8/14/12

Crew Review: Vocab Videos

 Vocab Videos

If you are like me, you might have children preparing to take the SAT or the PSAT.  Vocabulary is worth up to 150 points on the SAT test.  Helping my daughters do the best that they can on these tests is a high priority for me so I jumped at the chance to try this online vocabulary program called Vocab Videos.

From the website: “The Vocab Videos program is based on watching humorous, memorable videos to teach vocabulary in a contextual format. Using both auditory and visual cues, each video includes a real-world representation of the meaning of a word in a way that you can easily relate to and understand.”

Vocab Videos is a series of “Episodes” with each episode focusing on  20 vocabulary words.  Each word is presented in a short video clip and the whole episode is about 10 minutes in length. You can read more about their videos here.

Vocab Videos has subscription plans for individual student subscriptions as well as subscription plans for educators.   Student plans start at $24.99 for a 6 month subscription.  A 12 month subscription is also available.   Under the plans for Educators, there is a 1 month free trial option.  All Educator plans are for 12 months of unlimited access and include a teacher dashboard.  Educator plans start at 20 students for $74.99.  The Educator plans are a great deal for homeschooling families who need 3 or more student accounts and would like 12 months of access.

Teacher Dashboard

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Because this is a secular program, when words are defined and discussed in the videos, you might hear discussion of dating, and sometimes the use of, "Shut up" or "Oh my God."  
  • The Study Partner Episode has a “horror genre” feel and look to it.  I found it creepy.  My oldest (age 17) had to stop watching it part way through and take a break because “it was stressing [her] out.”  My 13 year old said “when the study partner returns it was creepy and disgusting”
  • Many of the Episodes (such as Two’s Company) parody popular TV shows. From the Website: Parodies of popular TV shows like Lost, The Office, 24, and Gossip Girl connect students to the material, presenting vocabulary to them in a context they can relate to and enjoy.

Some of my favorite features:

  • The Quizzes ~ I love that there is a quiz for each episode and that the quizzes utilizes different types of questions.  The quizzes also provide feedback, telling the student what they answered and what the correct answer is.
  • The Teacher Dashboard ~ I love that I can access all the learning tools for myself through the teacher dashboard as well as check on the progress of my student.  I can view their quiz scores and view the actual answers to the worksheets.
  • The Worksheets ~ On the worksheets student must define the word and then use it in one or more sentences.  These worksheets are intended to help them remember the words.

Thought from my Children:

  • Thoughts from BooBear (12th Grade, age 17) ~ “I really enjoy it. I think the idea is very creative to teach vocabulary using short videos. Some were a little silly but I suppose that being extreme would help stick in a person’s mind and help them remember the word.”
  • Thoughts from Turtlegirl (10th grade, age 15) ~ “I like the variety of vocabulary words. I like that there are words included that I didn’t already know. I’d like how they have two different ways to review what you learned, the quiz and the worksheet. I liked the quizzes. I like the variety of question  types and that it timed you so you could compete with yourself to see how fast you could remember the words.  I like the videos even though they can get a little corny.  Except the Study Partner episode; that was just plain weird.”
  • Thoughts from Tailorbear (8th grade, age 13) ~ It is pretty  cool. Some of the videos were a little dramatic but overall I enjoyed how they did a very good job of putting definitions in videos.  All the videos helped me to keep the vocabulary in my head a little longer so that I could actually learn it.  The worksheets were very interesting.”

My Thoughts: I recommend reading the “How It Works” page as well as the  “Our Story” page.  I consider this a high school level program and I would not use it with a student younger than 8th grade.  This is a program that my students have enjoyed and not once did I hear “do I have to?”  Instead, I had children who willingly, without being told, logged into their student accounts daily and spent roughly 15 minutes a day learning vocabulary.

Vocab Videos

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about Vocab Videos.

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received a Small Educator Account (up to 20 students) with unlimited access for 12 months to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

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