Coolmath

Dated site with ads, simple games, limited resources

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 32 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

1–12

Subjects & Skills

Critical Thinking, Math

Price: Free
Platforms: Web

Pros: Quick-reference math facts, a glossary of terms, and explanations with examples.

Cons: Old-school interface, and simple games on ad-filled sister site are only loosely tied to math.

Bottom Line: Coolmath has some decent references and short explanations but is dated and uninspiring.

The Coolmath site is a collection of explanation cards that could be used in class to introduce or describe certain topics. It might be useful for students needing a refresher in various math concepts as a friendlier alternative to a textbook. There are some interactive elements that show concepts, but many of these require Flash, and some don't seem to work.

The site is also linked to a math games site (Coolmath Games) where some of the games could be used to teach strategy or practice concepts. However, many of the games aren't really math-focused -- they're described as "brain-training" --  and may be more useful as a reward or break for students. 

Coolmath is part of a collection of websites that includes Coolmath Games and Coolmath4Kids. The main site -- Coolmath -- covers concepts for grades 6–12 including pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. Coolmath4Kids offers content for students from grades K–5, and the games there come from Arcademics. And Coolmath Games has a variety of "brain-training" games. The Coolmath4Teachers and Coolmath4Parents sites seem to be pages with links to the other sites.

The main site has lessons that cover a variety of concepts with explanations and creative ways to remember things. There's also a glossary and a "survival guide," which is a (long) pep talk in segments for students who dislike or struggle with math.

In terms of positives, the range of topics on Coolmath and Coolmath4Kids is impressive, and the reference tools could be useful. The lessons might also be helpful for kids who avoid using the textbook for explanations but could use an accessible reminder here and there. 

However, the main Coolmath site uses a very dated interface: a black screen with white and neon text, which could be difficult for some students to read. The content cards and tools and references sections are quite useful but lack any real interactivity, and most of the interactive elements no longer function properly. Students don't really get a chance to develop their own methods of understanding the materials and are required to follow the steps provided in the materials presented. The games are part of a separate website that requires a subscription to remove the numerous ads. Many of the games also require the students to install and use Flash within their browser. Most importantly, the games often don't reinforce math concepts, and if they do, it's rudimentary practice at best. So, if you're looking to offer students some fun, free math games, you might want to look to more current,  learning-focused options.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

Coolmath's design is fairly outdated and visually busy. The games use very simple mechanics that most students won't find particularly interesting or challenging, though they might prefer them to written work.

Pedagogy

A collection of written lessons include examples and ways to remember concepts but are static and one-dimensional. The games on Coolmath Games are offered as "brain training," and most don't reinforce math skills.

Support

The sites for teachers and parents -- Coolmath4Teachers and Coolmath4Parents -- offer only links to the other sites. Games do include instructions for how to play. 

Common Sense reviewer
Pamela Brittain
Pamela Brittain Academic Coordinator K - 12

Community Rating

People should do their research before blowing up a website with bad reviews.

All these "teachers" are saying he site is filled to the brim with malware and spyware. Just use an ad-blocker to prevent the kids from clicking on the malicious ads that are there. No visibility, no chance. All these teachers are also saying that the site is completely useless yet this site is great for leaning strategy, increasing reading skills, and general problem solving skills for all ages. It looks appealing to the younger generation and is identified as a gaming website so it attracts a ton of traffic every year. There is nothing bad with that. Most of these teachers teach algebra, calculus, just any form of basic math and completely dismiss this site as it doesn't involve their actual subject directly. Once again the site identifies itself as a gaming website created be the people who made an actually educational website: www.coolmath.com that actually does focus on mathematics and reading skills, but not necessarily strategy, and general problem solving. People should do their research before blowing up a website with bad reviews.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Unclear whether profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether users can create or upload content.
  • Unclear whether users retain ownership of their data.
  • Unclear whether this product provides processes to access and review user data.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

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