The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Virtual Nerd

     When strangers hear that I homeschool my high school age children, there are usually two comments that follow. The first is “What about sports?” and the second is “I would never be able to teach upper level math!”  The sports answer I will save for now, but the math, well that is easier to answer. One way that I am able to help my kids through math is finding resources to help them. One of those resources is:

Virtual nerd banner

This description is taken from the Virtual Nerd website.

Have algebra questions? Do you dread physics? Virtual Nerd offers interactive tutorials for students in grades 7-12. Whatever you're working on, algebra functions or solving inequalities to complex concepts in physics, Virtual Nerd complements classroom and private tutoring instruction. Our compelling video tutorials are designed to give students fundamental understanding of math and science concepts, not just easy answers. Built on a patent-pending e-learning platform, Virtual Nerd lets students take control of how they learn.

     Virtual Nerd is not a stand-alone math or science curriculum. It is a web site where you can get math or science help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when you need it.  Virtual Nerd videos are dynamic, easy to use, engaging, and very understandable.  There are videos available for Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Intro to Physics. More subjects are planned, such as Chemistry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus.

     We primarily used it for Sarah who is doing Algebra I this year. She was able to go to the Virtual Nerd web site, use their dynamic search and find the video that could help her with the question she was having. The search feature on this site is very good. You are able to easily narrow down your search from a broad topic to the exact one you are looking for. The screenshot below shows you how this works. This screen shot shows how to use a Topic search. You may also use a Keyword search or a Textbook search. They have taken the most popular textbooks used in public schools and allow you to search for a tutorial video based on what lesson you are doing in the book.

Virtual Nerd search screen

     Sarah found the videos to be engaging, never dull. We primarily used the Algebra videos and found the woman presenter to have a great, clear voice with lots of inflection. The screen that the videos are presented on has three parts to it. There is the main picture with the presenter standing in front of a white board, talking and writing as the problem is solved. Along the right hand side there is a section called diagram which gives you a computerized version of what is being handwritten on the screen. The lower part of the right hand side is every step needed to accomplish the problem. These steps are highlighted as each one is done by the presenter. A (still) example of the video is shown below.

Virtual nerd solving equation screen

     When the problem has been solved the screen then gives you options on where to go next. If you need more help, or need another concept explained this can point you in the right direction. Sarah found this feature to be  helpful.

Virtual Nerd What comes next screen

There are multiple pricing options for Virtual Nerd. You can choose from a day, a week, a month, or three month option. I like the flexibility that these choices give you.

The rates are as follows:

1 Day:  $5.00 one-time fee

1 Week: $19 one-time fee

1 Month: $49 recurring fee

3 Month: $129 one-time fee

     In answer to the “I would never be able to teach upper level math” statement, I  say  “I don’t need to, I just need to be able to find the resources that can help!”

     Check out the Virtual Nerd website for more information. Or visit the Virtual Nerd Fact sheet. and read in depth about the website. We have truly enjoyed using this site and will turn to it for answers to the tough math questions.

     I am not the only one to review the Virtual Nerd site. Visit the Crew Blog and read what my Crew Mates thought about this product.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew received about 6 weeks of access to the Virtual Nerd website for free in exchange for my honest review of their product.

4 comments:

Denise said...

Really great review! We enjoyed this program! I am thinking of using it next year when my daughter will be doing geometry or Algebra II!

Vickie said...

We enjoyed this program as well. It is nice to be able to get it for just a day or week at a time as the need arises vs a full year subscription type thing.

Virtual Nerd said...

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!

Katherine 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!