Website review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2020

LearnZillion

Quality Common Core-aligned lessons with great modeling for teachers

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 47 reviews
Privacy rating
90%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–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
English Language Arts, Math, Critical Thinking

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: It's super customizable, which means you can assign kids the lessons they need to work on most.

Cons: Lacks an element of fun, which could make using the site feel like work for some kids.

Bottom Line: An innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.

Use LearnZillion to give your students an extra learning boost, to give them review on topics you've covered in class, or even to give them a springboard for new exploration. You can also find new lessons, give yourself inspiration, or learn how to explain a concept a different way. Full lesson plans, complete with teaching notes, necessary prerequisites, and more, provide a lot of the background work necessary for teaching a new concept.

You and your students can do these lessons as a whole class, or students can do them in small groups or on their own. For example, hold a "math lab" where kids work on slightly different sets of problems that are specifically tailored to their needs. Assign "just right" practice exercises to each student based on their level of understanding. As students work, move around the classroom to check in, guide, and assist where needed. Afterward, use the videos as a follow-up for homework or classwork. As needed, you can assign extra practice as an extension or for intervention.

Continue reading Show less

LearnZillion is an online database of short video lessons that address learning topics aligned to individual Common Core standards. The lessons cover a wide variety of math and English language arts topics for the K-8 grade span. Experienced teachers create the three- to five-minute videos and lessons, complete with leveled practice problems, anchor texts, and writing prompts. Separate curriculum sets targeting particular topics and grades offer whole lesson plans, teacher hints, background information, and additional guidance, including ready-to-present slide-like presentations that incorporate videos, visuals, and hands-on practice. It's accessible on the web and on iOS and Android tablets.

For kids, the videos feature commentary, extra hints, tricks, and a "try it yourself" segment to help them practice on their own. Multiple-choice quizzes help assess students' learning. When both kids and teachers create accounts, teachers can assign lessons to individual students or to the whole class, see who's completed a lesson, and view students' scores.

Full Disclosure: LearnZillion and Common Sense Education share funders; however, those relationships do not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.

At its best, LearnZillion acts as a mix of teacher's assistant and mentor. Not sure how to explain a new or difficult concept? You can get helpful guidance from another teacher who's found a successful method. Teachers who are spread thin, or those whose students may need extra help, can use it to provide targeted attention to students right where they need it most. For instance, before students try any particular math lesson, a series of links help teachers identify the necessary skills students will need to know. This is very useful in helping teachers identify any gaps in students' knowledge before they begin. Lessons also offer teachers a variety of extension and intervention ideas. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get access to limited content for one teacher and one student. Paid school and district plans offer full content for multiple users. 

Teachers should know that LearnZillion isn't a game; it's better as a teacher's tool than as a super-exciting activity for kids. However, what it may lack in fun factor, it makes up for in clear, instructive content. LearnZillion does so much of the background and presentation work for you, it may feel like a virtual teacher. But rather than thinking of it as a teacher substitute -- there's no replacement for hands-on, face-to-face interaction -- think of it as a teacher enhancement. Live teachers are essential for choosing assignments wisely, tracking progress, and filling in the gaps when kids struggle. While the multiple-choice quizzes may not align perfectly with each lesson's content, they're serviceable. Teachers may still choose to do their own learning assessments offline. While the site provides answer keys, the inclusion of authentic student work samples and assessment criteria would offer a stronger picture of what quality work looks like.

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?

It's easy to use, and visuals are appealing. While it may lack obvious hooks for engagement, kids should be drawn in by the desire to learn in a personalized way.

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?

Developed by experienced teachers, the lessons are clear and concise. Practice exercises and prompts encourage kids to learn independently. With a teacher's help, personalized assignments can meet students right at their problem areas.

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?

Many of the how-to videos and lesson plans are helpful and demonstrate the site's potential and utility in the classroom. Teachers can keep track of students' progress as well.


Common Sense reviewer
Mieke VanderBorght Researcher

Community Rating

(See all 47 reviews) (47 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Amy K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, United States
Thorough, but repetitive. Students can lose interest in the reading passages
I think that the passages are interesting, but there could be more variety. There are only about 6 weeks worth of material for each grade (for close reading). Additionally, they use the same short passage for a week's worth of lessons. While this might be effective, it does leave some students losing interest. It leaves me having to weigh the loss of interest vs. the meaningful lessons. Sometimes I can do the whole week lessons, sometimes we only do 2-3 lessons with one passage. Overall this is well res ...
Read full review
Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users cannot interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is not shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

See complete evaluation

Learn more about our privacy ratings