A few weeks ago someone told me about Mathemagica by Remarkable. My sons and I have since spent some time exploring this app at various levels. In the introduction, the app says that it is for those who want to challenge themselves as well as those who need more practice as it is a genius tool that will adapt itself to your level of play. While the app is a good idea overall, we have all found it to be very frustrating at times.
Each player can customize their level of play by choosing specific skills or all the skills at a particular grade level. We have all found that when all the skills are selected, the app does not randomize well. The player will be given similar problems, sometimes even the exact same problem. It doesn’t seem to matter if the player solves the problem correctly or not. The player is not given a practice space to compute, all computations need to be held in the players’ mind. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be frustrating for the player that needs practice and repetition because they are not secure with a concept. The worst part of this app is that it does not allow the player to make mistakes. Once a mistake is made, the app shows the solution and then moves on. This is not helpful. In fact, this made both my sons want to stop playing. There also seem to be time limits on some problems that are quite short. If the player does not complete the problem in time, the solution is shown and play moves on. There does not appear to be a way to turn this timing function off. Again, this is not helpful to the player who needs to practice skills. “Awards” are given at odd times. For example, when the player solves 25 problems correctly overall, the player receives a reward. However, since this is overall, it could be after the player completes one problem in a session. After the next problem, the player could get a reward for solving 10 questions in a category correctly overall. These interruptions are very distracting. Finally, there does not seem to be an end to a session. The player can just keep going. There is not a natural stopping point. Overall, I feel that this app has potential, but there are multiple things that need to be fixed. It is certainly not for someone who needs to practice skills.
What We Like
· Player can choose specific skills to practice
· Skills are grouped by grade level, however a player can choose from multiple grade levels
· App can track up to three players’ progress
What We’d Like to Change
· App does not randomize well; sometimes player has to solve exact same problem even if solved correctly in the past
· App does not allow player to make mistakes; shows solution after one error; not helpful to players that need to practice skills
· No space to compute; player has to hold computations in head
· Time limits on solving problems
· Awards are given at odd times; can be very distracting