"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~Romans 12:2 NKJV~
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~Prov. 16:9~

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Math911

Are you the parent of a middle or high school student? Is Algebra the dreaded word or a struggle for your kids? Do you need a little brushing up on your Algebra skills in order to help your kids with theirs? If so continue reading as I tell you about a product I reviewed that may be what you’re looking for.

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Math911 is a tutorial software designed for students who struggle with mastering their math skills in Algebra. “It is intended for students who are convinced they can’t do Algebra.” The creator of this program is Professor Martin Weissman. He has been teaching mathematics to students since 1963. Math911 has been used in schools since 1990. The program is for students ages 12 and up who is ready to do Introductory Algebra.


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Professor Weissman came up with an idea called “Algebra In A Flash” for his Math911. “It’s The Mathematics Professor That Goes Wherever You Go”.  Algebra In A Flash is a flash drive that contains the Math911 Algebra Tutorial Software. It can be used anywhere you have access to a computer (used for Windows XP, Windows 7, or Vista only). There are different versions to choose from. There is the standard version which you can download for FREE if you are wanting to try the product out before you buy it. Just look to the left and click to get your free copy. This free copy is a complete copy of the Introductory Algebra course. If you are wanting to upgrade you can purchase the Premier version for the price of $49.95. The choices you have are Premier (one user with no password), Premier Password (for multiusers with password), and Network Password (for multiusers with passwords).

Here is a list of the Premier features:

The topics are arranged by chapter, section and levels. Within each level are all the types of problems that identify the concepts that your students must know in order to be successful in Algebra including Graphs and Word Problems.

* All problems are algorithmically generated.
* 10 minute learning curve.
* Step by Step solutions with explanations for each problem.
* Only Free-form answers.
* Dynamic Grade reports on all screens.
* Needs no internet connection.
* Can be networked.
* Free Home Use For Teachers
* Free Periodic Upgrades
* Free Install on New PCs

The topics (courses) included are Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre Calculus, Statistics, and College Algebra.

 Math911 “gives the student an unlimited amount of randomly generated problems”. If the student doesn’t get the answer right his or her answers won’t be marked wrong. This is what Professor Weissman refers to as the Mastery Learning Approach. The student just keeps working out the problems until he or she gets it right. If he or she is having problems the program is designed where you can see step by step how the problem is worked out. There is no moving on to the next level until all the problems in that section can be done correctly. As stated before there are no grades for incorrect problems. Only correct responses are recorded.

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Math911 “is what learning Algebra should be: quick, fun, and easy. It will let you absorb Algebra effortlessly”. No, this is not a type of online math game that you play. No, there are no textbooks to accompany Math911. If your student needs more help understanding how to do the problems there are some PDF tutorials on the website you can download for free. Some have cartoons in it where the Professor is teaching a class and going through the steps of solving the problems with the students. There is also some exercises including the answers within the PDF that you can try out. To get a better understanding of how Math911 is set up check out these screen shots.

I used Math911 for myself since my son is no where near ready for any type of Algebra yet. We received the Premier Version for our review. I wanted to brush up on Algebra since I have not used it since I was last in school. I’ve shared before that math has never been my best subject, and Algebra was very hard for me to grasp and understanding of. I’m talking so hard that I couldn’t get past Algebra I in high school. I switched teachers, took tutoring, and sought out help from everyone I could ask but nothing worked. I eventually was able to figure it out after meeting my husband in college. He took time with me each day and was so patient in teaching me step by step until I had it. I went from an F student to a B+ student in no time. Fast forward to the present. As I stated it’s been a while since I did Algebra. I’m a little rusty with it but once I was able to get going it was coming back to me.

I will say that I started out with the Introductory Algebra course. I had lots of trouble remembering how to do Integers. I followed the steps of clicking to “see the solutions” for the problems but I kept drawing a blank. My husband saw me getting frustrated and asked if he could help me. Just like when I first met him he explained step by step how it was done. After that I was on a roll. Seeing the way the program is set up I don’t believe this will work for my son when he starts Algebra. He has a learning disability and this won’t fit in with his style of learning. It did not go with my style of learning either because I required more help than the program was set up to give. In my opinion I would probably recommend this program to those who just struggle somewhat with math, but I would not recommend this to someone with students that have various learning disabilities. All I can say is try out the free version first to see if it works well for your student then decide whether or not to buy from there. This is just my opinions and experience. To hear what others thought of it check out other Math911 reviews at the crew blog.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this review are entirely my own. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was not paid to write this but received the Premier Version of “Math911” at no cost to me for review purposes, and to give my honest opinion.

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