Free, open-source, customizable, interactive
Most kids find computer games much more fun than learning math. Many programmers (including some programmers with 5-6 digit monthly salaries) love StackOverflow because it's a "game" that matters.
So why not combine them and make learning math a game, where a user will be rewarded shinny useless internet points in the form of coins or badges etc?
Why not make it open-source, free and customizable, so that anyone with a great idea can make this world better, by making education more fun and efficient?
Looks awesome. It's much more easy to use than, e.g., IPython + Sympy + Numpy. However it's not free.
My initial attempts
Initially I created an android app that helps my students practice on things like:
-2 + 5 = (-0.5) (+2.6) = -2.5 +6.1 -0.6 =
They get shinny coins when they answer correctly, and I can track their progress:
Even an 8 year old played it and said proudly that he had gathered 120 coins! $\ddot\smile$
However, such apps, have a very limited scope. They are not easy to make and distribute, and having a single app for each math concept is impossible.
Of course this app doesn't substitute teachers; it is simply a tool that generates exercises and checks the answers provided by the student.
Elements to be included
History, containing wrong answers provided by the user, so that the teacher can figure out what went wrong. Also, shows when exactly each answer was provided in order to determine how much time the student spent, whether he answered extremely fast (indicating cheating) etc.
Shiny coins (and perhaps an option to change the reward to candy or flowers etc.)
Palette for insertion of fractions, powers etc. like in Mathematica.
No wheel reinventing!
Before going any deeper into the colossal project of turning all (high school) math into small little games, I need to make sure I'm in the right track. I need to know which are the best tools for the job. But most importantly I need to know if someone is already working on creating interactive free open-source books that gamefy math learning.
I have explored IPython's widgets and interactivity and they seem like the right way to go, since I'm familiar with Python. It does have its limitations though; some of its parts are under construction.
Is including game elements in math learning, through free open-source interactive books a good idea? Would it significantly improve math teaching throughout the world?
Is there an already existing project that is focused on creating the above books (that includes all elements mentioned)?
Which are the best tools (IPython, etc.) for the job?
Anything else you consider relevant is welcome.
Note: The question might be broad. If this is the case, let me know what to remove or improve. Or perhaps how to split it in several questions if needed.