By Meagan McGone
BREVARD -- Indialantic resident Jeff Lammers has a daughter who is in the fourth grade.
And, like many other students, she sometimes has trouble paying attention to lectures in class.
"She's a tactile person and learns from doing, more than listening," Mr. Lammers said.
Knowing that children are often drawn to the interactive components of technology, Mr. Lammers searched Apple's App Store for educational apps that could help her.
"None (of the apps) actually taught the skills she missed in class," he said. "It seemed amazing to me that most, if not all, early app developers just throw together quizzes and games to make apps with no thought to their effectiveness as real teaching tools."
Mr. Lammers, a mechanical engineer, author and previously successful app launcher, saw the lack of beneficial educational apps as a great opportunity.
"I felt that if there were grade- and subject-specific apps that could teach, and re-teach, the subjects that my daughter was learning in school, then she and other children could learn the subject at their own pace, in their own way," he said.
Mr. Lammers gathered an experienced "dream team," consisting of a tech-savvy teacher, an app programmer, a graphic designer and himself as the lead designer.
This year, they launched AppTutor, an interactive educational tool to teach, coach and cover the curriculums that are found in schools, under the publishing name of PadStar.
Currently, there are three AppTutor apps that can be found in the App Store: kindergarten- to third-grade addition, second- to fifth-grade multiplication, and place value and rounding for second- to fifth-grade.
"We sincerely believe that any student using the correct grade-level AppTutor app could go through the app in just a few hours and have a mastered understanding of that particular subject," Mr. Lammers said.
He said ultimately, he would like to see tools like AppTutor creating reform in the classroom.
"(America's educational system) is a very complicated system of information and politics, and I certainly don't claim to grasp all the variables," he said. "The one aspect I do understand is that a publisher like PadStar can take all the information in a $100 textbook and make it come to life for a fraction of the cost."
To download the app, visit Apple's App Store on a compatible device and search "AppTutor."