Tom Minor and Nicola Chilman, who run a company called EZ Education Ltd, have taken their DoodleMaths app for iPhone and iPad over the Pond following 50,000 downloads in the UK.
The app’s content, which in the UK is aimed at Key Stage 2, has been adapted to cater for the elementary school syllabus in the US.
And, with the American market in mind, there has also been a slight tweak to the name – from DoodleMaths to DoodleMath.
The app motivates children to improve their maths by awarding them credits and accessories for their pet character avatar as they tackle each mathematical challenge.
As a child uses the app, DoodleMaths uses a feedback algorithm to detect the child’s strengths and weaknesses and develops a continually-evolving programme of study that is tailored to each individual.
It is a busy summer for Tom and Nicola, who in September will launch a version of the app that is aimed at schools. DM Schools will have multi-user functionality and enable teachers to monitor individual and whole-class progress in real time.
Tom and Nicola are both maths teachers, and the idea for the app was inspired by them watching their own children interact with an iPad.
Tom, who along with Nicola also runs the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Bath, said: “I’ve always been passionate about teaching and I had very clear ideas about how I felt maths should be taught even before we had the concept for the app. I’d started to introduce those ideas at the tuition centre and then when I saw our own children pick up an iPad, I realised we could extend the ideas to a much wider audience.
“It’s exciting that we now have an audience in the United States too, although it’s still early days for us in that market. But as maths is such a fundamental, universal skill, we are confident DoodleMath can match the success we’ve had in the UK.”
From an early stage children from around the Bath area were involved in the app’s development, with Bathford Primary and Writhlington Schools providing input.
Nicola said: “The feedback we’ve had has been excellent and has inspired us to develop DM Schools. We’ve had children with a DoodleMaths age of eight-and-a-half years and they’ve then made two-and-a-half years of progress in just a few weeks.”
But hitting the top 10 list for educational apps on the UK App Store was something that was only achieved after painstaking research, explained Tom.
“Research is absolutely essential for successful app development,” he said. “Does your idea fill a gap in the App Store? If it doesn’t, think again. If it does, then go for it and get as much feedback as you can along the way.”
More information about the app is available at www.doodle-maths.co.uk.