Where is the Math ?
Some people are not satisfied with DragonBox as a Math game. Some typical comments are:
- this is just a card matching game
- I don't understand how to play
- it's too short
The program, as we tried to explain in the program description, teaches basic algebra and is targeted to kids from age 5 and up. DragonBox Algebra 12+ is for students 12 and up. Both games help all those who have had problems with basic algebra.
It requires no prerequisites. It comes with 200 levels. 100 teaching, 100 training. And as can be seen on these videos made by some of our fans, it achieves its goals.
Some might find it short, but it's actually a goal of the product. To make it as short as possible yet complete enough for people to be able to solve complex equation without previous knowledge at all.
Here's Ruby from Australia, 8 years old:
And here Liv, 4 years old, filmed by her 7 years old brother:
There are more examples!
How it does so is by removing many of the things students have problems with:
- mathematical language. Most of the complexity of using the mathematic notation is removed. Students don't make errors by writing down things on paper.
- objects: by focusing directly on boxes and cards, students are forced to think in terms of abstract solutions instead of applied numerical computations. Ie. if a student has to solve 2.x = 10, he might guess that the result is 5 by trying out various solutions in his head. But with the equation 'fish.box = crab' the result is and always will be box = crab/fish, whatever 'value' the crab and fish are. Finding this 'magical' formula is what algebra is about. And the game focuses on this.
- explorability: students can explore solutions, undo etc, thing they cannot do on paper easily
- constrained rules: yet the computer program constrains the potential moves, allowing students to focus on the puzzle / problem solving
- slow difficulty growth: one level at a time, the user discover the rules and the puzzles grow in complexity
One of the co-founder is a Math teacher and we've tested the game with hundreds of students. We've refined it for months. We've seen the results and many students who used to have problems with Maths or consider themselves 'zeroes' in Maths manage to get a better grasp that algebra in fact isn't that hard. These so called 'bad at Maths' students understand that in fact algebra is a puzzle game.
One often gets disappointed if one has expectations on something. So if you got disappointed by DragonBox, you can start asking yourself what your expectations were. If for example you were preparing your exams, maybe you thought this game would allow teach you all algebra for your exams ? Maybe it could, it really depends on what you had to prepare for. If you're already good at Maths, it might not help you train for your exams.
Maybe it will help you as well? If we haven't convinced you, maybe we can find a way to refund you or compensate you. If we convinced you, you might want to try again DragonBox, and maybe give a new rating if you like it better. We would appreciate that you consider this. We've spent many months trying to make this a good teaching game!