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By Sally Finley - Posted Sep 1, 2012
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Company: Pearson Education, Inc., 501 Boylston St., Suite 900, Boston, MA 02116,

Price: Teens can use Alleyoop and earn Yoops for free or buy one of six Yoop packages for faster learning opportunities. Prices range from $12 to $50 a month. There is also a one-time purchase price of $99. There are no setup or cancellation fees. Upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your account at any time.

Audience: Alleyoop is geared for use by students in grades 7–12.

Format: This is an online game.

System Requirements: Internet access via computer is needed.

Description: Alleyoop is an online college readiness network for teens providing math instruction in Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II.

Overall Rating:5 Stars
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Access is easy and quick. Users must give an email address and password. Alleyoop can also be accessed through Facebook. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Educational content includes one-on-one tutoring, step-by-step math videos, surveys, and quizzes. Alleyoop is structured as a game. Games along the way are called missions in which students can earn achievements and rewards.

Alleyoop is designed to imitate online games. Users play for free and can access most of the site’s features for free. Premium content such as college entrance counseling or online tutoring can be purchased by buying online currency called Yoops.

Each lesson provides a definition, a sample problem, step-by-step videos, practice sets, and one-on-one help.

Individual assessment is provided through customized instruction. Alleyoop learns where students are struggling and offers customized videos and exercises to keep them on track. Using a tracking program to show student progress, the program provides game-based recommendations to meet individual needs.

Student data is stored in a site called the user’s DNA. This area shows topics mastered, activities completed, missions completed, Alleyoop visits, topics completed, and topics in progress.

An Alleyoop blog provides networking opportunities for middle and high school students. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Alleyoop is, in a phrase, very easy to use! Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Users can post a public comment on the site’s support page. Emails can be sent to Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Alleyoop provides a game format to engage teens in learning math. As students complete missions, they earn currency called Yoops. Yoops can be purchased if a student wishes to spend more time on the math content; they can be used to get individual attention from live online tutors or guidance counselors. Currently, the three courses offered are Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II. One major benefit is that students work at their own pace and choose the specific content they need. A personalized list of learning activities is available as a recommendation, or students can choose their own activity. This program could be used to reinforce skills, assist struggling learners, or help advanced students move ahead of the class by learning new skills. The game format is sure to appeal to students who are familiar with social networking online games.

Students will have to be motivated to learn the content. In the practice sessions, work is done with paper and pencil. Students are then able to check their answers with the program’s correct answer. Data is saved in an area called the user’s DNA, which gives the teacher a glimpse into a student’s progress.

The video lessons provide step-by-step instructions on a single concept. While the instructor explains the process, a typed version appears on the split screen. When the lesson is finished, the student can immediately practice the skill through a set of practice problems where hints and detailed help are available.

I found Alleyoop to be an excellent tool for helping middle and high school students learn needed math skills. The opportunity to replay the instructions as much as necessary would definitely help a struggling student. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley, educational consultant, Coral Springs, Fla.;


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