Johnny Ball counts on Izak9 to inspire love of maths

Johnny Ball (left) pictured with Franz Schlindwein (right)

Johnny Ball (left) pictured with Franz Schlindwein (right)

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TV personality and maths aficionado Johnny Ball has joined forces with a former school teacher-turned inventor to inspire a new love of mathematics among children.

The TV favourite, who is famous for popularising mathematics, instantly fell in love with Izak9 - an education technology resource designed to put play back into classroom maths while promoting confidence and competence with numbers among children. The former ‘Think of a Number’ host says the Izak9 resource engages children in mathematics in an exciting way which curricula don’t while also boosting the personal and professional development of teachers.

He said: “For over 40 years I’ve been engaging young people in mathematics and I think I’ve found something now that can really deliver. What teachers everywhere need are materials and ideas that enrich their mathematics teaching and I think I’ve found them in Izak9.”

Izak9 is the brainchild of Franz Schlindwein, a former secondary school head of maths who has invested many years of research into developing the unique teaching and learning resource.

Mr Schlindwein is attending the Bett show in London (January 25-28) to give educators and learners a chance to explore a new interactive tool which has been proven to boost children’s enjoyment of maths.

Izak9 delivers a refreshing new approach to engaging young children with mathematics. It particularly boosts girls’ enjoyment of maths and could increase female uptake of STEM subjects, according to recently published joint research from Trinity College Dublin and Queens University in Belfast.



Izak9, which was designed to promote problem solving, flexible thinking and interaction among children - and the boost the personal and professional development of teachers - is already in use in hundreds of schools in the UK and internationally.

Izak9 creator Franz Schlindwein, a maths teacher-turned inventor, says the learning resource is not only capturing the imaginations of kids and teachers. “We’ve used cutting edge education technology to benefit not only the learning of mathematics in classrooms but the teaching of the subject too. Kids love it, parents love it, teachers love it, principals love it - even inspectors love it.”

Izak9 is a culmination of the drive by Mr Schlindwein’s company, Qubizm, to support both the teaching and learning of maths. The tactile resource consists of 27 cubes with different combinations of colour, number and shape which can be used in conjunction with a host of online tasks and the help of animated on-screen characters named Helix and Abacus.

Mr Schlindwein and his team are continually working with Izak9 users to create increasing layers of support. In addition to the original HD animated stimuli available to teachers online, Qubizm has now added a teacher training facility and introduced curriculum mapping. It has also provided online video support material which “deconstructs” how teachers can use the Izak9 shared learning device to fully embed curricular skills into the teaching of the core content of the maths curriculum.