In our ongoing quest to trick kids into thinking that math is fun, our in-house gamification team has been digging through reams of primary research. Our first challenge: making the notoriously stultifying Marbleslides into a task students might at least pretend to enjoy.
We quickly rejected the idea that mathematics is inherently beautiful and motivating. The research on Intellectual Need, for example, is sparse and unsubstantiated. We urge readers to find any instance of people seeking out mathematics except under duress.
Instead we dove into other disciplines. We considered economics - e.g. bribing students. We considered Marbleslides badges and Snapchat filters. At the end of the day, the solution had been right in front of us all along: Marbleslides just needed sound effects.
Introducing: Mariobleslides. Try it at teacher.desmos.com/marbleslides-lines
=== Update, April 2nd ===
The sound effects in Marbleslides are actually part of our ongoing effort to
push the limits on accessibility for vision-impaired and blind users of
Desmos. They’re here to stay! To enable Marbleslides’ Sound Effects,
type Alt+A on windows or Option+A on mac. For more keyboard shortcuts in
Marbleslides, scroll to the bottom of this page: