Matter of Facts: Home business helps kids in math
by David Page
DURANT – After leaving her job as technology coordinator for Achille Public Schools in Bryan County, Kathy Robinson started a home business developing academic software from her kitchen table. From that one-person, working-at-home beginning 10 years ago, her company, Schoolware Inc., has expanded into a provider of Web-based academic products to public and private schools in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas and Louisiana with more than 20 employees.
Schoolware Inc. now operates from a business incubator in Durant operated by Rural Enterprises Inc. Robinson moved the company into the incubator in 2001 after her husband was killed in an automobile accident.
“It was hard after my husband was killed in the car wreck,” she said. “As sole bread winner for the family, I knew it was no longer part time.”
Schoolware's primary product is A Matter of Facts: Math Facts Matter. Reading and language arts programs are also offered. The programs are sold to school systems. Students and teachers are provided passwords to access the program. Since Math Fact Matter is Web-based, updates are delivered automatically. “The student will logon via the Internet using a password,” Robinson said.
Since the system is Web-based, students and teachers can use the program from any computer allowing work from school, home or elsewhere.
Math Facts Matter’s tracking and management system provides teachers, administrators and parents with information about student progress. Teachers can retrieve reports from home with the Web-based system.
To motivate students, the program includes arcade-style games as rewards for completing the repetitive steps required by the math program. Using the program at home expands the school day, Robinson said.
Math Facts Matters was designed to teach rapid recall of math facts with a one-to-one method. The program was developed to both challenge more advanced students and to direct students to work on areas where they have more problems.
“Our products use a grid system that responds to each student,” Robinson said. “It directs them to the area where they have the most problems.”
When students master a math problem, the programs directs them to more advanced problems. Teachers can track each students progress and provide them with supplemental or individualized materials.
The staff includes a 17-member sales staff. Robinson and her staff, which includes a programmer and a graphic designer, develops the curriculum.