A few months ago, I reviewed an awesome math app entitled Algebra Touch whose quality got me really impressed. Here's a snippet of the conclusion from my review:
Whatever you expect from an app that would teach you the core concepts of algebra, this app just blows you away.
Today, I will share with you a new app from the developer who brought us Algebra Touch, entitled Long Division Touch.
Long Division Touch
Long Division Touch is an arithmetic app that tries to teach your juniors about the most common division algorithm called long division. This method is very reliable and suitable for most calculations that involve dividing one rational number with another. Even though it depends on the school curriculum, most 10-year-olds would have already started learning about this algorithm.
The main reason why I consider the long division method as an algorithm is because I believe this method has a standard step-by-step procedure that you can always implement and follow through to arrive on a result. The app is nicely designed to teach your juniors this algorithm. It starts with the basic division concepts and an introduction of how you would use the app, then moving on to more complex examples and interactions, before closing it with having a rational number as the divisor.
The app uses the most-commonly-accepted method of representing the operation, i.e. by placing the divisor on the left hand side of the separator and the dividend on the right hand side of that separator. You start by learning how to drag the divisor over the first few digits of the dividend such that the number represented by these digits are greater than or equal to the divisor.
For example, when you divide 256 with 8, you would need to drag over the number 8 until it covers the first two digits of 256, i.e. 25; because 2 is less than 8, but 25 is greater than 8.
Then, you can tap on the + (plus) botton to subtract the first few digits of the dividend with the divisor until the remainder is less than the divisor. You will see a yellow number placed above the dividend, showing as the temporary quotient for this division. Once you have completed this step, you can tap on the green checkbox button to confirm the division.
In the same example above, you can subtract 25 with 24, and have the temporary quotient set to 3.
As soon as you confirm this division, you can continue by dragging down the next digit from the dividend down to the same line as the remainder of that last division. This would form a new number that you can try to divide with the divisor. Similar to the first step, if the new number is less than the divisor, you may need to drag down another digit from the dividend down. Repeat this process until you find a number that is greater than or equal to the divisor.
Then, you would repeat all the steps above until you can no longer divide the remainder. At the end of this process, you will find the division result at the top of the dividend and the remainder at the bottom. Those are the final results of the long division calculation.
For example, when you divide 2718 by 9, you would need to perform the following steps:
- Drag 9 to 27
- Subtract 27 with 27, leaving 0 as the remainder. The temporary quotient is 3.
- Drag the next digit of the dividend down to the remainder to form a new number, i.e. 1
- Because the new number is not larger than the divisor (9), you need to drag another digit of the dividend down to the remainder until you can form a new number that is larger than or equal to the divisor, e.g. 18. This would cause another digit, i.e. 0, to be added to the quotient. The temporary quotient is 30.
- Subtract 18 with 18, leaving 0 as the remainder. The final quotient is 302. Hence, 2718 : 9 = 302.
To help you get an idea of how the app works, here is a short screen recording of myself performing a long division problem.
What makes the app outstanding
The app offers a complete learning experience for the long division method. The tutorials include problems that force you to put zero up top, problems that uses rational number as the divisor and problems where the division would result in repeating decimals.
For example, when you divide 1 by 3, it will yield 0.33.., which would result in an endless set of division steps. You can tap the repeating digit on the quotient to indicate that it is a repeating decimal.
Like its sister app Algebra Touch, the app is very fluid in terms of interactivity, gestures and animations. In addition to the gestures described above, the app also offers a slider that you can use to easily move the decimal points of both the divisor and the dividend to the right, allowing you to perform the division using an integer form of the divisor.
For example, when you divide 2.25 by 1.5, you could move the decimal point one step to the right. This would change the calculation into 22.5 divided by 15.
What I like about the app
I really like the way Long Division Touch provides a step-by-step walkthrough and instant feedback to help identify mistakes quickly. The fact that you can always repeat the tutorials can also help you recall the explanations that you still need to refresh. These really helps those who are trying to learn how to do long division correctly.
With intuitive controls and animations, I really think that the app can act as a better learning tool compared to a typical arithmetic workbook that you have to fill in with pen and paper. I still recall the days where I had to spend countless recycled papers as my calculation pad. I believe the app would really boost the interests of many learners with its intuitive gestures.
All of the contents of the app, including the tutorials and a few practices, are available for free. Hence, there is no need to hesitate whether you should download the app or not. If you are really impressed with the way the app teaches you to perform long division, you can get the package of unlimited exercises as an in-app purchase. I typically don't like in-app purchases but I believe it is implemented appropriately here. If you really like the app and want to practice more division, the in-app purchase is a no-brainer.
Long Division Touch is an awesome app that can assist your juniors in learning to perform long division calculation involving rational numbers. It will save you a ton of recycled papers and keep your junior interested in practicing for endless hours. The fact that it automatically gives instant feedback for mistakes really makes the app special. It's also free app, so get it and prove it yourself.
App was purchased by us.