A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this fun, educational, keep-'em-coming-back-for-more site is the online version of PBS television's popular math cartoon Cyberchase. For kids new to reading, some elements here may be too challenging, while others can be played with a simple knowledge of basic numbers and good listening skills. Kids who are reading independently are likely to find this site highly engaging, whether or not they gravitate naturally to math.
What's it about?
You'll find a colorful, futuristic hub with easy-to-navigate games, videos, and activities. Central to the site is a video player that holds episodes of the PBS show on which the website is based, as well as related web shorts. There are a variety of games framed as quests, and short polls for kids with questions such as, \"What magazines would you subscribe to?\" Parent and teacher portals offer more about the site's features and the show's research base.
Is it any good?
Cyberchase is online education at its best. Elementary school math rarely gets presented online in the dynamic yet practical ways that it does here. If your child is already familiar with the lovable Cyberchase cast including Inez, Jackie, Matt, and the not-so-lovable Hacker, they will quickly jump into the games, quests, videos, and creative options here. Even for kids who don't watch the show, the creative multistep games -- like Cyberlympics and Eco-Haven Quest -- will likely have them brainstorming solutions to real-life situations in the make-believe cyberworld without even realizing they're in the midst of a math lesson.
Online interaction: Vote on poll questions, send in comments and drawings, create e-cards to send to friends with email accounts.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why math education is important. Play some of the games here with your kids and discuss how these skills are used in your everyday life.
If your child really likes this site, as many do, ask him or her why. Their answer might give you some clues for how to use computers, the Internet, and other forms of media to their educational advantage. Read Common Sense Media's Expert Article: Making the case for teaching with new media.