Editorial: Is IXL Causing More Harm than Good?

Commonly used app is stressing kids out


Ethan Hess

IXL is used to practice math skills.

IXL: Teachers love it, and students do not. More and more teachers are making the switch to giving IXL assignments each night over physical homework. IXL is an app accessible from students’ iPads and can be use for homework assignments, whether it be English or Algebra 1. The nice thing is that students who get their homework from IXL no longer have to take their books home, but is it worth the unnecessary stress that IXL adds on top of an already demanding school day?

IXL uses a “SmartScore” system which raises and lowers as you get questions right (or wrong). The catch is that each question students answer correctly raises the score by 2-3 points while each question that is answered incorrectly lowers the score by about six points. What kind of message is this sending to the app users? Not to mention that it takes a lot of time and hard work to rebound after missing one question.

With traditional, out of the book homework, students answer their twenty or so questions and turn it in the next day. Sure, a student might miss one or two questions, but they will have their homework corrected and know what to do next time. With IXL, it is possible to never be done with homework. If a student is required to get to a SmartScore of 85 and are struggling with a concept, it would take them far longer to complete than the 20 questions of book work.

Some students of BAMS agree that IXL is causing them too much stress. “Homework is taking way longer than it should”, says one middle school student. In a world where school is already  stressful enough for the modern student, should kids really be receiving homework that could take hours to complete?

Be sure to vote in the IXL poll: http://pollmaker.vote/p/C5GH67XQ