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The Ufractions Mobile Manipulative Game: Opportunities for South African Grade 8 Learners
Eeva Nygren, Erkki Sutinen, A. Seugnet Blignaut, Teemu H. Laine, Christo J. Els
Pages - 1 - 18     |    Revised - 15-11-2012     |    Published - 31-12-2012
Volume - 2   Issue - 1    |    Publication Date - December 2012  Table of Contents
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KEYWORDS
Mathematics, Mobile Learning, Tangible Manipulative, Culture, South Africa
ABSTRACT
The paper describes playing experiences and features of mathematical mobile game Ufractions developed for the South African context. We explore the role of culture in learning mathematics, and describe the phe-nomena of mobile gaming in a real-life developing educational context. Since UFractions applies concrete, tangible manipulatives (math rods) to permit deep understanding of mathematical concepts, we explore which aspects of combining manipulatives and a mobile game influenced the learning of mathematics. A prototype of UFractions was tested in five South African multi-cultural school environments during March 2009. A total of 105 Grade 8 mathematics learners and five teachers participated in the evaluation of the game. UFractions created the opportunity for the participants to learn the concept of fractions, as well as familiarize themselves with the main game characters, Mother Leopard and her cub Senatla, while playing the game. The empirical research indicates positive attitudes towards mobile gaming, and both teachers and students indicated they would like to use more mobile games in their teaching and learning. While the students engaged in playing UFractions, they actively interacted with math rods. By combining the Ufractions mobile game and motivational manipulatives (math rods), the learning process in mathematics was effectively enhanced.
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Mr. Eeva Nygren
University of Eastern Finland - Finland
eeva.nygren@kiteenkansanopisto.fi
Mr. Erkki Sutinen
University of Eastern Finland - Finland
Professor A. Seugnet Blignaut
North-West University - South Africa
Mr. Teemu H. Laine
Ajou University - South Korea
Mr. Christo J. Els
North-West University - South Africa