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Basic Algebra Tutor

About Basic Algebra Tutor

Nine detailed step-by-step lessons with facilities to test and develop understanding alongside supportive feedback, make this an effective app for children beginning to learn about algebra.  Detailed reports make it useful for teachers and parents to monitor progress.

Basic Algebra Tutor Review

In many ways, this app is like a well-paced teach yourself algebra book, but one that gives instant feedback and support as progress is made.  A little patience on first opening the app may be required as it is slow to open, but once in use it does its job well.

There is a lot of explanatory text in this app regarding its actual use.  It gives an explanation for parents, teachers and students.  This is very detailed and should you have any uncertainty in how to use the app, it is certain to be in the appropriate section.  It can be a little intimidating, however, as it is so lengthy and paragraph breaks are used so rarely. 

Fortunately, in the lessons themselves the app beaks down the teaching points much more effectively.  As it takes students through the different concepts, a clear and concise explanation is revealed one short paragraph at a time.   Understanding of the tuition is checked with relevant and appropriately complex questions.

Each lesson gives an appraisal of the student’s performance.  This takes into account how fluently the answers within the lesson were given.  Children can take multiple attempts at each question, as when they get it wrong a helpful direction is given, but this will be reflected in the results at the end.  This is a good method.  Children can gain support while they are uncertain and teachers and parents can see when they have progressed to a secure understanding.

The reporting of progress is a definite strength of this app as it does so clearly and in both broad terms and with a narrow focus.  Colour coded diagrams show general progression, but individual questions and the given answers can also be inspected.  This latter facility is especially useful as students can show where they are uncertain and get parental or teacher support.

In addition to the lessons, children can test their algebra skills in other ways.  There are a random question option and a math game where children’s answers influence the speed of a car in a race.  As well as the statistics, there are rewards of different backgrounds and diamonds.

Interacting with the app is very straightforward as it uses its own built-in keypad.  The options on this are tailored to match the question being answered so that the student can concentrate on learning the maths and not the app.

Everything about the app is clear, easily readable and straightforward to use.  Some may feel that it looks a little plain in comparison to other apps and, indeed, it is.  Many will not find this to be a negative as it keeps distractions to a minimum and lets the app be used across a wider age range.  Gifted younger children will be happy to use the app as much as struggling older children will.

As well as allowing children to learn independently and to practise algebra with support, teachers may find this to be a useful teaching tool.  With the screen mirrored to a class display, the lessons, including their test elements, would make excellent teaching aids for use at the front of a class.

As a fully self-contained app, with no in-app purchases required to work all of the way through it, this is a good value app that is well recommended for students beginning to learn about algebra.

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Richard Jones

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