Friday, July 27, 2012

Pearson Geometry Textbook Review

Pearson sent me a review copy of the Geometry Common Core e-book for the purpose of this review

Math has never been my subject. I tried my hardest, but it never came easy to me. I always went to see the teacher for extra help before and after school, but could never muster much more than a C. I'm pretty sure that C was a gift as well. Thanks Mr. Lynch. 

Even though I went for the extra help, there were some things that I just couldn't grasp and was too embarrassed to ask the teacher to go over them for a third, fourth and even a fifth time. The Geometry e-book for Pearson would have been perfect for me. 

Each chapter has videos that explain the process of solving the math problems that are being covered in class. I could watch these videos over and over again after having class instruction to reenforce what was covered in class. I needed help being guided through the process of Geometry or Algebra and these videos are perfect for me. I can stop the video where I need to and start back up when I'm ready. The book allows me to move at my own pace from the comfort of my home while reviewing the notes from class that day. 

I'm also a big fan of the easy to find and use definitions of all of the terms. I can easily remember literary terms in English and names and dates in Social Studies, but the terms in Math just seemed to escape me. I can remember the Pythagorean Theorem and FOIL on my own, but everything else is a blur. The e-book allows me to click on the terms and have the definition pop up on the screen with an example! I do not have to search the back of the book or the right page n the chapter to find what I'm looking for because the information I need is at the tips of my fingers. 

I'm also a fan of the updated feel of the textbook. I really felt that my textbook was 20 years old with the crazy pictures and random stories that tried to make relatable. If the book is too old, then the stories and pictures are going to seem out of place. The nice part of the e-book is that they can easily update the text and tweak it along the way. These free updates are a nice feature for people looking for e-books that can evolve with the information. 

I really liked the practice questions and quizzes in the book. I was able to try some questions and get instant feedback on how I did. I remember getting assigned the even questions in class and keeping my fingers crossed that I did them right. There is nothing worse than that dread of knowing if the hours you put into your work is even close to correct. These practice questions allowed me to see what I got right and what I need to work on. It was a nice feeling knowing how I did right away. 

If I was an individual student with my own iPad, $14.99 is a great price to help me understand Math. It would be no different than buying Cliff Notes to help me understand Shakespeare. It is a solid investment that can help a single student over the course of the school year. Also, carrying around my iPad would have been much nicer than a super heavy Math textbook. Those things way a ton and are not fun to carry around when you add the gigantic Science, History and English texts as well. Having all of them on my iPad would nice if I could fit them. 

The book is huge. 2.3 Gigs is a ton of space on my iPad. If schools were considering moving to all e-books, over half of an iPad would be filled with student books. There is a ton of information in there e-books and they are awesome, but to use them all, the district will have to spend more money to move to 32G iPads for the students and staff so there will be room left for apps, videos, etc. I'm not sure if there is any way to cut the size of the e-books down, but it has an impact on the overall usage of the iPad because the book is so large. This is my only big concern.

Overall, I really liked the textbook and would have benefited from having it while I was in school and can see some of my students, who struggle with Math, finding this e-book extremely helpful. The book allows students to move at their own pace at home while still getting the important classroom instruction. 

If you are a Math teacher or a parent, you should check out Pearson's offerings and see how they might supplement what your students will be doing this school year. 

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