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THE PROBLEM WITH IXL- a mini-rant

IXL is a website supposedly designed to teach kids about different subjects, but mostly ELA and math. But IXL isn’t just. Most of you who have been on IXL are probably like ‘Well duuuuh it even changes its own answers can’t get more unjust than that’ BUT WAIT! Though it is unfair in many ways (the way listed above isn’t actually true. It just feels like that), this article isn’t focused on any of those. The truth is… IXL IS BIAST TOWARDS CHRISTIANS! Don’t believe me? Just check out R.5 in 7th Grd. Ela! You need to have read the Bible to mass many of those questions! The questions ask what literary allusions (references to other literature) refer to, giving you a choice between two books. How are us non-christians supposed to know what refers to the Bible?! NOOZ FLASH! WE HAVEN’T READ IT!

And worst of all, that’s not even the end.

As seen below, it’s also sexist.

That is straight from IXL. They’re just saying women are more social than men, and don’t even have any research to back that up. Disappointing, IXL. Very disappointing.

-Lego Ant, maanitgoel@gmail.com

Friday The 13th/18: The Big Ol' IXL Review

Many small children across the Unites States have been subject to a lot of IXL throughout their elementary and middle school careers. Now, many of them also have complained endlessly about how terrible IXL is, and how unfair the SmartScore thingy is, and how bias it is towards Christianity. However, here in this article W will be explaining in-depth the pros and cons of IXL. Let’s start with the pros. Yes, that is the truth, fellow children, IXL does actually have some pros. For example, when I was working on skill R.2 in 7th grade ELA, I was initially like, “ohhh this is boring, this is unfair, how can I possibly specify between omniscient and limited third person,” but then, when I was binge-reading Harry Potter, I was just naturally like, “Oh, this is third-person limited,” without even thinking about it. Now, that might just have been a coincidence, but I chalked it up to the fact that I had practiced R.2 that afternoon. Without even pausing to think or find a purpose to name the point of view, I just naturally identified it. And now, I do that for every bit of narrative fiction I read, naturally. And I can say that, mostly, thanks to IXL. IXL also does give me good practice for skills I need to learn to do my argument and expository essays well. Sure, the practice doesn’t necessarily “feel like play,” like in IXL’s motto, but it is still good practice. Now, at this point you might be thinking, “ohhh W can’t come up with any more good things---” But I still in fact can. See, a lot of times I find myself doing easy skills like J.1 or J.2 of ELA 7th grade and I end up looking up some of the words IXL asks me to find a synonym or antonym for. Now, admit it, none of you reading this knew what “anachronism” meant before you saw it in IXL and looked it up. Which is another good thing about IXL; is that it increases your vocabulary. Now for the bad things. Yes, ladies and gents, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the bad things about IXL. So. The group of children who are probably reading this right now probably had to go through The Trauma of E.3 The Trauma of E.3 is a terrible state in which children cannot identify adverbs correctly, which is not their fault because IXL, dumb as it is, thinks that words like “not” and “her” and “town” are adverbs. So children end up guessing their way through E.3 and end up answering over 2,000 questions, and still not reaching a SmartScore of 85. Which brings me to the second problem about IXL, which is the biggest one. You see, the grading system that IXL uses is very different from the ones you’d see in, say, XtraMath. For this example we will use the skill J.9 of 7th grade. So you click on the skill and it starts out with a single question and your SmartScore at zero. Now, with a regular boring old “educational” program, your score might go up by 10 every time you got a question right, and take away 4 points every time you got a question wrong. But with IXL, that is not the case. The first question you answer correctly will grant you a generous ten points. If I got a question wrong while I only had ten points, IXL would only take away one point. But as you answer more and more questions correctly, the points you get for each correct answer steadily decreases; for example if you were at 50, you would only be granted around six or five. The thing is, the questions also get steadily harder as your score goes up. In the J.9 example, there might only be two options (50% chance of getting the question right) when your score is only at 10 or 20, then around 40 there is three options (33% chance of getting the question right), then around 85 there is four options (25% chance of getting the question right). This is quite cruel for IXL to do this, because before you know it you have something that only grants you one point and that is really hard and takes away 16 points if you get it wrong. The problem with that is, even if you make a small mistake at, say, 97, your SmartScore drastically decreases. If you somehow manage to make it to 100% SmartScore, you will see the ratio of right to wrong questions. And that ratio is usually kind of sad, like 48/2. For perspective, the amount you need to get right to “master” the skill without getting anything wrong is 28, and if you only get two wrong, you have to do so much more. Which is why I guess so many people hate IXL, because of that. Anyway, I give IXL a 7/10 for effort.

