LearningPlanet.com

Website review by
Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Media
LearningPlanet.com Website Poster Image
Free drill-and-practice games; members get more.

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice math and language skills. Games like The Counting Game adapt to how kids perform while Runaway Robot is a strategy game for older kids. Some games adapt to how well kids play, but that data is only available with a subscription. Overall, the games are useful for practicing the basics at various grade levels, such as memorizing math facts, ordering letters, or unscrambling words.

Positive Messages

Kids get positive feedback when their answers are correct. The level of help varies for incorrect answers.

Language
Consumerism

The membership option is heavily encouraged; it provides access to more games and tools and removes banner ads.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LearningPlanet.com is a subscription-based collection of learning games for kids in grades PreK-7. There’s a handful of games kids can play for free, but more games and tools are tucked behind one of two membership options: $39.95 for a family (or five students) and $99.95 for a classroom of 30, both good for one year. Parents may want to turn off "interest based" ads, but this can be tedious and time consuming. (Click on the "Ad Choices" logo in the top right corner of each ad for options). Otherwise, kids will see ads for things adults may have searched for on the same computer.

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What's it about?

Kids can access games two ways: from the the \"Play Now\" buttons and game icons on the homepage or by clicking the Student tab where games are organized by grade level. All games have instructions and are mouse and keyboard based; they're fairly easy to pick up and there are even a few multi-player games like Word Mayhem. Kids have to enter a name to play them, but contact between players isn't supported.

Is it any good?

LEARNINGPLANET.COM's games are enjoyable and kids may find their drill-and-practice style useful for memorizing facts. Membership has its benefits; with a subscription, parents or teachers can search a large database of available games, assign particular skill-based games as needed, create customized puzzles and games, and track kids’ performance data. There's a lack of information about what makes the games good for learning. Did educators help design them? Are they aligned to a set of standards? With so much promised from a paid membership, parents may want to use the "Contact Us" link to find out more before signing up. There’s a 10-day free trial period but it requires a credit card to start.

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For kids who love learning online

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