Cool Tool | IXL

CREDIT IXLIXL is an educational technology that delivers an immersive learning experience for students across all grades. With 1 in 10 students using it in the U.S., and over 18 billion questions asked and answered around the world, this company is helping schools successfully use technology to improve education. Their team of PhDs, teachers, and technologists crafts unique high-quality content and uses strategically mapped progressions to provide depth, breadth, and challenge for each skill. Their content and technology enable fresh and engaging experiences that spark curiosity and build confidence among middle and high school students. Their iPad app lets students take their learning on the go and practice and excel wherever they are: school, home, or on the road. With 3.1MM downloads, their iPad app is tailor-made for the mobile experience with visuals and functionality designed for the touchscreen to make it engaging and fun for even the most media savvy student, and they also have a new iOS app. With over 4500 skills, it’s one of the most comprehensive classroom products that adapts to individual levels for a personalized and diverse learning experience. Learn more.

  • Mary Westervelt


    My daughter, who is 7 and an advanced math student, just introduced me to IXL. We ran through some problems together at home, after I asked to see how it worked.

    Broadly speaking, it was a fine product if you want your kid to learn “run-and-gun” math. As a tool for empowering mathematical thinking, I would discourage its use.

    1) “Smart Score”: She’s obsessed with getting a high “smart score”, which is a number generated from their black box algorithm. She believes she’s not a good math student if her Smart Score isn’t high, which is frustrating both because it discourages her from challenging herself AND because we can deconstruct the number and thereby debunk the “low=dumb, high=smart” conclusion she’s drawing.

    2)Timed assessment: We’re far too focused on first-fast-right as an assessment strategy for mathematical thinking. This program encourages her to think that good mathematicians are fast. Maryam Mirzakani has said “the beauty of mathematics only shows itself to its more patient followers.” Stanford mathematics professor Jo Boaler’s research has shown that timed testing is a significant factor in student development of math anxiety. We have to END the myth that fast=best in math!

    I know our teachers appreciate it as a streamlined alternative to worksheets, but it’s causing a depressing math aversion in our math-gifted child, and giving my husband (a CMU-trained mathematician) a nasty eye twitch.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: