share with the network communities in schools.


Design Thinking Methodology

Our approach is to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test Math apps tailored to the Singapore Primary syllabus, improved-infused with literature and school-based-research pedagogical features and free on the internet for anyone to use, for the benefit of all students in Singapore.

In brief, stage 1: empathize aims to develop a deep understanding of the teaching and learning challenge-problem by networking with ETD ICT in Math Learning Community[1] teachers and scanning the internet and literature. If the App is ready by stage 1 (empathize), it will include user (teacher and students) experience. Stage 2: define aims to clearly articulate the problem the project wants to solve as agreed by the team. Stage 3: ideate aims to brainstorm potential solutions using the open source tools selected by the PI and develop the solution using open licensed tools to lower barriers to scaling up these practices using our solutions-apps. Stage 4: aims to design a series of prototypes to test part(s) of the solution and integrate them eventually. Lastly, stage 5: test aims to engage in continuous short cycle of innovation process to continually improve the design.

4 Planning and Design

For Criteria for success, we propose measuring the degree of usefulness and willingness to continue using them after the funding period through survey and interviews.As for iterations, the PI will iterate the apps after SSTRF to ensure effectiveness of apps after funding period ends as was done in PI’s other apps found on earlier SSTRF-ETD_2012_01 Gravity Physics by Inquiry[2]

Currently, planned 4 apps, topics will be varied based on school needs (already prototype are time, numbers1 to 100, reading scale, nets of 3D), target audience are primary 1 to 5, schools/teachers involved with be as many as possible, minimum 2 classes per app is desired so that the app is improved to meet MOE’s school needs.

Samples of the designing thinking methodology is already available here as the project members empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test Math apps during and before-and-beyond the funding period.




  4. more can be made, please contact me to discuss

The screenshots below aim to provide the basic 3 or advanced 4* stage-approach of one such app.

  • Stage A: Knowledge acquisition by watching teacher directed instruction or video tutorials
  • Stage B: Knowledge formation by inquiry/activity 
  • Stage C: Knowledge construction by practice/discussion
  • Stage D*[may be implemented where appropriate] : Knowledge extension by application/production

For this development project to be useful and relevant (Wee, Lee, Chew, Wong, & Tan, 2015), the apps will be open sourced[3A ICT scaling up framework] , so that other educators as well as students can modify, build on and re-share the refined versions of the apps for the benefit of all.


This MOE SSTRF is position more as an exploration to develop high quality Math Apps, focusing on getting the learning features/designs ‘relevance’ right, less on the social experiment to be ‘rigor of gold standard’. Thus the relevance of findings will be based on case studies of student’s feedback/interviews to improve the learning designs of the Math apps instead of control/experimental learning trials using the apps.


Research Objectives

  1. Develop and refine families-series of mathematics app based lessons for Primary students using design based research[1] methodology. 
  2. Educate all CPDD-AST-ETD primary mathematics educators about the design and use of these apps through Professional Network learning 

Potential Applications

  1. Strengthen curriculum (interactive) resource development capability in MOE, usable research in Student Learning Space (SLS). 
  2. Enhance pedagogical understanding of curriculum (interactive) resource developed extending from the works of Singapore-UNESCO Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education[2] [3]. 
  3. Inform policy about 3A scaling up ICT practise framework of Accessible (Licenses creative commons attribution), Adaptable (Open source codes) and Affordable (free of charge) approach. 



  1. Wee, Loo Kang, Lee, Tat Leong, Chew, Charles, Wong, Darren, & Tan, Samuel. (2015). Understanding resonance graphs using Easy Java Simulations (EJS) and why we use EJS. Physics Education, 50(2), 189. 
  2. Wee, Loo Kang, & Mak, Wai Keong. (2009). Leveraging on Easy Java Simulation tool and open source computer simulation library to create interactive digital media for mass customization of high school physics curriculum. Paper presented at the 3rd Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference, Singapore.


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