By Vipul Naik
Cross-posted from Quora
As part of research that my collaborator Jonah Sinick and I have been doing for Cognito Mentoring, we’ve repeatedly noticed that products aimed at children rarely get high-quality independent reviews. This isn’t just bad in and of itself; it also means that these products can’t get Wikipedia pages of their own because they don’t pass Wikipedia’s notability test.
Why might that be? Possible explanations:
- The children who use the products themselves aren’t old enough or mature enough to write first-person reviews.
- Publications are targeted at adults, so children’s stuff isn’t that interesting to them.
- Any other explanations?
Here are some of the resources we looked at (many are listed on our Online mathematics learning resources page; others are listed elsewhere on Cognito)
- Those that have Wikipedia pages: Khan Academy(Wikipedia page is fairly detailed), ALEKS — Assessment and Learning, K-12, Higher Education, Automated Tutor, Math (Wikipedia page is minimalistic).
- Those that are widely used but don’t have Wikipedia pages:IXL Math and English, ThinkWell Online Courses,Brilliant.org, PatrickJMT, betterxplained.com,DragonBox – The multi-platform Math Game.
- Those that aren’t so widely used, albeit we think they should be: Worldwide Center of Mathematics, LIVE Online Math.
It’s also noteworthy that almost none of the best books aimed at young people have Wikipedia pages, although it’s common for Wikipedia to have pages on books aimed at adults. For instance, Arthur Engel’s Problem-Solving Strategies is a widely used book for contest mathematics, but neither the book nor the author makes it to Wikipedia.
Even resources that do receive some press coverage generally receive very little. For instance, the Wikipedia page aboutCollege Confidential scarcely does justice to College Confidential’s stature as a go-to resource for information about college admissions.