StraightAce

Common Sense Media says

Comprehensive, fee-based math program has some rough edges.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Navigation and menus are generally easy and clear, but text formatting needs lots of attention. 

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The app is free to install, but cannot be used without a subscription, which is $14.99/month.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Parents must register for an account, which requires name, email address, child's name and grade, and payment info. There's a link for StraightAce's privacy policy on the company's website; however, during our review the link did not work. The website's FAQ states that StraightAce will not sell your information to third-party companies or advertisers.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that StraightAce is a subscription middle-school math lesson and quiz program with a web-based dashboard for parents. Content is thorough, plentiful, and appropriate, and parents are able to monitor activity and achievements as well as respond to requests for help via a chat feature. On the flip side, lessons, quizzes, and explanations are sometimes disappointing due to textbooky language, formatting problems, and other inconsistencies. If your kid is used to this in school, then he or she may not be too put off. If math is a particular challenge for your kid, these problems might create even more frustration.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • algebra
  • equations
  • fractions
  • functions
  • geometry
  • graphing
  • numbers
  • probability
  • ratio
  • statistics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • problem solving
  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • deduction
  • hypothesis-testing

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort
  • self-assessment

Communication

  • asking questions

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Graphics are solid, but the extensive menus could use a third layer or tighter formatting, and the avatars are a bit weak. Encouraging phrases, stars, and coins will keep some kids interested.

Learning Approach

Quizzes are responsive, offering immediate access to the correct answer, occasional explanations, original lesson, and view of question when missed, allowing for some depth of learning.

Support

Access to performance data on the website boosts parental connection. Kids can send parents messages to ask for help. Overall accessibility is lowered dramatically by the traditional presentation.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • algebra
  • equations
  • fractions
  • functions
  • geometry
  • graphing
  • numbers
  • probability
  • ratio
  • statistics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • problem solving
  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • deduction
  • hypothesis-testing

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort
  • self-assessment

Communication

  • asking questions

Kids can learn sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade mathematical concepts like ratios, fractions, negative numbers, geometry, graphing, representing data, square roots, irrational numbers, functions, and exponents. With a comprehensive curriculum at their fingertips, kids can see their star ratings on the topic menus and work at their own pace. Improved formatting and textual content would put StraightAce in a strong position in the subscription math app field.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

Kids log in then choose from three grades and any of hundreds of topics. Kids can elect to study a lesson or launch right into a topic -- these are quizzes with about 10 questions. Kids can select buttons for a hint, virtual scratch paper, or to send a message to a parent via the website. If kids select an incorrect answer, an unhappy face spins into view along with a (sometimes empty) explanation field, the answer, percentage of students who got it right, and a button to see the question.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

STRAIGHTACE offers a comprehensive yet traditional middle-school curriculum with a modern wrapper. Hundreds of topics focus on sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade concepts like ratio, fractions, negative numbers, geometry, representing data, square roots, irrational numbers, and exponents. The StraightAce Link website allows parents to see kids' topics completed, number of questions answered, total time spent, lessons reviewed, and overall success. Menus and graphics are crisp, and navigation is mostly intuitive. Earned coins, a three-star system, and positive messages will encourage kids to keep trying.

Unfortunately, the lessons, questions, and explanations suffer from wordiness, occasional ambiguous descriptions, and technical, textbooky language, not to mention formatting problems like missing line breaks and varying font sizes. Chronically low global success percentages displayed after every question might be also be discouraging.

Families can talk about...

  • Try to monitor the StraightAce website messages tab when your kid is likely to be using the app.

  • Read the lesson, question, and explanation before attempting to help.

  • Be willing to say you don't know and help your kid find another resource.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free, Paid
Subscription price:$8.99 for first month, $14.99 thereafter for each child
Release date:January 29, 2013
Category:Education
Size:21.40 MB
Publisher:Benesse
Version:iOS 1.5.7; Android 1.4.6
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of StraightAce was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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