Kent State Researchers Launch Free Math Multiplication Learning App for Elementary Grades

“Number Line Touch: Multiplication,” partially funded by a corporate contribution from AT&T, is now available on iTunes

Educators, researchers and computer scientists from Kent State University have partnered to develop a math learning app that is now live and freely available on iTunes. The app, called Number Line Touch: Multiplication, is an educational puzzle-based game for developing students’ multiplicative reasoning in the elementary classroom or at home. The app is designed primarily for students in grades 2-5 to develop a robust understanding of multiplication and division that facilitates a meaningful understanding of basic facts and procedures.

The project was developed as part of a larger Kent State project called SpedApps, which was partially funded through a corporate contribution from AT&T. SpedApps was created to study how mobile applications and devices can be used to support learners with special needs. The project team studies app use, maintains a website to catalog apps for educators, parents and students, and also builds apps.

“We know from research with elementary and middle school students that multiplicative reasoning is the gateway to understanding fractions and, later, algebra,” says Karl Kosko, Ph.D., Kent State assistant professor of mathematics education and lead developer of the app. “This app bridges the gap between counting and multiplying, targeting skills that struggling children tend to rely on most.”

The app is a puzzle game merged with a number line. Students must place rods with different values onto a number line to find missing numbers. Students must demonstrate mastery by earning three stars on the level before they can move onto the next, more advanced level. Additionally, the app generates a new puzzle for each level when a student opens that level, allowing students to have fun with endless variations of puzzles. The current release of the app includes all Level 1 puzzles, with future levels forthcoming.

“This app brought together educators, designers and technologists working together to solve important problems in general and special education,” says Richard Ferdig, Ph.D., professor in Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services and lead investigator on the SpedApps project. “We’re creating these apps for the goal of positively improving classroom and home engagement.”

To learn more about the SpedApps project and to download the Number Line Touch: Multiplication app or the instructional packet, visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, visit