Triad Math, Inc. Review


I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We had the chance to learn about Triad Math, Inc. and try out their Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator: Augmented Intelligence for all 21st Century Students Worktext as well access to the online course materials including video lessons. Here's what you can expect when you buy this program and how it can help in your homeschool or public/private school career.

Who can use the Mastering the T1-30Xa Scientific Calculator course?

The company states that the course can be used as soon as students are familiar with decimals. For us, we get really comfy with this level of math around 6th or 7th grade. Ideally, anyone with a pre-algebra grasp should be able to get through almost 10 -12 lessons of this course. Algebra learners can get to lesson 15, and those using it for Trig can get through the entire course.

What's needed?

You will need to use the exact type of calculator recommended in the course (the T1-30Xa). Others may be used, but it could cause confusion for your student, since the course is explicitly designed to teach kids where the buttons are, what they do, etc. Fortunately, this is one of the most affordable scientific calculators on the market. Each student should ideally have one, even if they upgrade to a more complex calculator later in their educational career.

You'll also need writing utensils, a high-speed internet connection (for the videos,) and the student worktext, which comes with the course.

How does the course work?

The course is hosted on a learning management system called Moodle. When students start out, they will take a mini-course called "Getting Started in Moodle" to watch a section of videos online that helps them become familiar with the format of the course. It's not actual course material, just instructions on how to log in, take the quizzes, etc. After the children get done familiarizing themselves with the learning management system, they can start the program.

You can log in as the student and see progress at any time by hovering over the progress rubric. It will show which videos have been watched, tests have been taken, and exercises reviewed.

Also, from within the dashboard, you can see a breakdown by lesson. For lesson 3, you can see that my son has done all of the components -- as indicated by the checkmarks.

Here is an example of a video lesson. As you can see, it's filmed from the perspective of someone using the calculator. My son can easily follow along and work with Dr. Del to do what he does. The videos can be viewed right within the browser window, without a need for additional software or add-ons.

My son really enjoyed the teaching style of his video instructor, Dr. Del. It's straight-forward and gets right to the material. For a kid who is pretty intentional about his learning and doesn't want to spend a lot of time with frivolous activities, this was made just for him. It also respects our time (which I appreciate), by giving us the knowledge we paid for and not a lot of extras.

What did my son think of this program? 

He is a creature of habit, so for him, it made sense to sit in the mornings for the 10-15 minutes it took to do a "lesson" and work his way through the book. This can be a completely self-guided program, with almost no help from parents for most kids. My son had everything he needed with the online videos, the downloadable versions of the worktext (as well as the physical worktext) and his own notebook and the calculator. He progressed through the first 7 lessons or so without really talking to me much about it. I could see from looking online, however, that he was grasping the concepts and doing well on the quizzes given to check for knowledge.

I think the best part of this program is that it is a nice extra tool that takes up very little time in an already busy day but that prepares kids for using a scientific calculator in the future. Even if their math doesn't require it now, it will someday. Since my son has a high interest in STEM courses and activities, I know that he will likely depend on a calculator for his daily pursuits. Getting him accustomed to how the calculator works and helping him feel comfortable is a big advantage I see for him as he goes through his science and math work.

Triad Math, Inc. Review Summary

Even if your child is not at a level of math that requires a calculator, this learning tool has merit. In fact, I would recommend it for before kids reach that stage, as it can take the mystery out of a calculator that (to be honest) I'm not really that familiar with myself. Empowering kids to learn independently, online, and with their own calculator has benefits beyond just knowing how to punch the numbers. Armed with the understanding of what a calculator can do, along with seeing how it's not something just for scientists or math professionals, kids can be confident in using what can be a lifetime tool -- even if the parents are unfamiliar. This is a no-brainer for kids in pre-algebra to advanced math levels. 

Note: There is a really great email newsletter you can sign up to receive when you get the course. I have found the regular notes of encouragement and additional information about math and STEM to be invaluable. If you want to hear what Dr. Del thinks about the future of math, learning, and how your student fits in, be sure to opt into these emails! 

Learn more

Find out more about this math help at the Triad Math, Inc. website, or find them on:

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