Friday, August 10, 2012

REVIEW: Vocab Videos from

My 12-year old son, Hayden, got to try out Vocab Videos.  He’s slightly on the young side for this product (recommended for high school to college), but he’s always been a vocabulary enthusiast, so I thought he’d have some interest in this. 

From the Website:

SAT Vocabulary Learning & Much More!

Vocab Videos was originally developed to teach SAT Vocabulary and tailored around learning key SAT Vocabulary words. Since that time, the system has proven an extremely effective vocabulary-learning tool for a variety of different tests beyond the SAT such as the ACT, ISEE, SSAT, and GRE tests. Vocab Videos is also an exemplary learning and teaching tool for any vocabulary learning program/class or individual vocabulary learning needs. Examples of uses outside of SAT and other test vocabulary are classroom vocabulary programs and ESL (English as a Second Language) vocabulary learning.

For educators, we offer SAT/ACT professional development and materials licensing and have developed programs designed specifically for classroom vocabulary learning accompanied with several valuable educator vocabulary resources.  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. In addition to the videos, the program includes quizzes, worksheets, a multimedia flashcard maker and many other tools.

The vocabulary platform also includes a number of special educator features that allow teachers to monitor student usage and progress. Ready to get started? Take a look around the site and you will see a host of great vocabulary learning resources for the SAT including a free SAT word list and much more. Take advantage of our free trial to get started today!

Our Experience:

Hayden and I both enjoyed the videos.  They were funny in a silly sort of way.  I found the skits to be an effective way to remember the words.  When I took the quiz afterwards, I found myself recalling the scenes that depicted the meanings of the words.  The videos for each group of 20 words are all part of one big skit that’s all related, so it helps you piece together how the words could be used in relation to one another. 

For Hayden, though, who is just beginning 8th grade, sometimes he didn’t score as well on the subsequent quizzes.  I think he found the videos comical, although perhaps a bit long to sit through in one sitting.  I think maybe it started to lose his attention as it went on, and his inattention was reflected in the quiz score.  But he has ADHD, and he is easily distracted, so that could be a factor.  Overall, though, we both liked the format.  I asked him how effective he felt the videos were in helping him learn and recall the word meanings, and he said a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. 

At one point, my 8 year old daughter and 4.5 year old son came over and joined us in watching some of the videos.  They were laughing at some of the silly scenes.  There’s definitely a mild entertainment factor! 

As a teacher, I like how it tracks the scores and averages for the quizzes.  It offers various options for the student’s study like crossword puzzles, worksheets where they take notes that they can turn into flashcards, and the quizzes, which the student can re-take if they don’t do as well as they’d like.

A single student can sign up for a 6-month subscription for $24.99, or a 1-year subscription for $39.99. 

You can register for a 1-month FREE trial of an educator’s account.  After that, a 1-year subscription is $74.95 for a small educator account that allows you to register up to 20 students.  There is an extensive collection of 500 videos in all, plus all of the digital study resources I mentioned are included.  The educator account has the added features of setting up multiple students, monitoring their progress, and the ability to download and print materials you can pass out for practice and quizzing.

All in all, I think it’s a fun program.  For a mature high school student, I can see where it could be an engaging vocabulary enrichment tool.  I think a 6-month subscription for $24.99 would likely be sufficient to cover the material if used regularly. 

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I received a subscription to this product free of charge for review purposes.  However, all opinions are mine and reflect my family’s honest use of the product.