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UK MNer with at least one child aged 4-14? Sign up to test Smartick’s online after-school maths programme

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 07-May-19 16:17:32

Smartick are looking for Mumsnet users and their children to trial its online after-school maths programme for children. This product test is open to all UK MNers with at least one child between the ages of 4 and 14, that have access to an internet-enabled computer/laptop or tablet. Selected testers will receive a six-month subscription (a value of over £100) to Smartick after testing is completed and have up to 4 weeks to try and review it.

Here’s what Smartick have to say: “Smartick is an award-winning, AI-based, online maths programme designed to develop mathematical abilities in children ages 4 to 14. Smartick promotes an understanding of maths through personalised and accelerated learning by adapting to each child's level and learning pace in real time, allowing them to work according to their maths needs and capability. Each child has a unique and personalised path that constantly adjusts to help fill in gaps in knowledge.

There are more than 20,000 users of Smartick in over 100 countries. e've collaborated with the MIT G-Lab and been published by Harvard Business Review and Forbes as well as featured as an app favourite by Apple.”

Selected testers can register for the program through a web browser on their PC or by downloading the Smartick app available for iOS or Android tablets. Smartick recommends that children work on their daily 15-minute sessions at least 5 days per week. This is not mandatory however it is suggested to get a better scope of the program.

All testers will be required to leave feedback on a thread on Mumsnet and also fill in a short survey, everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where 3 MNers will win a £100 voucher of their choice (from a list).

To sign up to test Smartick, please click here.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs Apply

Welliesandpyjamas Sun 26-May-19 19:38:44

Is this the feedback the feedback thread?

DD has started using it. So far our comments are:
- delays loading can cause problems and incorrect question interpetation. Slightly better on the app than the website version though.
- the US accent is annoying! Can we change it?!
- can any teachers give thoughts on the maths vocabulary used - does it match what is being used in UK schools? I can’t remember which word/s made me wonder about this but will keep an ear open.
- the postioning of the green answer button and the ‘I don’t know’ button makes it easy for young hands to accidentally nudge them and select them, throwing the assessment out.
- the availability of friend requests makes me feel egdy

Marmablade Sun 26-May-19 23:03:39

DD6 gets 20 in a row right then 1 wrong and it asks how she's feeling at that point and of course it's the crying face. Not ideal timing sad

Marmablade Sun 26-May-19 23:05:23

Friend requests - absolute no no!! Needs removing ASAP. Absolutely not appropriate for a maths app. What purpose does it serve? There's no opportunity for online maths chat and why would you want to?

Welliesandpyjamas Mon 27-May-19 09:24:39

Also, the button that reads out the question does not always appear - techy glitch? Someone rushing to get home on a Friday? 😂 Bit of a flaw, really, because it makes the child less independent when they are using smartick, having to double check what the question says (younger kids obvs).

Welliesandpyjamas Mon 27-May-19 09:29:13

Further to my post yesterday, it can be changed from US to British English. My 10 year old worked out how to do it straight away blush

bigKiteFlying Mon 27-May-19 10:28:00

DD1 worked out how to do it straight away before she did first session- DS and DD2 had several days of the annoying American voice and being desperate to change it before we figured out we needed to change the flag to change the voice – it wasn’t obvious to us.

MimsyBorogroves Mon 27-May-19 10:52:29

I don't like that there are friends requests either confused

SheRaTheAllPowerful Mon 27-May-19 10:57:26

Having used Komodo maths in the past at the moment I prefer how that worked.
Agree about the smiley face, chat option and where the tick button is, my daughter has made mistakes by trying to be quick. Once you click there is no option to change your answer

SheRaTheAllPowerful Mon 27-May-19 10:59:45

Also it put me off getting an email about US colleges, it doesn’t seem that it matches the UK curriculum

babyowl Mon 27-May-19 16:08:56

Here are our initial thoughts after having a go last week...

1) Think the level seems more set up for US rather than UK system as there were a couple of concepts we had to briefly introduce our child to before they could understand how to attempt the questions (e.g. multiplying numbers with exponents & the meaning of some math notations)

2) The questions for "Bonus Problem to Stimulate Mathematical Talent" are rather too easy for this level compared to the other questions?

3) The email summaries with response speed were interesting but useless if based on only <=3 questions.

4) I liked how children are encouraged to go back to correct their answers for an extra star, but seems a bit sad that the extra star is only given if all the corrections are correct. Effort & persistence are both important too & should be rewarded!

