Engagement and Active Learning Tool: Prodigy
Type of Software: math gaming software
Primary User: elementary aged students, teachers
Appropriate Audience: elementary aged students
Price: free or paid membership for $4.99/month
- Addresses Common Core Math Standards in the form of an engaging, fun game
- Teachers set up an account, select the CCS, grade, topic(s), and school; Prodigy aligns standards, topics, and grade so the game addresses them directly
- Students access through a class code
- Students create an avatar and can earn coins and badges to accessorize their avatar and level up
- Teachers can track student’s progress under a “report” tab
- Teachers can create a planner so Prodigy addresses certain topics for a certain
amount of time under the “planner” tab (picture shown on the right)
- Teachers can create their own assignments to implement into the game
- Fun and kid-friendly storyline provided to the students to immediately engage them
Watch the trailer video for Prodigy below!
Accuracy of Content: Since the teacher can select the grade level and topics from the Common Core they want Prodigy to include when setting up their account, the content is right on target. The teacher can align the game to include content that he or she is teaching in class for students to get that extra practice on topics that must be covered in a certain grade level.
Age Appropriateness: Prodigy is age appropriate for any elementary aged student, but offers
math content up to grade 8. The gaming aspect of Prodigy is very engaging and stimulating for young students and makes it seem like they are not even doing math when realistically they are. There is nothing inappropriate on this site; there are no advertisements or pop-ups, so students will not get distracted or click on something they are not supposed to.
Ease of use: Prodigy was very easy to set up, for both students and teachers. Teachers create their class by providing an email and password, grade level, and topic and then are given a class code. Students simply must go to this URL: prodigygame.com/play, plug in the classroom code provided by their teacher, and begin playing! As students play, the teacher can easily add content he or she wants students to practice by adjusting his or her calendar on the Prodigy site.
Feedback provided: Teachers receive real time reports of student’s progress. The teacher can see the student’s usage, their weekly activity, student progress, curriculum coverage, and topic coverage. Teachers can easily view any of these reports under the report tab and adjust the game as necessary. When students answer a question incorrectly, they are given more opportunities to answer that same question later in the game, and of course, they do not earn any points/coins for their avatar when giving incorrect responses.
Applications Within Education:
When drill and practice activities are not working out in a classroom, the teacher can use Prodigy to deeper engage students in active learning in a fun way. Doing regular paper and pencil math every day can get very boring and repetitive, but using Prodigy allows students to practice their math skills via a game environment. This will make students want to do well in math, because of the rewards their avatar receives when they answer questions correctly. Overall, students will become more engaged and excited about math because of this alternative tool for learning, instead of doing drill and practice worksheets.
If a teacher is having a hard time organizing and keeping track of student progress, he or she can turn to Prodigy to automatically do that for them. Prodigy offers straightforward and easy to read reports of student progress based on the topics they are practicing while playing the game. The teacher does not have to do any manual work and can simply click on the reports of individual students to see where more direct instruction might be needed and with whom. This will save the teacher a lot of extra time to work with students who may need more assistance instead of grading papers and recording student data.