On Saturday 11th October 2014, the Adaptemy team attended the fifth annual Mathsfest in University College Dublin co-ordinated by the Irish Maths Teachers’ Association. Mathsfest began in 2010 to support maths teachers and provide information about the new Project Maths curriculum and has evolved into Ireland’s largest maths education show. The conference now includes a wide range of speakers and trade stands, allowing maths teachers from across the country to avail of up-to-date expertise, resources, and information. We set up our stand bright and early on Saturday morning, ready to share our ideas and learn from the other attendees.
Adaptemy was one of many exhibitors on the day to offer unique resources to Irish maths teachers, and seeing the amount of innovative support that is available to educators in Ireland was very interesting. In addition to seeing some well-known services in action, we discovered many new initiatives that are making exciting contributions to the future of maths education. Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabháin and NCCA officers were among the many excellent speakers who gave talks throughout the day. The commitment and creativity of every demonstrator and speaker involved in Mathsfest was extremely encouraging.
As Adaptemy is part of the Folens group, we performed our demonstrations at the Folens stand with the help of an interactive whiteboard. In order to introduce new teachers to the system and improve their understanding of adaptive learning and its benefits for both students and teachers, we provided walkthroughs by giving teachers their own login details and guiding them through the features of our Adaptemy Pilot programme. While many teachers had heard of adaptive learning prior to Mathsfest and predicted that it would be too complicated for use in the classroom, our demonstrations illustrated how the Adaptemy system enables personalised instruction for each student in a large class. Taking the time to explain the Adaptemy system in person allowed us to introduce each teacher to adaptive learning at their own pace.
One of the most impressive aspects of Mathsfest was the passion for education displayed by all involved. Some of the teachers who are using our Adaptemy Pilot programme gave us invaluable feedback about their experience, and many commented on how much their students enjoy working on the system. The conference became very busy shortly after it began, and every attendee was interested in developing and improving maths education. Many of the educators who approached our stand gave us excellent feedback and ideas for the future of our system. Teachers who participated in our demonstrations were attentive and open to new ideas, asking questions about adaptive learning and relating this new knowledge to their own experience. Mathsfest illustrated the commitment and passion of Irish maths teachers.
Mathsfest 2014 was an incredibly enjoyable day for every member of the Adaptemy team. We learned a lot from the ideas of the exhibitors, speakers, and attendees of the conference, and the interest and enthusiasm of all involved was very impressive. Hopefully some of you were able to learn from us and gain confidence and skills in EdTech and adaptive learning! Tweet us @adaptemy and let us know how you spent Mathsfest 2014, and check out our Facebook for more photos of the day.