5) I imagine a lot of parents will ask their child to do the Smartick session while they are sorting out other things, so I liked how I could log in on the parent page at the end of the week to see what the actual exercises & problems were.

6) The range of games to play are interesting & a good mix of easy & trickier ones that aren't "overtly educational".

7) Not sure if 13-14 yr olds would find the avatars too baby-ish?

bigKiteFlying Mon 27-May-19 17:25:40

DD1 is 13 year 9 later summer born - she initially hated the avatars then started spending little time changing her and on the games. The level she is at still seems very low.

DD2 had a question that failed to load properly today- said do something with tags but completely empty page.

DD2 and Ds do enjoy gym competitions - DD2 had a bad session today but then decided to do some competitions before stopping and cheered up a bit.

I agree with pp about the find the friend chat thing -told mine to stay away from that completely.

jennymac31 Mon 27-May-19 17:47:14

DD (age 6)finally completed her first session today. We had a couple of false starts, as she wasn't too keen initially but she enjoyed the first session and was excited when I told her I received an assessment email. We'll see if she's still interested tomorrow.

GinUp Mon 27-May-19 18:54:53

DD had a couple of friend requests. I let her accept one to see what it was all about.

You could click on an icon to visit the friend's room. The friend's full name appeared in the corner, and they also had a board with a message written on it. It didn't seem like a good idea at all and so DD deleted the friend.

It's been 12 days and the questions are still at an odd mixture of levels. Today's included calculating 400 to the power of 3, followed by "Which of these shapes is a sphere?" and then clicking on tags to say whether or not a submarine is a form of transport. confused

Welliesandpyjamas Mon 27-May-19 21:21:33

Full name, Ginup? Oh, that’s not good.

GinUp Mon 27-May-19 21:45:47

Yep. It was a name along the lines of 'Anna Maria Garcia' - so not necessarily one that would be easy to trace but certainly a lot more than I would personally be comfortable with having on display.

feejee Tue 28-May-19 08:35:36

My son is 5 and is loving Smartick, he asks to go on it which is great. It took a few goes in American English/voice with him being a bit confused about pants/trousers, before I realised that we could change the voice over to English with UK voice (the trousers haven't come up again yet, but im assuming they won't still be called pants). I think having the different accents/languages is great.

He is finding the exercises fairly easy but I can see he is thinking and it is keeping him interested for the time he is using it. I love the email to me afterwards telling me how he has done. He caught on pretty quickly how to play the voice to read out the question when there were words he didn't know.

I'd say it is not particularly intuitive when a new type of question comes up and you need to move items about rather than select. It eats into the speed trying to work out what you need to do. Perhaps a quick example of what to do when a new type of question comes up would be useful. If i hadn't have been sat with him, he would probably have got upset not being able to work out what to do and getting it wrong (previous experience with a reading app tells me once he is upset he will not use the app again).

He is enjoying buying things in the shop adn putting them in the house and now has a dog. This is his first experience of this sort of game at home, and he has enjoyed making his avatar - ideal for age 5.

I do feel the cost per month would be too much for our family. I paid about the same as this is per month for a years subscription to a reading programme. However, I would potentially consider a months subscription during August to try to help him retain what he has learnt in school over the summer hols.

He has just asked to go on it now, turned the tv off 'to concentrate' which is lovely to see him doing this without being asked to. For his age this seems to be a great programme, motivating and engaging him.

Candyperfumegirl Tue 28-May-19 08:50:13

Anyone else had a phone call from Smartick? I had a missed call on my phone & a voice mail from them. Lovely lady just asking how we were finding the app and gave a number to ring back on which I haven't gotten around to yet what with the bank Holiday weekend.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 28-May-19 09:40:07

Hi Everyone, thank you for taking part in the service test and apologies if there was any confusion around the subscription, please see the explanation here:

"Everyone (meaning general public, MN users, anyone who signs up) get their first 2 weeks free, however as this is a MN trial all testers will receive a 6 month free subscription on top of this 2 weeks. Smartick cannot add this 6 month free subscription until your child has completed their first session. As you have a 6 month subscription, you have 4 weeks to test it out"

Thank you for also leaving feedback as you go, however this is not the right place to leave your feedback as there will be a feedback thread towards the end of the 4 week testing period. Please do not post your feedback here, as you will be asked to post your feedback again on the official feedback thread in a couple of weeks time.

