Review by Emily Major, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2016

FluidMath

Fluidly showing equations and graphs to your class

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
N/A
Grades 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.
1–12
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Pros: The functionality of the main app is powerful; could be a great classroom supplement (with the right tools)

Cons: The website looks outdated; symbol recognition is a bit hit or miss; the 'games' seem like incomplete add-ons; really needs an interactive whiteboard/tablet with a pen

Bottom Line: A great concept that still needs a bit more polishing

As a classroom supplemental tool FluidMath has a lot of potential. Teachers can use an interactive white board to quickly write equations and create graphs of them to show to the class; saving a lot of time drawing them by hand. There are also handy animations that can use sliders to show how things change with different variables and a nice function where teachers and students can write equations by 'hand' and they are converted to MathML format that can be used on websites or copied in typed format. This could be handy for teachers who want to write assignments without learning 'math code' or students that want to share nice math equations on assignments or webpages. 

The main FluidMath tool is most useful as a supplemental classroom tool as it's up to the teacher what appears on it. There are some example worksheets that show how to use the app but mostly it's dependent on the teacher to create materials for the students to work with or show the entire class. The 'game' apps that are included can be used by the students independently to practice addition, subtraction and multiplication facts, but they can be a bit glitchy and may not recognize what the student is typing (leading to a wrong answer and frustration). 

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Sadly, the first thing you notice with FluidMath is that the website looks outdated. While the main FluidMath app seems to have a more updated look the 'games' and other parts have a much older feel to them. Additionally the navigation items on various pages are different and getting around the site, and between the apps, can be a bit confusing and some links take you to what appears to be the corporate FluiditySoftware website (and sometimes not the correct link).

Some of the pages didn't scroll properly and cut off various questions and the writing recognition was less than perfect (especially without a pen). For those with fine motor skill issues (either with or without a pen) writing numbers and equations could make the tool near unusable. 

A feature that has some potential is a teacher dashboard where they can create classrooms and have students join with a specific pin. They can then track their progress, give badges and create certificates. But these seem to only be available for the games, which are not the main focus of the app and seem to be more of an add-on to FluidMath itself, and are in need of more polishing. 

The 'games' that are included, while still rough in their implementation, could be good practice for younger students of basic facts (such as addition, subtraction and multiplication), but students would require really good motor skills and/or a tablet with a pen in order to get the handwriting recognition to work properly. 

One neat function of the main FluidMath app is the ability to share screenshots from tablets or to "live share" while using a browser. This function means that students can collaborate and/or the teacher can check in on student progress and help with specific questions or tasks. However it only seems to work on a browser, which is where the app doesn't function as well. 

Overall Rating

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

The main FluidMath app allows students to write, graph and solve equations; but other offerings on the site are lacking (as is overall site design)

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

As a tool to supplement in-class materials, or show the class through an interactive whiteboard, FluidMath is a useful classroom addition.

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

A brief tutorial provides information on the functions and there are a few examples provided.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Major Common Sense Education

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