PlatinuMath is a suite of narrative professional development games designed to strengthen pre-service teachers’ knowledge of middle-school mathematics. The Web-based games were designed by Triad Interactive Media (TIM), an instructional design and media firm that specializes in innovative training and learning solutions for companies and government agencies.
Released in 2013, the game was originally funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education’s IES SBIR program and has since won numerous accolades, including receiving the 2013 SIIA CODiE award for best educational game or simulation.
The program has 23 mini games to select from. These games supplement pre-service math curriculum, in-service curriculum or training course and are aligned to the Common Core. The games focus on a mystery story and feature Steampunk art, 3D animation, and live video that allows a teacher to assume character roles in a story as they play games.
Character roles focus on the story’s heroine and her attempts to escape zombies in an apocalyptic world, and the heroine must use mathematical reasoning to escape and complete each game. Accompanying video lessons provide detailed explanations of the content being covered and each game contains 6 levels of difficulty.
These games measure and improve the mathematical content understanding that math teachers must master before they teach in a real classroom. They are designed as a supplemental resource for an existing teacher math methods courses that have traditionally focused on teaching pedagogy.
An administrative dashboard and real-time reporting features present results to student teachers using the suite to learn. Results can also be accessed by instructors within a teacher training course who may assign games as part of class curricula. As of May 2014, over 300 student teachers had piloted the suite as part of teacher training curricula across the country.
The games can be played through any web browser on laptops and mobile devices such as iPads. PlatinuMath currently does not offer any official credit or certification programs as part of its suite of games. The service is subscription-based and interested users are encouraged to contact the company directly to obtain custom pricing which varies by use-case and the number of subscriptions requested.
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