If you have any questions they can always contact Smartick directly at 020 8068 8581 and at hello@smartickmethod.com

Spotsbeforemyeyes Tue 28-May-19 17:31:12

Dd has groaned the last 2 days that we’ve done it. As she’s home educated I do like the challenges that it sets her. She loves seeing where she is onthe leader board in the games section.

I like getting the emails after the sessions but I’d like to see a more in depth summary.

imablackstarnotapopstar Wed 29-May-19 09:12:12

Done

imablackstarnotapopstar Wed 29-May-19 09:14:28

We are on day 13 and just had an email to say our trial ends tomorrow and then we have to pay (we signed up through the Mumsnet link) - how do we get the rest of the 6 months promised? I understand it's once you complete a survey and feedback thread but I can't find them

imablackstarnotapopstar Wed 29-May-19 09:16:12

My daughter has done it on a kindle fire and really enjoyed it - it's def built her confidence

ElBanana Wed 29-May-19 10:12:01

I have received final evaluation emails today as the trial ends tomorrow... hopefully this won't be the case.

We are having a successful time with Smartick now. Because the sessions are only 15 minutes all 3 children (12, 9 and 9) can easily be persuaded to do one.

Initially the app seemed buggy and glitchy - we couldn't work out how to answer some questions and often the buttons were clicked accidentally (especially on a tablet). The kids have got used to how it works now though so there is a lot less annoyance and confusion. In fact, after each session they often want to do another.

I really like getting an email with the results, it means I know that they aren't just messing around with it and really are trying.

Despite my positivity I would not pay the full price for Smartick. I would perhaps get a one-off subscription if I felt a child was falling behind and needed a boost maybe.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-May-19 14:55:59

Hi @Marmablade, @Bigkiteflying & @Mimsyborogroves

Smartick would like to respond to your queries around the friend requests function with the following:

"Thanks so much for trialling our online maths programme. Kids cannot chat with any friends in their Virtual World – they can only challenge them to maths competitions if they'd like. There is no actual dialogue or chat functionality within the system. Your child does not have to accept any friend requests. Just a quick reminder: consistency is key to ensure your children get the most out of the programme and better ensure the AI adapts to their level accordingly. Please don’t hesitate to email or call the Smartick team at hello@smartickmethod com or +44 20 8068 8581."

MimsyBorogroves Wed 29-May-19 14:59:16

Thanks @EllieMumsnet. Despite them not being able to chat, it still bothers me. As Smartick themselves say, consistency is key - every school is (should be!) teaching children not to "friend" people they don't know - yet they're still able to here. It makes me uncomfortable.

bigKiteFlying Wed 29-May-19 16:00:59

Your child does not have to accept any friend requests

I know they've had a few which they've ignored.

Kids cannot chat with any friends in their Virtual World – they can only challenge them to maths competitions if they'd like.

They should make that much clearer as that wasn’t clear to me at all.

My children are happy challenging strangers in the gym – that’s obvious what’s happening there –they answer questions and then someone comes along and does same and one who get most right gets points or they do after a rematch. That’s all that happens.

I supposed I could see a use for it of in RL they knew others on it and wanted to compete against them rather than complete strangers.

Still I’m not keen to encourage them to contact strangers on-line in any context or people they are not 100% sure are who they say they are.

I’ve had issues with their primary school introducing sites which they weren’t aware had chat features or thought they were monitored when they weren’t or that children were pretending to be other children on all undermining what we’ve said at home so I’m possibly over sensitive.

Lambethmum Wed 29-May-19 18:40:45

Kids cannot chat with any friends in their Virtual World

I can see they can't have a live conversation, but you can still search for people by name and by age, and they can then visit each other's houses to have a look and read the welcome message each has written?

loopsngeorge Wed 29-May-19 19:09:32

My initial thoughts - I thought my daughter would love this but she hasn't been that keen so far. Doesn't like the US accent, although I see it's possible to change that, and thinks the whole presentation of it is babyish.

The questions I saw her doing I thought were well done though - e.g. moving the hands of a clock to the correct time. Will report back further when i've managed to persuade her to spend more time on it!!

