Prodigy is an online video game with a built-in mathematics curriculum that is geared toward elementary and middle school students. The game immerses students in a fantasy world that they can freely explore as they battle enemies, collect items, upgrade their characters, and interact with other classmates and players, all while answering mathematics assessment questions that are tracked and monitored by the teacher. The game is completely free to play, however a full-featured premium subscription can be purchased by families for $8.95 per month or $59.88 per year.
Teachers create a free account on Prodigy’s site and can then start setting up their classes to play the game. Teachers must first select the desired curriculum, grade level, and topic (i.e. “Counting,” “3D Shapes,” or “Ratios”) with which they’d like to begin. As of February 2016, Prodigy’s curriculum offering includes Common Core State Standards, as well as curriculum specialized for Texas, Florida, and Ontario. Upon completion of this brief set-up, teachers are provided with a link and an access code so that students can create their accounts and connect to their appropriate class.
When students log on for the first time, they will be prompted to enter all of the necessary class information, choose and customize their avatar, and create a name for their player. They will then be guided through a tutorial of the game that serves as both an introduction to how to play Prodigy, as well as a diagnostic test to be used for appropriate placement of students within the math curriculum.
The game itself involves exploring a fantasy world filled with quests, treasures, friends, enemies, and battles. During these battles, students must answer mathematics assessment questions in order to inflict damage on their opponents. These questions come in the form of multiple choice or fill-in-the blank items. While answering a question, students can have the question read aloud, view a hint about the topic, draw on a blank canvas to show their work, and even drag and drop virtual manipulatives, such as base ten blocks and fraction strips. As students win battles, their characters get upgraded and receive coins to be later used for the purchase of equipment, armor, and house decorations. While roaming around the world, students can interact in real-time with other players in the game and choose to battle, converse, view stats, and share items with them. They can also view how their character ranks among their classmates’ characters.
The more that students play through the game and answer questions, the more data that is collected for the teacher to review and analyze. When teachers log on to their dashboard, they can view a series of snapshots for progress monitoring, including a list of their top students (based on number of correct answers submitted), a graph of the number of questions answered by students at home and in class, as well as a breakdown of the skills with which students are currently struggling. For more detailed data analytics, teachers can use the reporting feature to see a complete list of individual student progress on all topics and subtopics. For every subtopic teachers see a list of the students who are struggling, haven’t started, currently progressing, or mastered. Included in this breakdown is a sample item for the subtopic so teachers can be sure they know what the subtopic is assessing. Other reports available to teachers include item analysis, usage impact, individual student progress, and a curriculum report that shows how Prodigy’s skills align with the current content in the classroom. Teachers can always have Prodigy automatically assign topics to students based on the diagnostic test and selected curriculum, however they also have the option to create assignments by hand-picking the content from the topic list, choosing the number of questions, and assigning to individual students. For teachers who need additional support on how to best utilize Prodigy’s features, a selection of video tutorials and free webinars are available on the site.
Prodigy is free for students to play, and there is no cost at all for teachers to implement it. However, a premium membership is available for families to purchase for $8.95 per month or $59.88 per year. This premium membership does not provide any additional educational content, but instead gives students access to more in-game content, such as items, treasure chests, and pets.
I wanted my students to have fun, stay engaged, and practice their math skills independently. I also wanted to receive feedback about their progress so I could adapt my instruction accordingly. My students used other online math games before, but quickly became bored. Now, they love Prodigy Game so much, they want to play all the time, and even beg to stay in for recess to play.Read Full Review
Maybe make the question/answer section more game-like too. Continue to add curriculum areas not currently there. Expand the levels below grade one for students who may have special learn...Read Full Review