Virtual Nerd Review
Thursday, January 13, 2011
What a great tool to add to your homeschool experience! Virtual nerd might be exactly what is needed for a family that does not have their own "nerd". Currently, the subjects covered are: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Introduction to Physics. I encourage you to take some time on their site and watch the video on their front page.
Once you are a member, simply search or browse for the video you need. The videos are concise, but you can also review a specific concept over and over or you can explore a particular area further by clicking on the box. A new window with a new video will open up. You can continue to open additional boxes and watch more videos. This is what the Virtual Nerd site refers to as "drilling down". You can see the notes to the side and additional information will pop up if you hover over the text. The text along the side allows for you to see the same information in print. Practically any type of learner (who has the ability to use a computer) can benefit from Virtual Nerd. However, best way to know if this would be a benefit to you is to get a free 2 hour trial.
I provided my oldest daughter this product to take on a test drive.. She found the lessons easy to understand, clearly written and enjoys the way the teacher presents the material. She occasionally had trouble finding the specific video out of the 1,000 + videos offered. She did not like how slow some videos were to load, either. We have a very fast connection, yet sometimes the time to load seems too long. We are not very patient and maybe this isn't an actual problem?
I personally did not have any trouble with finding the videos to explain the problem areas . When my daughter told me what she needed to watch, I was able to locate exactly what she needed in a very short amount of time. I believe she didn't actually look hard enough or thought they would have the specific problem she was working. She often was searching too specifically and wished for the videos to work the exact problem in the text, the way her (actual nerd ) father does.
Unlike some online math tutor programs, the subscription options are very flexible! Use it for a day ($5), a week ( $19), a month ($49) or 3 months ($129). The monthly option is charged automatically, but the other subscription methods are not recurring. A 2 hour trial is also available for FREE! If you are an educator (not a homeschool parent, though), you can get the program for free.
If I did not have an (actual nerd) husband who answers any and all math problems and already helps our older students with their math, I would definitely find a program like Virtual Nerd to be a necessity. However, even the Virtual Nerd site states the purpose of the site is not to replace a human teacher and/ or a human tutor. The cost is definitely less expensive than hourly tutoring and the benefit of tutoring anytime is advantageous as well.
Virtual Nerd is award winning and the videos are designed by professionals. It has great plans for future expansion! For instance, there is supposed to be a search feature for a particular textbook. We are currently using Saxon, but I have other textbooks. I didn't find our particular books now using the search, but this might already be in place and just not compatible with the texts I have. Eventually, there will be an option to review, take quizzes and receive grades.
I like the tutor style of Virtual Nerd (compared to online stand alone programs ) since my daughter could continue using her current textbook and didn't need to switch texts for the purpose of the review. However, for the cost, I might expect it to be a stand alone program. Also, while my daughter didn't like searching for the videos herself. This means I still was asked lots of questions and I had to help her find the correct videos or she had to wait for her Dad to come home and explain. Maybe she would have improved in this area, if the trial we had was longer and not broken up by our 3 week break (we school year round).
As part of the TOS review crew, a free trial was provided to our family for free in exchange for my honest review of this product.