Product Review of Oh My Homework
Oh My Homework provides a series of tools that scaffold learning for kids. The English menu provides examples that help kids make sense of conventions like past and present tense. In the Physics menu, learners can plug in a variety of homework problems around topics including kinematics, dynamics, work, power, and energy. The Chemistry menu lists each of the elements in the periodic table. When learners select an element, the app lists details such as the number of valence electrons and the oxidation state for that element. There are a number of different math tools as well. One calculator helps kids add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions. Kids can also get help solving problems with exponents, roots, area, perimeter, and volume.
Oh My Homework could be used as an intervention tool — specifically when educators intentionally plan to remove some of the mathematics thinking from tasks for targeted learners. However, there are other tools available, like Desmos, that have better supports for kids. If you do choose to use Oh My Homework with learners, make sure to orient learners to the specific menu that they will need. It takes a little while to figure out how to use the different calculators.
If learners are looking for a free reference tool or a way to check their work, this app could potentially be helpful, but educators will have to make sure learners can explain their thinking to insure that kids aren’t just using the app to churn out answers.
Each set of tools in Oh My Homework is slightly different, but some provide tips to help learners solve problems. Sometimes the interface is a little hard to navigate. For example, the variable (x) symbol is the same as the multiplication symbol, so it takes a little while to figure out how to use the quadratic calculator. The quadratic calculator will also create a graph for learners. However, it may not show all the steps they need to help them understand how to graph a function themselves. If learners need to factor before graphing, the quadratic tool does not provide support for that work.
Unfortunately, Oh My Homework also does some of the thinking for learners. In speed problems, users are first asked, “What do you want to calculate?” If a student selects time, the tool rearranges the equation to solve for t. Additionally, it doesn’t show learners the steps for rearranging an equation. In most physics classes, learners are expected to do this work themselves. And while referencing tenses and conjugation might help learners in particular circumstances, they won’t learn much about proper usage or do any meaningful practice activities. Overall, there are definitely better choices for tools to get kids unstuck around homework, so this free option is probably best used sparingly.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Though it’s relatively intuitive, some features are confusing, and there’s nothing much to engage with beyond entering problems and getting solutions.
Curriculum and Instruction
Because it doesn’t encourage kids to do much thinking for themselves or offer much that will help them learn the content, its learning value comes mostly in its reference materials.
There’s little in the way of supporting materials or deeper explanation around topics.