Algebra Nation 2.0 launched to meet statewide demand of teachers, students

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Responding to widespread demand among teachers across the state, the University of Florida is launching Algebra Nation 2.0, an even more powerful way to help students succeed on the high-stakes algebra end-of-course exam.

Algebra Nation flagFor Florida’s high school students, the Algebra 1 end-of-course exam is as high stakes as it gets – it determines their future. They must pass the test to graduate. About 48 percent of ninth-graders failed the exam in the spring. Created by the UF Lastinger Center for Learning in partnership with the Florida Legislature, Governor’s Office and Department of Education, as well as Gainesville-based Study Edge, Algebra Nation offers students, teachers and parents a free, highly effective, interactive, 24/7 online resource aligned with the latest state standards.

“When we launched Algebra Nation 1.0 in January,” said UF Lastinger Center Director Don Pemberton, “we knew we were addressing a tremendous need with the right resource but we had no idea it would take off so fast and go so far.”

More than 3,800 teachers in 1,000 schools in all 67 Florida schools districts are using Algebra Nation. To keep up with the increasing demand, UF is launching Algebra Nation 2.0, which is fully accessible on the web, iPhones, Android phones and Facebook.

“Now Algebra Nation is truly everywhere – in and out of the classrooms, around the clock,” said Boaz Dvir, Algebra Nation’s UF project manager.

UF has been working with school districts around the state to integrate Algebra Nation 2.0 and make it as user-friendly as possible. Students and teachers sign on easily with their school credentials. Teachers find their rosters already loaded. No matter where they are, students can readily access videos, study guides, an online Practice Tool that mimics the end-of-course exam and an interactive Algebra Wall where they can receive help day and night. 

To assure a smooth transition, the Algebra Nation also offers free professional development sessions to teachers, math coaches and math supervisors throughout the state.

UF is also printing and delivering free Algebra Nation Workbooks, which supplement the Content Review Videos, to Florida Algebra 1 teachers and students. UF initially offered 25,000 free Workbooks on a first-come-first-served basis. But after receiving orders from 1,000 teachers for 165,000 workbooks, the Algebra Nation team decided to fill them all – at no printing or shipping charge to the teachers.

“The workbooks, as well as the four new apps, allow teachers and students to fully maximize Algebra Nation’s effectiveness,” said Study Edge President Ethan Fieldman.

The Lastinger Center, part of the College of Education, is an educational innovation incubator. It harnesses the university’s intellectual resources to design, build, field-test and scale models that advance teaching, learning and healthy child development. The center continuously evaluates and refines its work, widely disseminates its findings and roots its initiatives in a growing network of partner sites around the state and country.

Study Edge is a Gainesville-based enterprise that helps high school and college students improve their learning outcomes through technology. Its founder, Fieldman, was the first winner of the Cade Museum Prize for Innovation, created to inspire creative thinking and support future inventors and promising entrepreneurs in the local community. 

SOURCE: Boaz Dvir, UF Lastinger Center, bdvir@coe.ufl.edu, 352-273-0289