Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2012
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DigitZ

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Quick-tapping addition turns practicing math facts into a game

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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1-3 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Many options help adjust gameplay to students' current addition skills.

Cons: Feedback is limited during gameplay; visuals may be too busy for some kids to focus.

Bottom Line: DigitZ is an engaging game that offers kids effective and customizable arithmetic practice.

Use DigitZ to help kids memorize basic addition facts, and learn how different numbers can combine to make the same sum. Help students begin at the right level for their current addition skills and tailor gameplay through the various settings. This app may be especially attractive to kids who don't like typical flash card-style math facts memorization, who like fast gameplay, or who are motivated by competing for a high score against themselves or others. If you have a 1-to-1 tech program at your school, consider using DigitZ in Campaign mode, which allows a player to move through all levels in order, resuming play exactly where a student left off during the last play session.

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DigitZ is a highly customizable Tetris-style math game that helps kids memorize addition facts. As numbered blocks drop, kids must tap the ones that add up to a number that flashed on the screen at the beginning of the round. For example, if the number is "12," kids will tap on blocks "5" and "7," then "3" and "9," and so on as they drop. Kids can also choose from the block tiles that have already landed on the screen. Kids can tap as many numbers as needed, which will be required especially as the target number grows in more advanced levels. There's also some strategy involved because kids have to save certain numbers to use with other numbers as they fall. When the combinations are correct, those blocks disappear from the board and players earn points. To advance to the next level, players must earn a specific number of points. The attempt is over when the blocks reach the top of the screen.

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Digitz can help kids memorize different combinations of numbers that add up to another number.  Players can change the style of blocks (to tiles that change the number to dots, wooden blocks, embossed numbers, and more),  change game modes so that the game pauses after each level, and change how the tile blocks drop to help customize the speed of play for kids who may not be comfortable with the quick pace of regular play. Because each level has only one target number, kids repeatedly calculate the same problems, which can help with math fluency. Since the app keeps track of scores, kids can see their scores improve, which may help them stay motivated to beat their previous scores. The more kids play, the more opportunity there is for math facts to transfer to long-term memory.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Engaging gameplay turns practicing math facts into fun. The app keeps track of high scores, which can motivate kids to keep playing.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Multiple modes and play options make the game accessible to players of varying abilities. Though gameplay is designed around repetition, this can help with math fluency.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

The game is very easy to use, and with three difficulty levels, it can be tailored to a  variety of ages. Feedback is limited, so kids who need to review their addition facts will have to look elsewhere for guidance.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Stephanie D. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
4
This is an excellent tool to increase speed, build math fact fluency, and the ability to compose/decompose numbers.

This is a good tool to develop math fact fluency which includes both speed and the ability to decompose and compose numbers. Digitz provides and an opportunity to practice both of these skills. There is a speed component that may frustrate some students but users do have the ability to choose an easy, medium, and hard level.

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