At the KooBits media launch: first row (L-R): Stanley Han, Ina Sehwani, Joanne Tabora-Sison and Julienne Sison-Vital; second row (L-R): Dr. Glendora Tiu and actress Giselle Tongi-Walters
Parents often exchange stories about their children’s struggles with numbers. Math is reputed to be the toughest subject in most schools at different levels, perpetuating the myth that math is too hard for the average student.
KooBits, a Singapore-based group of innovative educators and technologists who develop digital tools and platforms to help children learn better, offers a happier alternative through its partnership with the Philippine company, Explorarium, Co. LTD.
The latter has now made the KooBits ProblemSums portal available to Filipino students.
ProblemSums transforms math problem-solving into daily learning activities, and enables students to tackle challenges when they are free and willing, and yet retains the element of competition.
“At the same time, it responds to the technology boom in smartphones and tablet computers which has transformed lifestyles and created a lot of opportunities for learning on-the-go,” says Explorarium Operations Director, Julienne Sison-Vital.
Program Director Joanne Tabora-Sison, and CEO and Marketing Director Ina Sehwani, both holders of post-graduate education degrees, say they aim to provide more first-rate, innovative educational programs and products which use the most effective proactive learning approaches.
“Our primary goal is to harness individuals’ potentials in the areas of analytical and creative thinking, communication, and problem solving,” says Tabora-Sison.
Sehwani echoes KooBits CEO and co-founder Stanley Han’s sentiment that “there is an increasing need to redesign traditional learning systems and content delivery to cater to a world where mobile technologies are proliferating. Traditional learning systems lack the core technology when it comes to intelligently designing each child’s pathway.”
Designed to cultivate the potential of children in the subject, ProblemSums features challenging word problems as well as differentiated skills to maximize their level of proficiency.
“Each question has variations in context, objects, quantities, and answers change with different permutations,” explains Loh Cheng Yee, chief education consultant for the KooBits math portal. “But each one follows a consistent problem-solving pattern.”
The questions also go beyond the fill-in-the-blank format as an individual’s problem-solving process is documented, notes Yee, who has authored several texts and workbooks for primary schools in Singapore.
In her more than 18 years of tenure as a teacher at the Singapore Catholic High School and at the Hwa Chong Institution, she also highlights the importance of immediate feedback mechanisms such as ProblemSums which include homework, tests, and auto-checking features to help guide the students. Official math Olympiad questions were added to challenge them further.
“The non-routine high-ability questions aim to stretch students’ thinking and deepen their understanding. And every topic has sub-topics for a variety of question types so we can provide detailed analysis of their proficiency,” says Yee, who is also a member of the Question Committee of the Singapore-Asia Pacific Committee of the Singapore-Asia Pacific Mathematical Olympiad for Primary Schools (AMPOPS).
ProblemSums enables individual performance analysis, even when students form study groups, which encourages both collaboration and healthy competition.
“These are features we want for our educational enrichment programs,” says Tabora-Sison. “We envision an academic movement where children are nurtured and taught to grow not just their acuity but also their passion for learning.”
Sehwani adds, “By offering multi-learning platforms, we aim to help transform the face of math education in the Philippines and to significantly expand learning opportunities for our students so that they would become more globally competitive. With their increased passion for learning, we hope to help our Filipino youth discover a higher purpose for education – by eventually contributing to national development – whether they’re here or abroad.”
The KooBits Maths online portal is now available in the Philippines. For more information on KooBits, visit www.koobits.com or call (632) 219-4103. You may also email them at email@example.com.