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Top 10 high-tech math tutors

In the old days -- you know, a couple of years ago -- video games were the beeping, pinging distractions that got in the way of homework. Now iPhones, Nintendo, and the Web are homework. Recently the realm of edu-technology has exploded with a wide variety of mind-building games that do everything from teach basic money math to keep arithmetic skills sharp over winter and summer break. The proliferation of options has left parents with homework of their own: sorting out the worthwhile from the mediocre (not to mention the downright idiotic). Here are some of the more promising math offerings.

By Chris Colin

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Dino Numbers

Windows, free (first two levels) or $20 (30 levels)
Ages 7-12

Some of the best math games are the simplest, and so it is with Dino Numbers, a basic save-the-cows-from-the-dinosaurs video game for kids brushing up on arithmetic. As with many of these applications, this one will look decidedly basic compared to, say, World of Warcraft, but a crudely rendered tyrannosaurus can teach addition as well as anyone.

Chris Colin is the author of What Really Happened to the Class of '93 and writes the "On the Job" column for the San Francisco Chronicle as well as stories for the New York Times, Mother Jones, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and GOOD magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

Comments from readers

"Do you think these interactive training tools are the answer to helping our children enjoying learning?"
"Are there any video games for 14 years of age and up? Please advise Middle school math problems is what I am looking for. Thank you, Alena Woodruff"
"great ideas however most of the games mentioned in this article are for children younger. Middle school aged children are 12 and up"