Archive for September, 2009

SmartyCard Part1: Learn and Earn Educational Games

SmartyCardHomeSince SmartyCard offers a math curriculum for tweens and uses fun games and quizzes to present the material, I thought I’d see what it’s all about. However, in the midst of my research I realized that I had a bit too much for a single post so here’s Part1.

What Is SmartyCard?
SmartyCard is a prepaid web-based educational service that provides a “learn and earn” play experience aimed at “tweens” (3rd to 6th graders). The points children accumulate, by answering seven-out-of-ten activity questions correctly, can be redeemed for real and virtual rewards – such as DVDs, music from iTunes, books, toys, and access to popular virtual worlds like Club Penguin.

The SmartyCard website is well-crafted, colorful, and easy to navigate. The characters used on SmartyCard.com are friendly and engaging, but avoid the taint of Barney and Elmo. SmartyCard.com presents educational content that addresses reading, writing, math, social studies, cultural studies, technology and science. This content was developed in partnership with e-learning leaders Learning.com, Ignite Learning, and LearnStar.

Thus far, ten virtual worlds that have partnered with SmartyCard: Bella Sara, Cartoon Doll Emporium, Club Penguin, Elf Island, Planet Cazmo, Stardoll, ZooKazoo, Zwinky Cuties, Neopets, and Webkinz, though the last two are only selling physical merchandise as rewards. Other SmartyCard partners include the likes of Kajeet, Nickelodeon, and Scholastic.

Is It Safe For Kids? Read the rest of this entry »

DreamBox Learning K-2 Math

This post is more personal than analytical to me, in that, this is the first time I’ve written about my daughter, who is 1st grader this year.

I had already written an article about DreamBox Learning K-2 Math and had done quite a bit of research in an effort to compare and contrast subscription educational websites that claim to have fun math games. I was quite impressed by DreamBox Learning, so I asked my wife to take a look at the website. I had a pretty good feel for how she would react, but had no idea as to which points would resonate with her. Read the rest of this entry »

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