Tuesday, 3/20/18: W'S OPINION ON POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

So. You all have probably heard of being 'PC,' or 'politically correct.' In case you didn't know, this means to not use the words 'black' or 'asian' to describe people's skin colours and to instead use the PC tems 'African-American' and 'Chinese (or Indian) [note from Lego Ant- or any other country in Asia]- American.' Now, the way these terms were introduced was in nineteen- sixty-something, where people decided that people with non-white skin could have rights and could vote and all that. Of course, since these PC words originated in the nineteen-sixty-something era, people naturally pair these terms with the terrible acts of injustice and segregation that were made such a big deal by people like Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was an old woman who sat on a bus, sat on a seat, and didn't move. This is still strange exactly how Rosa got famous for not moving, but she somehow did*. And Martin Luther King Jr. He made a few speeches about dreams near the Lincoln Memorial, which really takes courage and we admire him for it. However there were lots more people who didn't move off bus seats and who made speeches, and they get no fame at all for it. These big ordeals were all associated with calling someone 'negro' or 'black.' And because these terms were so bad, we all cringe whenever someone says them, and then say that it's quote-unquote 'racist' and that they should stop it. However, my opinion on this is that these words like 'chinese' or 'black' are just simply adjectives. They are just words used to describe people. Now, if someone said that "I don't like so-and-so because they're chinese," THAT would be racist. Because that is exactly what people were saying in the civil rights movement, kind of through the segregated drinking fountains and schools, and all the white schools were saying, just by their doors saying NO BLACKS, "we don't want people with darker skin in our classrooms for the sole reason that they have darker skin than us," that is for some reason why we assosicate the adjectives 'black' and 'chinese' with being racist. BUT. THEY. AREN'T. RACIST. Those words are just adjectives that people have somehow mangled into being racist, just because people called people of that race those words back then. Also, there is the kind of stupidity (i.e. "this pencil is black." "DON'T BE RACIST") that is just stupid, and stupidity of that level makes the world go 'round. Saying that a crayon is black is not racist. It is so obvious the people who say so are usually very ignorant and are trying to be funny. Anyway, enough about that. So, uhh, social justice, if you didn't already know, is where people call people out for 'bullying' people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now, I'd just like to say one thing before anyone judges me: I'd like to say that I believe that LGBTQ+ people are exactly the same as normal people who aren't LGBTQ+. Like, if I was walking down the street, I wouldn't be able to spot a bisexual, gay, or transgender person just from their looks. I would have to follow them home and ask them creepily about their sexual preferences. Which then they would scream at me and call me a stalker and a hater of the LGBTQ+. Now, (s)he would do that because many people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community somehow believe that any small prod at their sexual preference or any small poke that suggested that you were wondering if they were gay or trans is an offense to the LGBTQ+ community. Look, I guess what I'm getting at is that if you look at people's thoughts on this, godd*mn EVERYONE thinks that LGBTQ+ people are delicate and that they are 'different' and that is okay. Yes, people, I know they are different, you don't need to remind me every MINUTE of every HOUR of every DAY of every WEEK that they are different. I. KNOW. THAT. But being 'different' doesn't necessarily mean that they are delicate and venerable and need special attention. So for some reason whenever someone asks a LGBTQ+ person about their sexual preference or some other 'sensitive topic,' they go completely nuts and people swarm in left and right to defend them. If you go to Scratch and look up "LGBTQ+ Studio" you will see that there are a huge amount of studios who have a huge amount of projects that say, "LGBTQ+ is just like us!" or something like that. We know this, they are just people, and they don't need that much attention. W out, until Saturday. :v

*I'm not necessarily saying that she isn't a good person, it's just that she was known for that one thing, and she really was a big part of the civil rights movement, although people should really respect her for more than just that; she joined marches, etc.

note from Lego Ant- I think she’s known for that because it was standing up (that’s ironic) in a way that other people hadn’t done. Or maybe they had. I don’t know… I should probably actually do some research before commenting