Components of Algebra Nation

Algebra Nation is a collaborative initiative aimed at helping students across Florida conquer the Algebra End-of-Course Exam (EOC), a computer-based exam all algebra students need to pass for graduation credit.

Last year, 50% of high school students who took the Algebra EOC failed. In high needs schools, the results were even more alarming – over 80% of students did not pass the test. In response, the University of Florida partnered with Study Edge, an innovative educational technology company, to create Algebra Nation. Algebra Nation is a result of ongoing collaboration among teachers, professors, administrators, parents, and students. Algebra Nation provides a platform for everyone to share his or her best ideas and practices.

Algebra Nation has the following components. Click on each to learn more!

Video Content Review Sessions

Algebra Nation videos are organized into 11 easy sections. Each section contains 3-4 video lessons. These effective, entertaining videos feature lessons taught by nationally renowned Study Experts – young, energetic pros – and dynamic algebra teachers from throughout Florida. Each lesson has two corresponding videos – one, taught by a male study expert and the other taught by a female. We’ve found that students will often gravitate towards one teaching personality over another, and we wanted to offer that choice for students!

Study Guides

Teachers say it all the time: “Write it down!” Algebra Nation provides study guide notes to accompany each and every video. Students, parents, and teachers alike can download, print and/or view review sheets which parallel and reinforce the videos. Following the gradual release of responsibility model (“I do, we do, you do,”) our student experts and teachers encourage students to pause the videos and try out problems on the guides themselves. Then, the videos explain how to do the problems so students can always check their work.

Test Yourself! Practice Tool

Available at the end of each of the 11 sections, the “Test Yourself!” practice tool was created in direct response to teacher feedback. By using the tool, students can practice their newly reviewed skills in a format that echoes what they will see on the EOC. Students can familiarize themselves with the calculator tool, reference sheet, multiple-choice and fill in grid format of a computer-based test in a low-pressure environment and on their own time. Once a student completes a practice section, s/he receives her results. The results page breaks down each problem by: indicating whether the student answered correctly, explaining which video lesson corresponds with the problem, and featuring a short video which explains how to best arrive at the solution. Teachers can view data for his/her students online anytime. The downloadable student reports include both individual and class breakdowns and allow teachers to see the videos watched, student progress on the “Test Yourself!” practice tool, and the questions students ask on the Interactive Algebra Wall. See the Teacher Page for more details.

Interactive Algebra Wall

Learning does not happen in a vacuum. The best use of technology breaks down barriers and classroom walls. Students, teachers, and parents are no longer confined to the hours of a school day or the constraints of physical location. Students can ask questions 24/7 on their computers and/or smartphones, and will receive answers from teachers, peers, and Study Experts. Study Experts monitor the interactions in real time, and teachers who so choose can receive a report of their student’s questions and answers. Algebra Nation’s unique interactive wall mimics a Facebook wall (with which so many students are already familiar) so that students are comfortable in the low-stakes social environment. Unlike a Facebook wall, however, teachers and study experts are specially noted with a flag.  Most importantly, students cannot click on each others’ pictures, access another student’s profile, or message each other on the Algebra Nation wall (See more about social media security and AlgebraNation Security Features). The wall is completely searchable and transparent – the same wall is used for the entire state of Florida. A question asked by a student in Miami might prove useful to a student in the Villages, and a teacher in Tallahassee can help students in the Keys! Watch a short video introduction to the Algebra Nation wall here.

Algebra Nation Incentives

Algebra Nation believes in good karma: by helping others, you’re helping yourself! Research has shown that students internalize information better when they are active learners – asking questions and explaining material are indicators of active learning. Students receive Karma Points for both asking great questions and answering peers’ questions on the Algebra Wall. Karma points are shown next to a students’ name, and the Karma Leader board shows the top five karmic leaders in the state! Each month, both the middle school student and high school student with the most Karma Points will win an iPad mini!

Easy Accessibility – Algebra on the Go!

Students, teachers and parents can access the app on any computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access (Just click on “Enter Algebra Nation” here).Students can watch videos and post on the wall from any computer or smartphone. To make it even easier to ask those pressing math questions, we’ve added a “Draw Something” feature on our wall. Students can write equations and draw graphs with their mouse or finger. They can also take photos of their work with their smartphones and post them instantly on the Algebra Nation Wall. Learn more about it here!

Learning Community

Algebra Nation is the “Answer to the Algebra End of Course Exam” because we believe teachers already have the answer – we are merely collecting the best questions, ideas and practices from throughout the state and making it available to all, free of charge. By such collaboration, we believe our students can conquer the EOC.  Everyone is invited to join the conversation: parents, students, teachers, math coaches, and administrators. Contact Melody@AlgebraNation.com if you are interested in working more closely with Algebra Nation or even if you want to drop a line about how Algebra Nation has worked for you! We would love to hear your feedback.

Secure for All

UF and Study Edge have taken every step to ensure the security of Algebra Nation participants: we control the rules of our Algebra Nation planet in the Facebook universe. For instance, participants’ profile pages are blocked, making it impossible to click on their names and access their information. The wall is constantly being monitored, and our Study Experts receive a direct alert whenever something is posted on the wall. Social media can be an excellent tool for learning if used correctly, and we believe this is a great chance to start a conversation with students about online and social media safety. For more information, watch the Social Media Tips video – this video guides students and parents on online and social media safety.

Algebra in Action

It’s important to pass the Algebra EOC because it’s a high stakes test – students need to pass in order to graduate. However, even more than the test, algebra is important in life! Our Algebra in Action videos feature University of Florida students, athletes, and others talking about how algebra has impacted and driven their life. The featured students, who represent many backgrounds and majors, describe how they’ve conquered algebra and use the knowledge to achieve their goals. Watch some Algebra in Action videos here!