Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zane Education Review


Zane Education provides an effective, subscription-based, online visual learning education solution using subtitled educational video, quizzes, interactive video study tools and free lesson plans. They provide online learning for 11 different subjects and 260+ K-12 curriculum topics, with more material being added all the time. 

Features include: 

• Online subtitled videos delivering content for each topic.
• Interactive quizzes that provide online testing for each topic.
• Interactive study tools allowing for aspects of each video to be further explored and investigated.
• Lesson Plans which provide further activities.
• The Study Center which provides additional resources including the World Fact Book to support study. 
• A Getting Started Guide and selection of User Guides.

Topics include: Art, Biology, Geography, Health, History, Library Skills, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Religious Studies, Science, and Social Sciences.

Zane Education offers four premium membership options: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Topic Taster.  You can select to pay a single annual payment (with the 12th month free), or a monthly recurring payment. There is also a free basic membership that gives you access to a limited amount of materials.

Once you have selected your membership level and are logged in, you simply click on the videos button and you will come to a screen with your video options on the left.  If you click on the picture below, you can see all the subjects listed as well as the videos by grade, which I think is more helpful.  You can also see in the center is every subject with the ages and grades listed.  On the right are the additional study tools.

Once you choose your video {I chose Elementary Science: Animals} you come to the following screen where you can view your video.  You can see the options for the online quizzes and video learning tools on the right. 

My Thoughts: I am going to be honest and say that I am a little conflicted over the videos.  As you can see in the picture above, the video screen is small and it does not enlarge to a full screen.  There are also buttons which you can see to the right of the screen which do not have any functions.  The videos are also more like a slide show of still pictures.  Some have movement here and there but most that we watched did not.  It also seemed that many were dated.  The video above reminds me of the old Dick and Jane books.  I also noticed in other videos the people were wearing clothes that looked to be from the early nineties.  Not saying that is bad, just an observation.  I also noticed that the subtitles at the bottom would switch before the picture did and a couple videos that we watched cut off the audio of the last word at the very end.

I also think it is very important to note that these videos are secular in nature and the mention of evolution is throughout.  Zane offers a Christine Home Learning Guide that includes the following excerpt:

"Zane is proud to be a leader in electronically publishing mainstream school curricula—secularly preparing our children and our world for the twenty-first century. Zane also is proud to be publishing the Christian Home Learning Guides, which offers a Christian perspective of the humanities and sciences. Zane is most proud, however, to be publishing both together—preparing children today for success in the secular world in which we live, while also providing them the framework to reconcile this secular knowledge with their religious beliefs."

Of course, that may not be a concern for some, but thought it is worth mentioning.  If this is something that you think will work for your family, I strongly suggest previewing the videos first.

Lastly, we watched the videos in the Elementary Science: Animals section but I also watched a few videos in the Biology section for older students.  I wish there was something for older elementary student.  I personally thought the Elementary Science videos were a little young.  My daughter would have been able to understand the majority of the Animal Classification videos and they would actually compliment our studies right now, but goodness the test was hard.  I thought it was extremely specific to the information given and I scored a 60%.  :(  Maybe I should have paid better attention.  ;) 

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at Zane Education and on Zane's Facebook Page.  As I mentioned earlier, they offer four premium membership options.  

The Gold Membership is $17.99/mo or $197.89/yr and includes access to all 1,500+ subtitled videos for K-12 plus all other facilities on the website.  You also get a free downloadable copy of Zane's Learning Video Catalog (a $49.95 value) and Zane's Christian Home Learning Guide (a $49.95 value). The Silver Membership is $12.99/mo or $142.89/yr and includes access to all subtitled videos within your selected GRADE LEVEL plus all other facilities on the website. The Bronze Membership is $8.99/mo or $98.89/yr and includes access to all subtitled videos in the SUBJECT you have chosen. The Topic Taster Membership is $5/mo and includes access to the video(s) within a SINGLE TOPIC.

As a special to my readers, the code ZE765HSM will give you a 35% discount on the purchase of any annual 12-month Gold, Silver or Bronze Membership subscription through until the end of August 2012. 

My Crewmates are also talking about Zane Education, so you can check out what they think about it HERE.


Disclaimer:  This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor.  I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.


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