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Talking Times Table - Easy study and fast learning

Category: Maths

Ages: 3-5 5-7 7-11 11-14

A great app that helps children learn their times tables through gradual introduction, pictorial representations, practice and repetition.  Correct answers immediately proceed to the next question, avoiding any time wasting, while incorrect answers are corrected for the child to see.  These are then recorded and repeated at the end of each session, ensuring children understand and remember the correct answers, thus encouraging mastery.  Finally, statistics, are available to the user allowing them to identify their strengths and weaknesses.


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Teacher Review

Perfect for introducing and practicing times tables. 
Upon opening the app, children are first required to register as a new student and select their desired language.  They are then guided, by written and spoken instructions, through the setup process.  The standardised computerised voice seems strange initially, however after a short while, children will be comfortable listening.  After setup, children have two main options: the first represented by images of a child studying (Study) and the second shown as a child with their hand up as if answering a question (Test). 
The Study section first asks children to select their desired times tables and then introduces them.  This introduction is straightforward, simple and slick: a calculation is displayed across the centre of the page; the picture representing this calculation appears beneath it; and the electronic voice speaks the calculation too.  After the initial introduction, children are asked to repeat the task, however, instead of being shown the answer, they must answer each question themselves.  Here, once a correct answer is entered, a simple but efficient feature, allows the child to continue to the next question automatically without clicking any further buttons.  If an incorrect answer is entered, the child is informed of their mistake and the correct answer is displayed.  These incorrect skills are recorded and displayed again at the end of the session, assisting with the child’s learning.  However, at present, when a child begins to enter a two-digit number incorrectly, there is no option to edit this and they must submit an incorrect answer, the addition of a delete or backspace button would be essential next step in the apps development. 
Returning to the homepage, the second option, Test, allows the child to practice or test themselves on their times tables, with random questions from a chosen level (which includes all previously learned tables).  After completing this, children can view the statistics area where all their performance data is recorded and displayed.  Although extremely detailed, with individual skills listed alongside correct, incorrect and total questions, it would be nicer to see this information displayed as a chart so that children can immediately see the skills they need to practice.  Also from the homepage is a link to a help feature, in the form of a talking robot; a list of the developer’s other apps; and the option to add multiple users.  The multi user option is useful, both in the classroom or at home in a family environment, as it allows different users to practice and record their scores. 
The app itself is full of features which support the learning process or that are designed to support the child mathematically, for example, within the study section, children are first shown their times tables, then asked to practice these, then given them in a random order.  This process, first introduces a new subject with pictorial examples and correct answers, it then removes a level of support and asks the child to practice independently (but still in order), finally, it removes the support completely by asking questions with no assigned order.  This level of scaffolding is designed to replicate the adult support.  Indeed, with iOS 10 and above, the developers report that children will be able to answer using speech recognition, again attempting to mimic this one to one support.
Overall, this app deserves its 4-star rating.

From the Developer

6 times 8 is 48, 9 times 7 is 63, ... Listen and answer to the question. And repeat, repeat, repeat... The oldest and more effective way to learn times table is now available on iPhone and iPad. Talking Times table uses the options given by iPhone and iPad to ask questions vocally and listen to the answers: learning times table has never been so fun!

Thanks to the vocal interaction your kids will quickly learn times table comfortably lying on the sofa or in the car while going to school! The app will be their own personal trainer: first it explains and then asks questions. They just need to listen to the questions and answer. The app will count mistakes in order to ask the less know times table more frequently: this way the kids will remember easily and fast even the most difficult times tables.

The app consists of two main sections, study and test:
- Within the study section the kid can choose the times table he would like to practice, from two to ten. In this mode the app tells the operations of the selected times table following an order, first ascendent and then random. A figure shows the the operation and helps the kid to understand and better remember the result.
- Inside the test section the kid can select the level of difficulty of the questions that can be tested randomly in all times table from one to ten. The app remembers the mistakes of the test session and will ask those operations at the end so to reenforce the learning. The apps tries to ask the least requested times table and those where the kid made more mistakes more frequently.

The app retails detailed statistics with all the information about the study progress. It is possible to configure multiple user accounts and the statistics are exclusive to every user.

- Speech recognition (available only starting from iOS 10): the kid can answer with his voice to the questions. This way the interaction with the app is natural and spontaneous;
- Text to speech: the app reads the questions simplifying the interaction. For the kid it will look like answering to mom or dad;
- Multi-user: you can to create multiple users to get a personalized test plan for each user;
- Statistics: each user can see his own statistics to check his progress. Statistics can be sorted by operation, by number of times it has been asked, by number of right answers and number of wrong answers, both in ascending and descending order;
- Multi-language: you can choose English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Polish.

Attention: enabling speech recognition (available starting from iOS 10) requires that when the app starts you accept the Speech recognition and the Microphone access authorization. We suggest to help the kid during this process following the instruction provided by the app at first start.

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