Site URL: MagicPathshala.com
Content: The goal of Magic Pathshala is to provide fun and successful learning strategies to grade 3-5 teachers in urban and rural parts of India. Founded by a research group that aimed to understand how kids learn while doing things they enjoy, the site combines a variety of fun characters with diverse English language arts and math resources.
Design: Navigation on Magic Pathshala is easy, featuring three buttons to select a grade level and two drop-down menus that distinguish between subject and topic. Users can preview each resource with an image icon. On the homepage, users encounter many of the site’s featured animal cartoon characters.
Review: The resources range from colorful flash animations (think less-sophisticated versions of Schoolhouse Rock educational videos) to character-based lessons and handouts. Students will enjoy instruction from Magic Pathshala's large cast of characters. For example, kids can follow animals like Tota, the tropical bird fortune teller who teaches tenses, or they can join the whole gang in a sing-a-long music video about pronouns.
The site’s games are a major standout, mirroring Luminosity’s brain-stimulation games. Magic Pathshala’s “Save the Forest” multiplication game has students answer multiplication questions and mentally construct multiplication equations from other mathematical equations, in order to prevent trees from getting chopped down by villainous lumberjacks.
While Magic Pathshala’s characters sometimes seem more goofy than magical, their funny gestures and inviting faces will entertain the young audience at which the site is aimed. Many of the interactive and video resources work on smartphones and tablets, and are available in more than one language.
Bottom Line: Despite the giggle that some of its silly characters might provoke, this site will help any upper-elementary level or middle-school level teacher incorporate eLearning into instruction.