Review of Top Math Sites

[19 Jun 2008]

HomeSchool.com recently released their Homeschool.com’s Top 100 Educational Web Sites of 2008. There were 7 math sites included in the Top 100.

What makes a Top Math Web Site? I’ve had a closer look at the 7 sites that were selected.

My comparison of the sites considers several factors:

  • What is the Content?
  • What Grade levels is the site aimed at?
  • Is there real-world context for the math?
  • Who is behind the site?
  • What does the site sell?
  • What are the top keywords for the site’s home page?
  • Does the site have valid HTML?
  • Does the site have valid CSS?
  • How popular is the site?

Of course, I have kept in mind the needs of home-schoolers in my comparison.

The table was too wide for this post, so I presented it on a separate page.

Go to the Review of Top Math Sites. I hope you find it interesting.

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5 Comments on “Review of Top Math Sites”

  1. Math Playground says:

    Hi,

    Good post. I just want to address a few things you mentioned in your analysis of Math Playground.

    Math Playground does offer activities in a real world context. There is a role playing game called Math in the Mall that asks students to visit a health club, a toy store, a restaurant, and a bank. They must solve problems related to tax, tipping, interest, and do some comparison shopping. Percent Shopping and Making Change also have real world math connections.

    In the function activity, you can enter the function after the five input/output pairs are presented. It will appear onscreen at the end.

    I am curious about the html errors. Do you know what kind of errors they are? I use Dreamweaver and have never seen an error report. I’d like to correct the errors if I can.

    The safe site award was given by wiredkids.org based on their criteria. There are no hidden downloads or agendas on the site and the content is wholesome and aimed at children in grades 3 to 7. There is advertising but I am very careful about the type of ads that appear on the site and ban advertisers with questionable content.

    I’m sure your criteria for judging a math site differs from that of the award giver. All I truly care about is the feedback I get from the teachers, parents, and students who use the site. If it’s making math fun and understandable, then I feel the site is serving its purpose.

    Thanks for the critique.

  2. Murray says:

    Hi, “Math Playground” (we still don’t know your name(s)…)

    Thanks for your response. Sorry that I missed your “Math at the Mall”, which is a good idea. I checked it out just now and had some trouble. I tried the “percentages” activity and when I visited each of the “toys”, “bank”, “gym” and “cafe” I was unable to get a question to answer. I expected a question to appear when I got there. I clicked around trying to get a question, but nothing came. I used both the male and female characters. Is there a bug, maybe, or did I miss something?

    I used the word “claim” when talking about the “safe site” because some of these certificates are just based on self-nomination.

    You can check HTML errors using W3C’s checker. Sometimes there are huge differences in the way Internet Explorer (especially version 6) and standards compliant browsers (like Firefox) cope with a page that has errors.

    I’m sure your criteria for judging a math site differs from that of the award giver.
    Actually, Homeschool.com had no criteria given for their choices of awards, other than…
    These websites contain some of the best educational content on the Internet today. Best of all, almost all of these sites are free or have free sections.
    Of course, they are looking at it from the perspective of usefulness for home schooling. I don’t pretend to have such experience, but I do get considerable traffic from the home schooling sites.

    All I truly care about is the feedback I get from the teachers, parents, and students who use the site. If it’s making math fun and understandable, then I feel the site is serving its purpose.
    Quite right, too! I said in my comparison that your site has a “Fun atmosphere”.

    Thanks again for your response.

  3. Math Playground says:

    Hello again,

    Math at the Mall does not have any bugs as far as I know. You have to actually walk your character past the signs to the end of the “road”. At that point, the character will appear in one of the new rooms. Please let me know if you are still unable to proceed through the game.

    I apologize for being discreet about my identity. Unfortunately, someone’s idea of fun was stalking me online with very personal email messages. Since then I have been careful about revealing too much information. All that really matters is that I am a high school math teacher with 12 years of classroom experience who likes to write code in her spare time. My friends call me Colleen :)

  4. Murray says:

    Hi Colleen and thanks for your clarifications.

    Sorry to hear about the stalker – there are some total idiots in cyberspace.

    I managed to find the activities in your game – thanks for that.

  5. Math Worksheets Land says:

    Not sure how HomeSchool gets around to reviewing all the math web sites. I would love to throw mine into the mix and start to get some feedback. If anyone know how to get their ear, please let me know.

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