Awesome Apps for Math Class? Taking a Closer Look at Prodigy and IXL

Prodigy: “Prodigy is a curriculum-aligned math platform, used by 800,000 teachers and 30 million students, that allows admins to quantify student achievement with ease.” A main goal of this program is to help students love learning math.

We have used Prodigy in grades 1-4 at Porter-Gaud School for a few years. We have teachers that love it and teachers who do not want to use it. That statement also goes for our students. The younger students seem to love it and often cannot get enough of it, but the students in grades 5 and up, for the most part, want nothing to do with it. They are bored with the game. My answer to the Prodigy dilemma is this: use it in moderation. We use Prodigy at set times with specific goals in mind. The teachers use the reports and monitor the use to make sure there is a balance of game playing and math problems. Prodigy has helped students love math!

According to reviews from common sense media as well as personal experience for the past 3 years, here are some pros and cons for the Prodigy program:


  • Curriculum aligned for grades 1-8
  • Free to play
  • Initial diagnostic assessment given at beginning of use
  • Assignments can be made based on curriculum aligned topics
  • Standardized test prep component available
  • Role playing game where students battle math problems
  • Incentives for correct answers
  • Hints and Text speech available
  • Numerous Reports available for grouping and differentiating
  • Millions of students currently playing in classrooms all over the world


  • Too much gaming and not enough math practice since students can play a long time without doing a math problem
  • Does not teach, but reviews facts and skills
  • App does not always work well- recommended to use website
  • No high-level thinking
  • Markets to kids for memberships to be purchased (kids used at school and then want to use at home, too and may pressure parents)
  • Membership available for parents to use with students
  • Membership allows for perks such as more treasure, faster level ups and more areas for exploration



Prodigy Resources


Prodigy Membership


IXL: “At IXL Learning…we are passionate about creating and supporting the best educational technology possible. We develop first-of-their-kind products used by millions of learners, from children to adults.”

We have used IXL for the past 5 year. We started in grades 1-5 and then have extended our membership to allow for students up through pre-calculus to have the opportunity for the program. I have always asked myself, “Is there a program really that good to use for possibly 12 years?” The answer is, “YES!”  I have tried to find other programs that offer what IXL offers, but there are none. IXL just keeps creating more aspects to their program that our teachers at Porter-Gaud School want. The newest is the Diagnostic aspect. We are even looking at getting rid of another diagnostic tool and using IXL instead. While there is a price tag to the program, it is more affordable than most others. I honestly think our math program is better due to the implementation of IXL.


  • Adaptive learning capabilities
  • For grades Pre K- Calculus
  • Aligned with standards
  • Continuous diagnostic tells exactly what each students knows an recommends next skills
  • Action plans available for each learner for personalized instruction
  • Unlimited questions and real world scenarios
  • Can choose skills by grade level or topic (29 available with over 1700 skills within topics)
  • Also available for Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Spanish
  • Extensive analytics available for teacher use to monitor progress and growth
  • Real time school achievement feedback
  • Teacher training available


  • Cost to the program. Ten free problems a day but then there is a cost starting at $9.95 per month for families.



IXL Teacher Inspiration

IXL Case Studies

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