By Amanda Bindel,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Crowdsourcing app for homework answers iffy and buggy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can't learn much of anything, unfortunately. Though the idea is that kids can post homework questions and get input from others, there's no way to know whether the answers are correct, and there's not much explanation of how the answers were found, so learning falls short. Instead of using SnapSchool, students would be better served by small-group or classroom-based social media options for homework discussion.
Ease of Play
Posting answers and questions, especially using photos, is buggy and doesn't always work well.
Products & Purchases
Homework stream includes ads for other apps by the developer. Kids can purchase in-app tokens and gems to get more homework help.
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What’s It About?
After creating a SNAPSCHOOL account via Facebook or by entering an email address and a birth date, students select a grade level from sixth through post-graduate. They then see a feed showing the titles students have given their posts; clicking a title brings up the screenshot another student submitted of their homework with any comments or questions they've added. Other students can post an answer as well as give other posted answers a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Kids can also share other people's homework questions via connected social media or report inappropriate content, violent language, spam, or illegible posts. By answering other kids' questions or through in-app purchase, they can get tokens and gems and redeem those to post their own homework questions.
Is It Any Good?
Crowdsourcing homework help is not the best way to learn, and the implementation of this social media model further fails for several reasons. Ethically, some may consider it outright cheating; practically speaking, kids can't be sure they're getting accurate help or answers, even with up votes. Beyond those issues, the app just doesn't work well. Posting answers from the camera roll, which is the more effective way to demonstrate a math problem, causes crashes. Often the pictures are at strange angles or too blurry to read. Also, it seems there are very few responses and lots of questions; when there are responses, they often conflict with each other. Finally, there's no urgency to getting answers. Most kids posting homework problems are looking for immediate help, which can't be guaranteed via the social media model here. Though they can use a 72-hour "boost" in exchange for a gem, there's still no guarantee they'll get an answer in time. Though the idea of a quick fix is attractive to a frustrated student, help from a teacher, tutor, or parent is a much better bet.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about more reliable ways kids can find help with their homework, such as teacher tutorials, studying with classmates, or asking parents for help.
Discuss the pros and cons of this type of system. Getting answers might be helpful, but are there drawbacks as well?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Skills: Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively, Collaboration: cooperation
- Pricing structure: Free (Users can purchase tokens and gems to redeem for more help.)
- Release date: October 1, 2015
- Category: Education
- Publisher: digiSchool
- Version: 3.1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 2.3.3 and up
- Last updated: July 27, 2016
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