An up and coming web resource called Wowzers is a family owned company that is developing an interactive game based math curriculum for grades three through eight. The Wowzers program is designed to be individualized and progresses with student achievements. This program covers all learning modalities including auditory, verbally teaching. The Visual students are shown the directions and text that is being read aloud. Kinesthetic learners are able to participate in various ways throughout the program.
Wowzers’ game is set up where the student is training to be a member of Club Wowzers. They are completing activities to help other characters within the story. Students will be given the opportunity to create their own avatar. During game play, students will earn coins that they can use at the mall to purchase items for their pod, i.e. living quarters and items for their avatar to wear or use.
Each math topic is set up the same way. First the students will complete a “Try Out” activity for the program to assess their prior knowledge. Next is the “Lesson” in which the student is taught the current concept. After the lesson, students are given practice problems. After practice, students are able to play a “Game” that continues the practice in a fun and entertaining way. Following the game, students are given a quest to complete to enhance the math lesson. Here the student is encouraged to help other characters within the storyline. Once the quest is completed, the student is then tested on the lesson topic. The last section is “Free Time.” Here the student is given a determined amount of time, which can be adjusted by the teacher. During free time, students are able to go shopping at the mall or hang out at their pod.
When a student has difficulties, the program is designed to give a “nudge” to help the student along. In the Lesson section, the student is taught the math topic. Here the topic is presented in a few ways that allows the student to absorb information through repetition and practice. The program has the student answer questions during the lesson in parts to ensure that the topic has been understood.
The teacher dashboard is a helpful tool to monitor student successes. As students’ progress through the program, a great amount of information is collected in the student file. Teachers are able to view quizzes and see where a student might be having difficulties. At this time, teachers are only able to see what questions were incorrect. Hopefully in the future, the Wowzers team will find a way for teachers to view the wrong answer that was chosen to allow the teacher to fully understand the problem areas their students may have. Currently Wowzers is offering a free trial for anyone needing to try out the program before purchasing. Wowzers curriculum is designed to help teachers meet the Common Core Standards. Teachers should keep in mind that the curriculum is the most important aspect of this program and the technology a work in progress. Check out the About Page to view a quick video on how Wowzers works.