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Friday, May 24, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: EdAlive

EdAlive is an Australian company who has created educational software for children that motivates them to learn through fun.  Their programs allow children to learn at their own pace and makes them  want to continue to learn.  Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review two of their programs, Maths Invaders Online and Typing Tournament Online.

 Maths Invaders Online is for children in grades K-10.  It is an online program that covers mental math calculations in a game like format.  Topics include: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, numeration, decimals, fractions, powers, and square roots.  Playing Maths Invaders Online students will build math fact fluency.

How does it work? Each student needs their own log in and password.  Once the student logs in, they are taken to this screen

If you choose Galactic Campaign you are taken to this page

There are ten different zones in the game that are given names such as Tentacle System, Wolf System, Quartz Belt, and in each zone there are different steps you go to.  For each step you complete 3 waves of problems.  After the 3rd wave you get a star.  There are 3 levels at each step: Basic, Expert, and Master.  Once you complete those you move on to the next step.  You do have the ability to skip ahead to different zones.  They increase in difficulty as you move through the game.  To move ahead you skip to the zone you want to go to and it asks you questions from the previous step.  If you pass them you can begin the first step in that zone.

To answer the questions you use your space bar, number keys, and arrows on your computer.   The arrows help you navigate from side to side.  You move under the question you want to answer, type it in with your number keys, and hit your space bar.  You shoot the question and if you get it right it disappears.  If you get it wrong the shot bounces off and you can try again.

You also have the option to print worksheets

And view reports on topics

My 12 year old son Christian has been using Maths Invaders Online.  Math is his least favorite subject and he really struggles with mental math so I though this would be a great program for him to use that he would think was fun.  When we started the review, I logged him in and let him use it on his own.  It started him at the beginning in Zone 1. I didn't notice what kinds of questions he was answering.  After a few days I looked as he was playing and saw it was very basic math like in the chart above.   So I looked around the website to try and figure out how to progress him a bit further and skipped him ahead a few zones and moved him up to Zone 3 and then after a few days of that to build his confidence moved him up a little further to Zone 5.  He played 3 days a week for around 15 minutes a day. He enjoys playing the game and it has helped him recall his facts faster.  I played a few rounds of it myself and did find that it made me want to keep going too. 

Typing Tournament Online is a complete typing course for ages 6 to adult with a medieval theme.  Students journey through 16 medieval environments from the Dragon's Cave through the Throne room to defeat the dark typist. Each level has a lesson that teaches 4 new keys, a practice demonstration, 3 drills, and a progress test.  There are also 3 games that students can play.  The lessons move at the students pace and once they master that lesson they move on to the next.

When the student logs in they are taken to this page. 

The map shows the lessons they have completed and where they are currently working.

When they click on the lesson that is in progress they are taken to the lesson. It keeps track of where the student left off in the lesson with the Next Step icon. 

Once they click where they are supposed to be in the lesson, the lesson starts.

As they go through each lesson they earn badges and short movies that play.

They can easily check their progress.

My daughter Lily is 10 and she has been working on Typing Tournament an average of 3 days per week for around 30 minutes per day.  She wanted to learn how to type and was excited to have an opportunity to review this.  She asked every day if she could do her typing lesson.  She loves the theme and earning the different badges.  She could use the program completely independently even getting to the webpage and signing herself in. One of her favorite things to do was play the games: Siege, Powder Keg, and Dragon Chase.  Each lesson teaches only 4 keys and gives plenty of drill practice so the student will learn and remember before moving on to the next lesson. Typing Tournament Online is a great learn to type program for all ages and skills of learners.

Through a parent account I could log in and see progress for each of the children in their subscriptions. In the Math Invaders section I could see Galactic Campaign reports, Child reports, child history, as well as manage things like editing child details and passwords.  In the typing section I could view speed tests, weekly reports, progress reports, and child history.  It is convenient to be able to view each children's work in the same place even when they have separate subscriptions.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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