Participants and the presenters will discuss their experiences—including releasing free and paid apps—and provide suggestions to others for successfully reaching many users.
Over a period of five years the SmartGraphs project developed HTML5 software for teaching and learning STEM subjects that make use of line graphs and scatter plots. SmartGraphs activities help students understand the “story” represented by a graph. The project created dozens of activities for algebra, physical science, and other STEM subjects, as well as an authoring system allowing non-computer-programmers to create and disseminate free online activities. We also conducted randomized experimental trials and found statistically significant learning gains for students using SmartGraphs activities.
Our biggest challenge has been scaling up the project to many users. One approach we are using is to create apps for Apple and Android tablet computers. We expect that making these apps available in online app stores will increase usage by teachers and students. We are especially focusing on algebra apps.
We are experimenting with both paid apps and free apps. Our goal with the paid apps is to generate enough income to maintain the products as operating systems, browsers, and other technologies change. Most of the session will involve discussion of different approaches to scaling up so that products created by DRK-12 projects reach many users. We are very interested in hearing about and discussing a variety of other promising scale-up strategies.