Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TOS Review - Virtual Nerd

As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received a premium trial subscription to Virtual Nerd to evaluate the product.

Virtual Nerd
is an online higher Math and Science step by step video tutorial program. IT is primarily for grades 7-12. Using a speaker and writing out concepts on a whiteboard - the student is able to absorb the information through two learning modes at once. They offer both a Basic and a Premium account. Basic is free for everyone. Premium service is free for educators (For public/private schools only). The price varies depending on the plan you choose. $5 per day, $19 for one week, $49 for monthly recurring and $129 for 3 weeks. These are flexible to allow for the various ways to utilize the product.

Currently the subjects covered are: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II and Physics. Since my oldest is currently in Pre-Algebra we started and mostly concentrated on that. I highly recommend watching the intro video to get an idea of how this product works.

The subjects are broken down into many different concepts. Pre-Algebra is broken down into thirteen areas with sub menus beyond that. Once you watch a video you are provided with suggestions for another related video. You have the option to select one topic or to play all of the selections for a concept.

Oldest found the tutor engaging and he really liked the way concepts were written out and made visual for him. The way they break down things into steps and show the steps they will cover in a display to the right of the presentation really helped him stay patient. I didn't hear 'How long is this?' over and over again. (The video has a 'time bar' under the video that is also marked off with the various steps that will be covered as well as the total time of the selected video.)

The speaker's pace and diction were just right. The graphics were not overwhelming and the explanations - written and discussed were clear enough for my oldest to follow it. It was great that he could pause it, watch it over and over and come back and watch it again if he needed to do so. He has not gotten very far with Pre-Algebra so the concepts quickly became too hard for him. I let him watch them anyway - figuring as he progresses maybe he will remember seeing the videos.

Occasionally we would have trouble getting a video to load but it was rare. We used it on a PC running Windows 7 with the Firefox browser.

I briefly looked at the other subjects but since I struggled to finish Algebra I in High School the large majority of it was way over my head. Though I believe the price is a little steep if I were to use it now (for basically part of a subject) I believe it would be a worthwhile investment when my boys reach High School age.

Virtual Nerd is a very well constructed, innovative product and one that is certainly on my list to purchase when we reach that level. The pricing structure is makes this much more affordable and flexible to use. It is not a product I would need a year long subscription to - perhaps a day if we were struggling to understand a certain concept.

Please head over and see what other TOS crew members have to say about this product here.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was given use of this product for the purpose of obtaining my honest opinion. I received nothing else. This is my honest opinion. Please consider that every family is different and results may vary.


Blessed Beyond a doubt.... said...

Enjoyed your review!

Guiding Light said...

I enjoyed your review as well. Blessings!

Lori Lynn said...

I thought it was a really good program too. It wasn't dry and boring, like some math instructional videos can be. Good review!

Rebecca said...

We thought you would like to know that because Virtual Nerd ( has received such positive feedback and significant interest following your review of their 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!

Anonymous said...

As a supporter of Virtual Nerd, we wanted you to know about our Math Boot Camp. To help students avoid the "summer slide", we are offering boot camps in: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II. The five-week camps cost only $19! A pre-quiz will assess student's knowledge, and weekly playlists will be assigned to help them attain a better understanding of the subject and build upon concept knowledge. Finally we wrap up with a quiz that assesses how far they have come! We hope you will share the good news. Get started today!