What It Is:
Math 911 is an online math tutorial. The man who thought up this program is Professor Weissman, who has been on the New York City Board of Education, and taught math at Essex Country College in New Jersey. This is a no-nonsense, straightforward program; one of its main features is that there are no distracting games or images, it is just learning math. The courses offered are:
- Introductory Algebra
- Intermediate Algebra
- College Algebra
Your student will begin their course and progress in a methodical way through the topics. A math problem is given at the top of the screen, the instructions are at the bottom, and there is a box in the center where the answer is entered. If your child answers correctly, a big check mark appears with the words RIGHT!!! If they get the problem wrong, the correct answer is shown. On the right side of the screen is a sidebar; this shows the level they are on and has other buttons to choose from which include Calculator, New Problem, Change Level, and See All Steps. It is highly suggested that when your child answers any of the problems wrong, they review and study the See All Steps section. There are also downloadable PDF's to use with the Introductory Algebra course.
What You Get:
You can actually go onto the website and download the Introductory Algebra course right now for free. This is an amazing deal, which would also let you view the program and see how it works. You can upgrade to the Premium Version for $49.95. This never, ever expires, and includes free upgrades from the website and tech support. You can also purchase Algebra In A Flash; this is the flash drive version which is sold on the website for $9.95. Having this program on a flash drive would make it very convenient to take your math homework with you to different computers and laptops. Each course has midterms and a final; you can also print out your child's grades or copy them to a Word document.
How We Used This:
Since I had two children who were going to be using this, I emailed Professor Weissman and he gave me codes to upgrade the program so that I could have more than one user. I had Mr. Lego and Bookworm begin with Introductory Algebra and each day I would set the timer for 45 minutes while they worked through the levels. They both began in the Introductory Algebra Course, which starts with Integers and then moves into Adding and Subtracting Integers, Multiplying and Dividing Integers, and Exponents. We used this for a couple of weeks and then took off a week from school for vacation. When we came back to doing math the next week, the program didn't remember our accounts. I emailed Professor Weissman and was pleased with his prompt response. He had me call him - I didn't realize he was on the East Coast and I called around 4pm Pacific Time - but he did answer the phone and was extremely helpful in figuring out a solution. It was a simple problem of entering the wrong password; he showed me how to figure out what password we had chosen, which we then wrote down next to the computer. (Which is what we should have done in the first place!)
What I Thought:
I liked the direct approach to math in this program; there were truly no frills or animation. This would be very helpful if your child is easily distracted when doing school. And Professor Weissman is very easy to contact and genuinely wants to help if you have any questions. When we started this my children did have trouble getting used to the format; it was confusing for them to have the instructions at the bottom of the page and the answer box towards the top. The style of this program is like the old DOS programs, but you do get used to it pretty quickly. The other thing I noticed is that the program does not "teach" math; the student learns by doing the problems and then studying the step by step solution. For some math learners this is fine; for others they need more instruction and guidance. Since I am not a great math teacher we will continue with our current math curriculums, but I will definitely be using Math 911 when I feel my children need extra practice. And hey, these math courses are for adults too....I might be learning more about Statistics in the near future!
Other members of The Crew reviewed Math 911 and had their students do some of the other math courses....check it out by clicking below.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, for my honest and humble review. All opinions are mine.