Today, we’re bringing you a special guest post from Mikaela S., a current 9th grader! Below, she shares the student perspective on using IXL.
The digital age, where every desk has a computer, every wall has a TV, and every toddler has an iPad, has drastically changed the way students learn. Take it from me—I started using IXL to practice math before we even started learning how to count in school. The website has been a crucial part of my education since kindergarten, and 10 years later, I can say that it has really helped me stay on top of the topics we learned in class. Here are some ways IXL has advanced my growth as a student, made math more exciting, and lessened the ugh feeling that normal studying often brings.
Making practice interesting
Math is pretty far from my favorite subject even today, but this was especially true in second and third grades. Just the thought of all those fractions and decimals was enough to make me cringe. But IXL made practicing multiplication or learning about prime numbers feel more like fun challenges because of the prizes at the end: the pictures on the Awards gameboards. The tasks for each award were realistic—for example, mastering five skills in a category or practicing a skill for 30 minutes—and kept me motivated to keep practicing. And of course, as well as wanting to be smarter than my whole class, my main goal was always to win more prizes than my brother. This all made me enjoy practicing math more, which improved my relationship with studying in general.
Getting help when I needed it
There comes a time for all of us when we get stuck on a confusing concept. Teachers are a great resource for that problem, but there is usually only one of them and 20 or 30 of us students. With IXL, if I got a question wrong, I was immediately given the right answer and an explanation that showed me how to work through the question. No more waiting around for the teacher to finish explaining the Haitian Revolution to six other people. Instead of having to Google something I didn’t understand (or worse, having to open a real textbook), I could learn from my mistake right then and there. That made the whole process of studying go a lot faster and smoother without breaking my workflow.
Choosing my own path
Not only did IXL improve my understanding of subjects that I didn’t particularly like, it also helped me in the parts of school that I enjoyed. I’ve always been good at language arts, but not even Shakespeare would’ve been able to remember every single comma rule. Reviewing the concepts I already knew helped keep them fresh in my mind and made sure I didn’t forget what I had already learned. And if I wanted to get a head start on topics I hadn’t learned yet, I could always skip ahead to some of the more advanced skills. Because I was in control of what I wanted to practice, it was easy to work on topics that fit my personal level.
Thanks to IXL, I am more motivated to study, enjoy practicing things I need to improve on, and have a better understanding of the topics I’m learning in school.