Website review by Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2017

AdaptedMind

Slick-on-the-surface math site missing important details

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 9 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
1–8 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

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5 images

Pros: Visuals look great and the curriculum is very thorough.

Cons: Tons of nitpicky problems add up to a confusing experience.

Bottom Line: This math curriculum looks nice, but its learning experience lacks attention to detail.

AdaptedMind is intended to be a full pre-assessment, progress tracking, lesson, and practice product. However, you would be wise to carefully check out each and every lesson ahead of time to be sure that videos match practice sets and that explanations for incorrect answers are well targeted. While you can track progress, it would be very difficult to pinpoint specific difficulties, because success is reported only in percentages and total number correct. If you were to use it for homework practice, you would likely need to use it for in-class work as well, to avoid "We didn't do that in class" situations.

Lower-grade blackboard video lessons -- while not so great for native English-speaking first graders -- could be quite useful for ELL or low-literacy students to learn math vocabulary. Because pretest results generate a percentage of the whole curriculum-mastered figure but don't seem to be available for comparison to any kind of post-test results, their use is limited. You could use a random practice set as a post-test, but results are not kept separate if the set is retried at a later date.

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AdaptedMind is a website that teaches kids math and reading through a series of lessons. This review addresses only the math lesson. There are about 60 math lessons per grade (for grades one through six), each with a 20-question practice set, at least one video clip, and multiple worksheets. Upon login, kids take a pretest to generate a percentage of the curriculum-mastered number, and then move on to select any lesson in their grade, or any other grade if they wish. Kids earn cute visual badges and points toward mastery when they answer correctly and pop-up explanations when they make mistakes. Videos are about 85% from Khan Academy, with native videos (original content from AdaptedMind) making up the remaining 15%.

You can assign lessons and register up to 35 students with email-free usernames and passwords. The student progress page mostly provides a summary of percentage correct for lessons and the total number correct out of 20. The teacher progress page shows an overview for all students, plus it provides access to that same student summary page for each student.

Despite looking pretty darn good, AdaptedMind could use some fine-tuning. The highlights: Colors are vivid, badges are cute, points count up and inform users of progress continuously, and curriculum is somewhat thorough. However, there are a lot of drawbacks. Layout problems will confuse kids, and basic worksheets aren't very exciting (and some annoyingly displayed on-screen when they can't be completed there).

Explanations are offered for incorrect answers, but they're inconsistent and don't always address the particular problem the student's having. A third grade single-digit decimal multiplication mistake led to a supporting video that used four places. The presentation of questions can also create confusion. For example, place value questions alternate back and forth between "How many hundreds are in the number 568?" (5) and "What is the value of the hundreds digit in the number 568?" (500). Finally, despite claiming to be fully standards-aligned, the site does not include all state standards (North Dakota and Alaska, at least, are missing), and the Common Core standards listed on the teacher progress page are difficult to relate to practice sets and don't necessarily map to the questions offered in the sets. While AdaptedMind makes an effort, teachers need a fine-tooth comb to make this a fully useful product.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Design is colorful and cute, but the points-for-badges system may only scratch the surface of interest for kids when the actual math questions are pretty bare-bones.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Blackboard-style videos, worksheets, and explanations for mistakes support different learning needs, but lower grades may have a hard time following the blackboard lessons.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Lots of small inconsistencies and layout problems make finding help confusing. There's an audio option, which is nice, but the voice is kind of stilted.


Community Rating

(See all 9 reviews) (9 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Darque R. , Homeschooling parent
Homeschooling parent
Disappointment, will not continue
The limitation on how much time a child can engage is a huge downfall. Everyone has different learning styles and many children need to immerse themselves in their interests in order to learn most effectively. Limiting this is limiting learning and self direction. That is the biggest down side. The confusing processes logging in and starting sessions, the loading time is ridiculous between every screen, use of 'grade level' to start is irrelevant for some. Would be better to start by ascertaining wh ...
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