Tag Archives: iPad

Summer 2014 Upgrade to MathXL – New Features

Pearson, our textbook publisher, upgrades their MathXL system twice a year. Today I attended one of their Webinar animated by Donna Densmore. She showcased the new features that are part of the Summer 2014 upgrade for MyMathLab, MyStatLab, MathXL, and MyMathTest. 

In addition to new support for tablets, there was an upgrades to the Study Plan Manager and the addition of a new Reporting Dashboard in the Gradebook area. Click on the News link at the bottom of the page at http://mathxl.com for a summary of all the new features.

MathXL uses Adobe Flash for its assignments. Flash does not work on most tablets. They now are making the assignments available with HTML 5 which does work. I have tested this out on my iPad and it works well.

A new feature allows you to assign Study Plan exercises before a student attempts a quiz or test. This would be particularly useful as a review before a major test. The student could be prevented from writing the test until they had completed the assigned Study Plan exercises.

The Reporting Dashboard, available in the Gradebook area, provided detailed graphical reports on progress in your online classroom. These reports can be shared with any colleagues who have a MathXL login id.

Tomorrow I attend a session on Strategies for Adaptive Learning. The old version of MathXL already allows me to pre and post-test students and then assign Study Plan assignments based on their results. I will be interested in seeing how the upgraded MathXL system improves on this.

Using iPad or iPhone in MathXL

I love my iPad, but one of the frustrating things is not being able to access all my content in my online classroom at http://mathxl.com — at least until now. Steve Jobs decided early on that Apple iPhone, iTouch (iPod) and iPad products would not support Adobe’s Flash. This was despite the fact that many websites, including MathXL, use Flash as an integral part of their site. You can read Jobs’ rationale here. Steve is having the last laugh, from the grave, as Adobe will no longer release new versions for upcoming mobile devices, browser and operating systems.

So until Pearson updates MathXL to work with HTML 5, we are stuck with Flash. Fortunately there is a work around. iSwifter lets you browse flash content right on your iPad. There is a cost to the product. Last time I checked it was $4.99.  After spending some time with it, I found it a bit awkward to use on the iPad. The multi-touch did not work as it does in other browsers. The big omission, however, is that it only works with a Wi-Fi connection and NOT 3G or 4G. Next I tested  Skyfire for iPad.  Skyfire won’t run at all with MathXL. It seems to be more games oriented. So back to iSwifter, that will at least let you into the MathXL classroom.