Purpose and Philosophy
Welcome to Mathipedia, a site designed to provide easy access to free mathematics resources with the following in mind:
1. Focus on better math education for everyone - students, teachers, parents, and anyone else that wants to learn more about mathematics and all it has to offer.
2. Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity. What ever we say or do, it has to be easy to understand and easy to use.
3. Freedom. No advertisements, subscriptions, or hoops to jump through. Just good material that's free and easy to use and share.
Why did we create this site?
There are literally millions of math websites online and we must acknowledge all the amazing math educators that have put so much time and energy into creating these sites in order to provide their resources, ideas, and expertise to a global audience. However, in browsing through these sites, there are a few things that we noticed that inspired the creation of Mathipedia:
Firstly, the majority of math websites out there are focused on elementary education. The bulk of resources, lessons, worksheets, etc. that are on the web contain material for grades K-5. Unfortunately, those that really struggle with mathematics and need these sites are usually not elementary students. They are tech savvy secondary students, college students, and adults that just never connected with certain concepts as they went through school. They are algebra students, trig students, and calculus students that just need a little extra help or need to have something explained in a different way. They are math phobics, math haters, and those with serious anxiety that just cannot deal with learning math in a classroom full of people. These people represent our key audience - those that need some kind of math resource and know how to use the web as a guiding tool to seek out the information they need.
Secondly, because of the focus on younger ages, most math websites out there are full of flashy, attention-grabbing graphics, games, and links aimed at keeping young children entertained. This unfortunately makes many math websites extremely cumbersome to navigate if you are really looking for substantial content. Furthermore, those that do have really great layouts and excellent content often have a price tag attached or require a subscription. This is where simplicity comes into play. Our goal was to design this site in such a way that made it free, easy to navigate, and did not contain all the other advertisements, games, and flashy distractions that take away from why you came in the first place - to learn something about math.
Thirdly, many of the math websites out there specialize in only one or two things. Many sites are dedicated to only tutorials or only videos, or only lesson plans or only links or....you get the idea. Why not take all these wonderful ideas and put them in one place? Teachers can get worksheets and lesson plans and have a forum for discussion all in one place. Students can find tutorials and videos and links and study tips all in one place. Parents can get concrete examples and extra practice resources and tips for helping their child all in one place. Plus, it's simple in design and easy to navigate.
Finally, we live in a web 2.0 world whether we want to admit it or not. In the field of technology, students are advancing exponentially faster than the schools they are attending and the gap is only getting wider. Math cannot and should not be taught the same way it was 50 years ago, 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. We must meet students where they are and right now that is in the world of web 2.0 technology. Therefore we need a place where students can utilize the web to gather information and do it in a way that is meaningful, efficient, and tailored to their needs. They need a place to interact, to create, to explore, and to save, evaluate, and edit the information they find. This is what we strive to do. We have forums to invite online discussions. We have links in del.icio.us to make use of the technology of tagging, sorting, and sharing bookmarks. We have a Netvibes page to provide RSS feeds to real math conversations occurring between real students, teachers and parents that are updated at the speed of conversation. We have a Twitter account to provide updates on the status of our site and to share interesting links and resources we find.. Everything we do is meant to utilize the vast resources that are available on the web to make learning individualized, efficient, and interactive.
So why make this site? To put it plainly....to make math simple.