Spotsbeforemyeyes Wed 29-May-19 22:55:26

We got a phone call but I was driving. I suggested they call back but they haven’t so far.

sharonad01 Fri 31-May-19 13:27:34

My DD couldn’t understand the accent either! You can change the settings to UK

Damnpeskykids Fri 31-May-19 15:40:42

DS went to log in today & it said we had no subscription? I did it through the link in the email from Mumsnet but hasn't given us longer than 2 weeks. Has anyone else had the same problem?

sharonad01 Fri 31-May-19 16:15:06

Same here! I’ve used the link to sigh up and yet I got an email saying our trial is about to expire tomorrow. Sent an email to admin to get an advice

MiliOli Fri 31-May-19 17:46:55

Same here my subscriptions for both my girls are ending soon too. I did sign up via the link and initially it was showing 6 months but now it shows next week.

MiliOli Fri 31-May-19 17:53:27

Just looked at the actual subscriptions prices shock £238.80 for the year is a lot of money for an app.
They really have to rethink the price, it is an ok app but it has spent most of the time assessing and reassessing the girls and up to now has only challenged their maths knowledge a few times.
It definitely needs a lot of work on setting levels and introducing the learner to new exercises.

bigKiteFlying Fri 31-May-19 19:22:56

My subscription is still showing Nov 11.

We could certainly log in today. Apparently Dd1 is being reassessed which is good because I think she was at the wrong level and it’s picked that up.

DS had a horrible time today - partly due to lack of clear instructions but DH thinks main reason may be cultural difference in algebra teaching in US vs UK.

Ds called me over and it seem to make a simple expand bracket and gather terms into something complicated– as it was DS struggled and I really couldn’t help.

Hopefully it will become clearer going forward.

Candyperfumegirl Fri 31-May-19 19:59:54

My subscription is showing as 12 Th November.

I am pleased so far and I think its helping my daughter with her math. She enjoys competitions with other users and has won quite a few which has really helped with her confidence.

GinUp Fri 31-May-19 20:50:17

My subscription runs until 11th November and hasn't changed yet.

The biggest frustration for DD so far is when a simple question involves going through multiple stages of dragging and dropping before she is allowed to give the answer. If she makes a mistake with the dragging across the screen, the programme assumes that she is unable to work out the answer to the question.

Scoleah Sat 01-Jun-19 20:43:58

DD has just earned her Gold diploma & it emailed certificate it in PDF form attached to the results email too,
Very nice touch & she's very chuffed as it said how much she had improved with the things she found difficult.
Working very well for her so far!

MaireM Sun 02-Jun-19 19:42:51

This is a great idea but I think it is better suited to the younger age range, perhaps a slight change of format for the older kids to make it a little more grown up?

godeeva Sun 02-Jun-19 22:36:04

We got selected and have been trying it out.

Pros: the challenges from friends are motivating my older one to complete sessions.
The questions are making him think creatively and apply his knowledge
The feedback to parents on each session is helpful
The voice app reads out the questions to my younger one in Reception so that he can complete sessions independently

Cons: American accent and syllabus so kids don't quite fit a profile
Not much guidance on the various parts of the interactive site so it was confusing at first
Some technical glitches at the beginning but as we become familiar with site these settle
Irritating daily update on whether children have completed their activity and no obvious way to stop these emails. I keep an eye on them and the computer when they do it so I know....

godeeva Sun 02-Jun-19 22:43:03

Subscription price is v high and not value for money. Parental controls need to be reviewed for older children. Not quite suitable for uk students unless they at international schools.

Candyperfumegirl Mon 03-Jun-19 08:48:40

@Godeeva

Language can be changed from American to English. By clicking on the tutor / parent tab, then selecting profile on the left hand side. Language is then the 3rd one down (under name & phone number) just click on it and change it to English (GB)

Daily update on whether children have completed their activity can also be changed. Again click on tutor / parent tab, on the left click on notifications, there are then options to turn off daily notifications etc.

Hope this helps smile

stickerqueen Mon 03-Jun-19 22:01:36

My dd is doing well be I've not actually seen an improvement has yet.
tell a lie her 9x table which she struggled with she now knows.

Today she was frustrated because she did not know how to do one of the questions about fractions.

MimsyBorogroves Tue 04-Jun-19 18:19:38

DS (7) very frustrated tonight as the website has crashed mid lesson and we can't get back in. He was finding tonight very difficult as it was asking questions around the 6 times table which he's never even looked at before so the timer was causing lots of stress.

He got his first diploma last night which he loved, though.

This question caused a panic with the timer too - it was easy once we sussed our what it wanted but blimey!

bigKiteFlying Tue 04-Jun-19 19:05:28

DS had one question out of a lot tonight be randomly in Spanish - all previous and all subsequent questions were English.

It came up again when he went through few he got wrong - I asked him to screen shot it but he knocked the keyboard accidentally and it went to next screen.

