Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Virtual Nerd, Real help in math and science: A Review

logo virtual nerd

I’ve always enjoyed telling homeschooling moms about new, innovative products, materials and curriculum that I come across that is ideal for the homeschool market. One of the wonderful benefits of serving as part of the TOS Crew is the opportunity to not only to be offered products that fit that description, but to use them with my own children so I know if I want to recommend them to others. I’d barely had a chance to use this product, Virtual Nerd, when I found myself recommending  it to a friend on our recent trip to Ohio, and our discussion turned to the subject dreaded by many, math.

Virtual Nerd, Real help in math and science, is a series of online interactive video tutorials for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Intro Physics with more programs in the works. In short, this program is like having a personal tutor in the comfort of your own home, with access around the clock when you need them.

The videos are high quality, clear and concise with some amazing features that allow the student to really dive in and find the answers they seek.  Each tutor stands before an incredible board that Virtual Nerd has dubbed ‘the Dynamic Whiteboard’. This feature allows the instructor to write out the problems while working through them on screen so your student can easily follow along.  The notes are then transferred to the right side of the screen so if you have a problem understanding any of the steps (or handwriting) it’s right there for you. I also really appreciate the fact that you’ll  find the video broken down step by step on the right hand side. This is perfect, allowing you to skip the portions of the video that you don’t need or allowing you to re-watch what you do, without sitting through the entire video again.

Virtual Nerd

As you watch each tutorial, you can mouse over steps and if you’re stuck you can ask the program to simplify what you don’t understand. This breakdown allows you to pinpoint the help that you’re looking for.   After you watch each video you have the option to watch it again or follow their suggestion to another video. I know that’s kind of confusing to understand but it is explained perfectly in the introductory video on the front page of the Virtual Nerd website.

preview virtual nerd

This is a great program for homeschool families as well as parent’s with children in public schools. Virtual Nerd even offers a program for classrooms! They really have thought of everything and have some wonderful changes and upgrades coming soon, which will include an enhanced search option and additional classes.

While they do offer two hour access to the program at no charge to try it out, for as little as $5 you can gain full access to the site and decide if Virtual Nerd is something that will work for your family. While they offer weekly and monthly plans, you’ll get the best deal if you sign up for their 3 month program for $129. I find their prices comparable to what you would expect to pay for an outside class and in many cases, much less than what you’d pay for a private tutor. You can view all the different options that are offered here.

Before getting started make sure that you take a look at the technical requirements that are needed to view the videos. Though I have Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, the videos would not run on my computer (this could be a glitch with my computer because other reviewers did not experience the same problem I did). I downloaded Mozilla Firefox and everything worked beautifully.

If you have a student in the 7-12th grade that is struggling with their math program or are just not as confident as they could be, take a look at Virtual Nerd.

You can read other reviews of Virtual Nerd by visiting The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew website

*I received full access to the entire Virtual Nerd website in exchange for sharing my honest opinion of their program. 

1 comment:

  1. We are pleased to inform you that because Virtual Nerd (www.VirtualNerd.com) has received such significant interest following your review of our online tutoring service, we are offering a special discount to homeschool parents. Homeschool parents can receive 50% off the 1 and 3 month subscription plans. Just enter the discount code: homeschooldeal when you sign up for service. That is a huge discount, and hurry - the offer is valid until March 31, 2011!

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