Camara Ireland is now delivering LearnStorm Ireland, the free maths challenge for students of all abilities that has captured the imagination of the whole island! The 9-week challenge for students aged 8 to 16 has witnessed significant growth in 2016, with record numbers of individual learners as well as whole classes and schools taking part.
LearnStorm is available to students in Ireland with the support of The O’Sullivan Foundation and is powered by Khan Academy, a not-for-profit on a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
LearnStorm students earn points by mastering maths skills and persevering with their learning on Khan Academy, an online platform that has delivered over 700 million lessons and 4.75 billion exercise problems to learners. The free content includes nearly 8,000 videos and 12,000 practice problems covering maths, sciences, computer coding, finance and the humanities.
The online platform marries adaptive learning functionality with high quality education, providing a powerful tool to complement and enhance existing teaching and learning practices in Ireland. LearnStorm Ireland also benefits from work done by a team of researchers and teachers to map Khan Academy maths exercises to the Irish curriculum, improving relevance to, and alignment with, the local education context.
According to Adam Bargroff from Camara Ireland, “the All-Ireland challenge has gone from strength to strength since its start in Ireland as MATHletes. The success of the challenge inspired Khan Academy to take it to the USA as LearnStorm, making Ireland a co-founding country of a new global learning movement. In 2015, over 500 teachers across Ireland participated, helping over 13,000 primary and secondary students complete more than 4 million minutes of learning maths skills. In 2016, the challenge has experienced significant growth, with student and school signups already vastly exceeding previous years’ participation.”
Ireland is ranked 15th in maths and science according to a 2015 report on universal basic skills by the OECD, indicating a critical need to raise performance in numeracy and problem solving. LearnStorm aims to improve these skills through a free, fun challenge that is accessible from anywhere. Through weekly activities, the challenge also helps students develop effective learning strategies.
James Tynan, global partnerships lead at Khan Academy, said “LearnStorm helps students not only to get excited about maths, but to cultivate higher order skills about learning that will permeate other life challenges, too. We know that the more you grapple with something, the more your capacity expands. LearnStorm is for everyone as it rewards students for hard work and mastery, no matter if they’re learning basic arithmetic or advanced calculus.”
John Fitzsimons, CEO of Camara Education, said, “We are really excited that record numbers of students, teachers and schools across Ireland are involved with LearnStorm. This is precisely the type of innovative education that ICT can facilitate both inside and outside the classroom.”
Students from across the 32 counties are working to represent their school, county, and country on weekly leaderboards and monthly cups, with the aim of earning a place at the All-Ireland in-person celebration events in April and May, with great prizes up for grabs.
LearnStorm Ireland is open to all students from 4th class to 5th year in the Republic of Ireland and from Primary 6 to Year 13 in Northern Ireland. As there are multiple chances to get involved and earn points, registration for the challenge remains open throughout February and March for schools and students.