Other than that, they seem to be settling to it now – DD1 had a better intro to algebra tiles than DS did. DD1 still thinks it’s at the wrong level for her but it has made DD1 go over negative numbers something she knows but does seem to have got sloppy with – which I don’t think is a bad thing at all.

GinUp Tue 04-Jun-19 20:38:44

Some of the glitches with the questions are really annoying DD, especially when they mess up her run of correct answers. She's had the column addition one where the missing number could only be 10 but the website would only accept a one digit answer.

The question levels still seem very random. DD had a tutorial about rays and line segments (which I'd never heard of before), followed by very simple questions like "Make the line pass through point A and point B".

The following day it was a tutorial about multiplying and dividing exponents when they have the same base. DD was able to answer the questions but it seemed like a heck of a leap from the day before.

She was very happy today though when she looked at her messages and discovered she'd been awarded lots of bonus stars. It wasn't clear what they were for (she's only done a few competitions so I don't think it was that) but they were a nice surprise for her.

bigKiteFlying Thu 06-Jun-19 12:56:51

I had a call from Katrina from the Smartick team and they've sorted the Spanish question out - and pointed out that I can select sessions they’ve done to review- which I'd missed.

It’s found quite a few areas my children could do with some practise – today DD2 who done fractions and improper fractions before struggled with whole integer having improper fraction subtracted from it. The timer had been an issue for DS and DD2 at times a but they are slowly getting less bothered when they get behind and a few times they have caught up as it were.

PinotAndPlaydough Thu 06-Jun-19 18:29:45

Slightly concerned that my daughter is receiving friend requests one of whom was named hello fitty.

We are of course ignoring them all but I don’t see how adding friends needs to be part of this app.

stickerqueen Thu 06-Jun-19 18:56:28

my daughters lost all interest she says there are too many complete the pattern questions and she refuses to answer them.

MimsyBorogroves Thu 06-Jun-19 20:12:42

Tonight's lesson was pitched way too high for DS. Adding and taking away in the thousands - he could have done it with a pen and paper but with a timer going it added to the pressure too much for him. He ended up clicking "I don't know" instead of even trying and that's not like him, which is a shame.

That said, he also asked me in the shower tonight how long the test is for, and if he can continue doing it for a long time as he likes it.

At the moment I'm a bit flummoxed as to how it is going to move him forward in his learning. He got a lot out of the telling the time topic, so fingers crossed.

GinUp Thu 06-Jun-19 22:33:59

DD is very impressed with the upgrades to the website. She liked the new format for the games area and the weekly challenge that comes with it. I like that the adults can now have a go at the games too via the parent page. blush

She got her second diploma today after completing a review. For once the 'How are you feeling now?' face was happier at the end than it had been at the beginning.

Helix1244 Sun 09-Jun-19 15:45:26

Seems good but inflexible so you cannot change to what you think they are struggling with. Or away from what doesnt fit the uk syllabus.
So overall i think dc is finding it quite easy

stickerqueen Sun 09-Jun-19 16:32:05

We have been using for nearly a month now overall dd 11 found it quite easy she did well in most of her sessions. There were a few questions she didn't understand but now she understands them.
She does her session and wants to stop using. she's played a few games but she doesn't like them so don't bother with them.
she said the sites more for younger kids.
The subscription price is high no way would I pay that much for the subscription.

AbbiCMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 10-Jun-19 17:27:02

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all for all your comments - it's been really interesting to read some of the feedback already.

A reminder that both the survey and the feedback thread are now live, ready for you to complete.
Please ensure that you post your feedback on the feedback thread.

Thanks again and hope you enjoyed the testing!

LeukaeLucky Wed 12-Jun-19 19:51:20

Is this closed? I've tried to sign up but the link to the survey doesn't seem to work

RedKites Mon 17-Jun-19 13:30:15

Those who had problems with subscriptions expiring - how did you get it sorted out please? I'm pretty sure I signed up through the Mumsnet link, and we got a month rather than 15 days, but I thought it was going to be six months? DS2 is finally really getting into it - he was disappointed when he couldn't do his session this morning! Thanks.

JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Jun-19 16:24:53

Hi @RedKites (and anyone else with the same problem!) - if you email us on insight@mumsnet.com we'll contact Smartick about the issue and they should be able to add the subscription smile

RedKites Mon 17-Jun-19 20:19:17

Thanks very much- it’s all sorted now.

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