The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Elephant Learning Review by Jennifer LadewigDr. Aditya Nagrath PhD and Dr. Alvaro Arias PhD
Elephant Learning, LLC.
Elephant Learning is an online automated math academy for students ages 2-16. Elephant Learning is so confident in their program that they guarantee your child will learn at least 1 year of math in 3 months if they play 30 minutes per week. The software is able to constantly trace a student’s progress and adapt the activities in order to ensure that a student gets help in the areas that they are struggling in and moving forward in areas they are excelling in. What makes Elephant Learning unique is that it is compatible with every curriculum because it focuses on mathematical concepts rather than procedures. Elephant Learning works on IOS/Android/Web Based Platforms. Before actually starting in on the program there is an assessment period. The assessment period will take time. Students are only allowed to play 20 minutes a day. Your child will actually not know when the assessment period is over. They will automatically be transitioned to play mode after they complete each section of the assessment.
Elephant Learning calls it a “test out” mode. What exactly does this mean? For each subject matter they begin with the most difficult questions. If the student incorrectly answers questions, opts to skip questions because they do not know the answer, the program will automatically assign them based on the results. This process is continued until all subjects are tested out. As a parent you are able to go in and adjust the settings at any time. You can opt to let your child play unlimited instead of the default 20 minutes a day. You can also choose to start an assessment over, advance through an assessment, etc.
There are 32 games within the Elephant Learning program. Each game is represented by a different character such as; Acidic Lemons, Forest Mushrooms, Smart Worms, Froglings, Unicorns, and Whale Spotting. Each child begins with an Elephant Age. This is the average age your child is doing math outside of the program. As they progress along through the program you will see your child’s Elephant Age increase as they develop in their math skills. The cost for Elephant Learning Math is $35 a month. If parents find this difficult to pay Elephant Learning has a partner, Math Matters, a non-profit dedicated to mathematics that provides scholarships that can lower the tuition to as low as $10 a month. An application form for the scholarship is a part of the enrollment form.
Elephant Learning is best if used 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week. They do not recommend going over 60 minutes a week as this leads to burnout. I had my 5th grader use Elephant Learning on unlimited play mode. Some days she used it for 15 minutes a day. A few times she worked 30 minutes and sometimes 5 minutes. The assessment period took a LONG time! The program is for students ages 2-16.
Currently this program is targeted for the home setting. They specifically point out that while they cover key concepts through Algebra, it is not intended to be a replacement for an entire curriculum. They are currently working on a classroom product that is coming out soon.
Here are some examples of topics and questions from my daughter’s dashboard:
- Find my number to 20 (Solve problems like: x-6=11)
- Advanced Estimate Numbers to 200 (Estimate multiples of 10)
- Groups of 3, 4, 5, and 10 (Divide 54, 63, 72, 81 by 9)
- Language of Fifths using Areas and Collections (Produce 4/5 using areas)
- Introduction to Equations (Solve problems of the form: (x+a)-b=c)
- Divide in the Line: Numbers Greater than 50 (Divide 49 by 7 and 64 by 8) _
- Understanding and Meaning of NOT (Negation, small numbers, both are negated)
- Equivalent Fractions: Fourths and Fifths (Equivalent fraction of 1/5 or 2/5 using the number line)
- Introduction to Decimal and Their Representations (Representations of the Decimal 0.2)
- Advanced Percentage of Total Using the Number Line (Find 20% or 40% of 30 using the number line)
Just to give an example of how my daughter progressed during the month of October, her Elephant age went from 9.67 to 10.1. On the Dashboard there are several ways to keep track of your student’s progress. The Overview keeps track of your child’s Elephant Age. It displays their age on a graph. Next, is a Playtime Analysis. This is a dated bar graph which shows the Average Weekly and Max Weekly time in minutes, the current week, and past week that your child has spent in Elephant Learning. The History Section displays every time that your child has logged into Elephant Learning. It displays the Date, Timestamp, if Passed or Failed, Types of Questions Asked, Milestone or Topic Covered, and Play Duration.
At the bottom of the Dashboard you will find the Curriculum Section. Each subject is represented by a circle. You can click on any given circle to get more information about the subject matter. In the middle of each circle is a percentage which represents the percent of the subject matter completed. Each subject matter will either have a star beside it which means that the student is in assessment mode, a pause sign indicating it has been paused, a red dot meaning the subject Needs Attention, a yellow dot meaning the subject is OK, or a green dot meaning the student is doing Great!
What my daughter had to say, “Elephant Learning is fun once you FINALLY get the assessment done. That takes a long time!!! I like all of the game choices. I like all of the different avatar choices that you can choose from. I chose a cute baby deer. My least favorite game is the number line game.”
I really have been impressed with Elephant Learning. I like the ability to see how my daughter is continually progressing. She is able to log on and do everything on her own without any help from me. The game choices are amazing! I was really skeptical about the Elephant Age guarantee that they talked about. So far, I have been really impressed by my daughter’s progress. She enjoys working in the program and the time commitment is minimal.
The only negative was the assessment period took so long. Even though the program said that the child would not be aware of the assessment period my daughter was more than aware of when she was being assessed. She was smart enough to read the key and know that she was still in the assessment period for a long time and that part discouraged her. I tried to tell her not to think about it as an assessment, but her brain was stuck on “assessment” the whole time. I think she was wondering what the program was going to be like after the assessment and she was just ready for it to be done.
Overall, I was very pleased with the program and would recommend it to others. Elephant Learning has a growing library of activities where characters will entertain while providing accelerated learning. Math matters and that is why Elephant Learning is so passionate about helping students succeed.
-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018