CYBERCHASE - interactive math activities for kids

By Murray Bourne, 23 Oct 2006

CYBERCHASE is produced by PBS Kids. It is an animated TV show and also has an interactive website. From their "Parents and Teachers" page:

CYBERCHASE teaches kids that math is everywhere, everyone can be good at it, and it's fun! Here at CYBERCHASE Online for Parents & Teachers, we've provided everything you need to bring the math adventure and learning fun of CYBERCHASE to your favorite kids.

CYBERCHASE is aligned with the NCTM Standards. I liked the "quest" nature of the activities, where the kids nead to solve problems before they can move on. A screenshot:

cyberchase

What I wonder, though, is:

  1. Is this more entertainment than it is learning?
  2. What do usability tests reveal about what kids really do?
  3. Is this kind of animated, cartoon-like approach the best way?

These questions may indicate I am cynical about CYBERCHASE. No, I'm not, but I really want to know more about the learning effectiveness of such approaches.

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