Press release, Amsterdam, 22 June 2010
Dutch mathematical training programme goes international
In June 2010, Oefenweb.nl launches ‘MathsGarden.com’, the English version of ‘Rekentuin.nl’. Rekentuin.nl is a web application for training and memorising mathematical skills. To mark the launch, Oefenweb.nl provides a part of Maths Garden for free to e-Learning for Kids, a global non-profit foundation dedicated to free and fun online learning for amongst others developing countries.
Rekentuin.nl is a training-tracking system that operates over the internet so that children can play in Rekentuin.nl at school and at home. Every child plays at its own level, because Rekentuin.nl is adaptive: the sums’ degree of difficulty adjusts automatically to the skills of the child. Rekentuin.nl also provides teachers or parents with detailed information about the individual mathematical progress of children and their strengths and weaknesses.
From Research to Practice
Rekentuin.nl is developed by the Psychological Methods department of Prof. Dr. Han van der Maas of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and started as a research project for the first two years of its existence. Well over a year ago, Rekentuin.nl was launched for both schools and individual users by Oefenweb.nl, a spin-off company of the University of Amsterdam. At present, over 50,000 mathematical questions are answered per day in Rekentuin.nl. After a successful first year Oefenweb.nl decided to launch Maths Garden, the English version of Rekentuin.nl. Maths Garden can be used by English schools, remedial teachers and English-speaking families.
A report performed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences about ‘Primary School Mathematics Teaching’ reveals that the mathematical proficiency of Dutch primary school pupils needs improvement. Therefore, a new bill named ‘Reference levels of Dutch language and mathematics’ will become active in August 2010, with the aim of improving the mathematical proficiency of children. Oefenweb.nl meets this goal with Rekentuin.nl. As a mathematical training programme, Rekentuin.nl also meets the advice of a Dutch expert group about language and mathematics, named ‘Expertgroep Doorlopende Leerlijnen Taal en Rekenen’, to give more attention to the training, memorising and systematic tracking of the basic mathematical skills. With this web application Oefenweb.nl also responds to the development of more and more schools using computers for knowledge transfer.
Note to editors: For more information please contact Marthe Straatemeier (director Oefenweb.nl) or Marlijn Bouwman (marketeer Oefenweb.nl) on telephone number +31 (0)20-525 68 76/ + 31 (0)6-450 66 175 or e-mail M.Bouwman@oefenweb.nl.