This New For Us Friday, I’m sharing an incredible tool for teachers, parents, and students–one that I am excited about not only because I’m a teacher and I know a great resource when I see one, but also because I am a parent who will one day need the math and science resources that this site has to offer.
Virtual Nerd is my dream come true. A website designed to offer support in math and science–one that includes 100’s of step-by-step, interactive video tutorials? Available 24/7? With patient, smart, talented, tutors smiling back at you on your computer screen any time you need them? One that’s actually affordable for families and free (yes, free!) for teachers?
And the fab folks at Virtual Nerd are so excited about their product and the incredible ways the hundreds of interactive videos can help the masses, that they’re giving away one Flip UltraHD 8GB video camera to a teach mama reader!
Here’s the story:
- Virtual Nerd: Virtual Nerd is an online classroom for learning math and science that provides teachers, parents, and students with tons of video tutorials and matching practice problems. Co-founded by expert tutor Leo Shmuylovich (whose idea to take his expertise online is soooo smart), and Josh Salcman, an accomplished product designer, Virtual Nerd is every parent’s dream come true. It’s like having a math and science tutor at your beck and call whenever you need it.
And Virtual Nerd isn’t the kind of tutor who gives kids the answers to problems they can’t figure out on their own. Virtual Nerd is the kind of tutor who helps your child to better, more fully understand concepts. It’s the tutor parents want to hold onto for a good long while.
Concepts in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Intro to Physics are covered, and other subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus are scheduled to arrive in time for the 2011-2012 school year. (Woo-hooo!)
I not only love Virtual Nerd because of the way it helps students, but I also love the way this site provides parents with the tools and resources they need to be able to support their children’s learning. It’s a refresher course in all that math and science we learned way back when but forgot since we became parents and our brains became mush.
Virtual Nerd co-founder, Leo, gives us the skinny on this incredible product.
As a huge fan of reliable sites full of valid, worthwhile information backed by research, Virtual Nerd impresses me with the time, effort, and energy it puts into its tutorials and material. Teams of experienced teachers and tutors build original course content consistent with current textbooks; they extensively review top textbooks and link content to those materials and align the concepts with standards defined by national math and science educators.
Awarded the Seal of Approval by Parent Tested Parent Approved, Virtual Nerd was voted one of the best products for families based on value, functionality, quality, and appeal.
One thing that’s particularly cool about Virtual Nerd is the Dynamic Whiteboard that lets users interact with the tutorial in a whole new way, moving at their own pace and really understanding the concepts. The site actually anticipates students’ questions, so students can drill down to related tutorials if they get confused, and the innovative design of the Whiteboard makes it easy for students to stay focused, find answers to their questions, and really build a solid foundation of concepts.
Virtual Nerd’s organization of tutorials and awesome Dynamic Whiteboard keeps concepts clear and students (and parents!) organized.
Virtual Nerd’s organization and extensive library of materials are incredibly helpful not only for students but also for parents who use the site as a tool for refreshing their math and science skills. The tutorials viewed in one session are clearly layered on the screen so that they don’t lose track , and the Algebra 1 course includes over 450 tutorials on the site–450! Many middle schoolers take Algebra 1, and with over 18 hours of videos and 15,000 graphics, parents will really be able to get a head’s up on the concepts so that they’re able to support their children’s learning and school work.
It’s a cost-effective program–much more affordable than the cost of individualized, one-on-one tutoring, and the plans that are available are really catered to every user. Virtual Nerd offers:
- Basic plan– FREE for students and parents. Yes, free!
- Premium plan– $49/month for the entire library of tutorials covering all course concepts in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Intro to Physics, amounting to hundreds of tutorials per subject, in-depth explanations and the ability to drill down to fill any conceptual gap.
- Educator plan– Free account for use in their classrooms. Hooray!
Overall, here’s the skinny on Virtual Nerd:
- the ease with which the site can be navigated–directions are clear, layout is simple, colors are easy on the eyes–and you can find what you need quickly;
- that the tutors on the site are dream tutors–they speak slowly, explain concepts thoroughly, and are the kind of teacher you’d like sitting right there next to you, helping to clarify that days’ lesson;
- that learning is catered to each user–with a click of the mouse, questions are answered and concepts are covered;
- the enormous library of tutorials (450 tutorials and 15,000+ graphics for Algebra alone?!);
- that math and science teachers can use the site–to take a look at another way of explaining concepts so that their own teaching is broadened and to be able to recommend the site to other students who would benefit from lesson refreshers;
- that with this site, parents can save money on tutoring;
- that parents can also use the site, increasing their familiarity with these subjects so they are more aware of what their children are learning and so they can help their kids with homework;
- the pricing plan is just right—free for educators, free for the basic plan, and only a fraction of the cost of tutoring for the premium plan.
- that Virtual Nerd was around when I was in middle and high school—seriously and selfishly, yes. . . ;
- that the word spreads quickly about this site because it is just that well done, thorough, and fab in terms of supporting math and science learning.
I’m sure my parents could have saved tons of money on my poor math tutors, and I might have saved myself some dignity by not shedding quite so many tears at the dinner table, weeping about my pathetic math skills. Thanks to Virtual Nerd, at least I can rest assured that my kids won’t follow in my footsteps.
So that’s that. The skinny on Virtual Nerd from a parent–and teacher–who can clearly see the benefits of a site that will only continue to grow stronger as more subjects are added to its already rich library of interactive resources.
Do you want to win your very own Flip UltraHG 8GB video camera, just in time for the New Year? Yes, yes, and yes!
- Head over to the Virtual Nerd site and try out the Basic plan–for free!–then leave a comment here (along with your email address) simply sharing what you thought about Virtual Nerd. (What was cool? What did you see? What will you use? What do you like about the site?)
- For extra entries, you can share this post with a friend (just tell me who you shared it with!) OR Tweet this: Try @VirtualNerd online #math or #science tutorials for chance to win Flip UltraHD on @teachmama http://teachmama.com/?p=771
- For even more extra entries, you can head to Virtual Nerd’s Facebook Page and fan them OR follow Virtual Nerd on Twitter OR just go ahead and do both. (Just tell me what you did!)
This contest ends on Friday, December 31, 2010 at midnight ET.
With great pride, I’d like to disclose that I am a paid consultant for Virtual Nerd. It is not often that a person is able to work closely with a company that she firmly believes in and can stand behind, and for this opportunity, I am incredibly grateful. As a consultant, I was given full access to the site and was compensated for my time in researching and writing. My opinions here are all my own, influenced only by my years of professional experience in the field of education and my personal experience with the subject matter. Virtual Nerd provided the prize for this giveaway, as well as the logo, video, and images.
I look forward to sharing more about this great company with my fabulous readers in the New Year. Happiest of holidays to you!