TenMarks: A Website Review
I’m probably a bit over-excited about this, but it’s not often you have a class vote with a unanimous result.
Today, we tried the website TenMarks, which I foresee using as an independent math activity while I meet with small groups. I learned about TenMarks from the wonderful members of #4thchat (Thanks!). Before I go into what we liked today about TenMarks, you should know about our current Computer Aided Instruction program.
Our district currently uses SuccessMaker, which is a Pearson product. Overall, this is a quality product. The instructional modules are decent, and the data can be useful if you know where to look. This post certainly won’t trash our current product.
It does, however, have one flaw that causes issues. It lacks a motivation piece. As they work through a session, the student doesn’t have a goal, and there is no target they can achieve. In today’s gaming world of “leveling up,” this has developed into a large detractor.
Enter TenMarks. I set up my free account last night and my accounts and assignments were ready for students in about fifteen minutes. In class today, I wrapped up my regular lesson a bit early so I could present this new website. As I talked through the features, I could feel the energy starting to rise. I was not expecting this because, honestly, the graphics on the TenMarks website are not flashy, no cartoon characters to be found.
I soon figured out what the students were magnetized by…the chance to earn certificates and unlock games. They were all talking about this possibility. After trying out the site, I asked them to write which program they liked better on a sticky note, and every answer was TenMarks.
Now, I understand that this could be just a novelty. As fourth graders, they have been using the previous program for five years since kindergarten. It could just be they liked something new. I also worry that they’ll rush through just to unlock games, though I’m looking for a setting that prevents this. Either way, this was an interesting study in what motivates today’s students online.