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Teaching maths on MXit

During a recent ‘Maths Stay Awake Session’ at Malibu High School in Cape Town, learners were tested using on MXit on a platform called QuizMax.
Maths is one of the most challenging subjects for grade 12 learners across the country but one school in the Western Cape is attempting to bridge the gap between serious learning and social fun by introducing it on a platform its learners know all too well; MXit.

Malibu High School in Eersterivier in Cape Town had its biannual ‘Maths Stay Awake’ session on Friday night.  The biannual event allows learners to spend a night tackling tough math problems to help prepare Matrics for examinations.

The school has traditionally used normal teaching practice to help learners understand the more tricky elements of the subject.  This year, Malibu High School’s maths teacher Ridley Esbie decided to add a completely new dimension to the 7pm to 7am Maths Stay Awake; he tested the learners on MXit by using a platform called QuizMax.

QuizMax supports South African learners by offering a suite of free mobile learning tools on MXit.   The mobile social network teamed up with a group of South African teachers at the beginning of the year to develop a platform that helps learners navigate the more challenging aspects of Maths, Physical Science and Life Sciences.  They do this by offering a set of exam-level quizzes that are compliant with the National Examination Guidelines for Grade 12s.
Esbie realised that most of his pupils had cell phones, and that MXit was the most popular interface on these devices, so he garnered the power of social networking to make maths a more fun subject to learn.

“I have to be honest, maths is a tough subject for many of our learners and it is not always easy to get them motivated to work through the challenges, but this year, we’re planning on fixing that.  We introduced it in a way that is more palatable and exciting, and I am tremendously encouraged by the response we saw on Friday night and early Saturday morning – our learners loved the new format on MXit’s QuizMax,” says Esbie.

“Maths, Physical Science and Life Sciences are some of the most difficult subjects for matric learners to grasp; not only are they difficult in principle, but there are often external challenges like the availability of books or the large number of learners per class, that detract from a successful learning environment. We are thrilled that Malibu High School is making use of our QuizMax partnership, it offers a wonderful opportunity for learners to engage with these subjects in a way that makes learning fun,” says Laura Hallam, Head of MXit Cares the  educational initiative of MXit.

QuizMax is a free service to learners on MXit.
“We are so pleased that the Maths Stay Awake at Malibu High School was such a success,” says Ian McDougall, business manager of Learning to the Max, the company that created QuizMax on MXit.

“We believe that QuizMax helps to captivate learners and makes practising model questions in these subjects more fun, especially when coupled with the fact that it’s featured on a platform that is being used by a great proportion of South Africa youth. They like technology, and they love using MXit – a win-win combination for us,” says McDougall.

Malibu High School will integrate QuizMax into its regular maths format following the success of the platform on Friday night.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @gadgetza

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