Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: Virtual Nerd

One thing we have loved as part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew is the chance to try out some creative, innovative math products.  Today I get to tell you about one for older kids -- Virtual Nerd.

Virtual Nerd provides online tutoring for math classes for junior high and high school.  At this time, they have pre-algebra, algebra I and II, and there is also some tutoring for physics.  Pre-calculus is supposed to be coming out soon, and chemistry is slated for Fall 2011.  I've also heard that more trig-based physics, geometry and calculus are in the works at some point, and eventually biology too.

I had two of my children using this, and they both give the program two thumbs up.  Right now, Connor is studying geometry and chemistry, so there wasn't anything that corresponded with his current coursework.  In Virtual Nerd, he worked in both algebra I and algebra II.  William is currently doing pre-algebra, so that is what he used in Virtual Nerd.

From Virtual Nerd:  "Using our patent pending Dynamic Whiteboard, each student has a very interactive and personalized learning experience.  While watching our pre-recorded videos, they can drill-down for more information and access FAQs, terms and definition to assist in their learning process."

Full Screen 3 Areas

That gives you a basic idea as to how it works.  You can go into your math level, search through the available topics (and there are lots of them), and watch a video utilizing this Dynamic Whiteboard.  If at any point you are not understanding something, you can pull up an earlier tutoring topic easily, and keep going down until you figure out what it is you were not understanding.  Kind of like listening to the explanation of a problem, and asking, "... but what did blah, blah, blah mean?"

My kids both enjoyed this.  Quite a bit.  I allowed them to pretty much go in and choose their own topics and I did not try to really be keeping track in any way.  Connor's statement to me was that the Virtual Nerd videos do a great job of teaching you how to do the math concepts presented.  He liked the explanations, and told me that he hoped I'd consider getting a day or a week occasionally when there is Virtual Nerd content to match what he is studying.

William thought the explanations were clear as well, and he really liked being able to drill down to view videos of the foundational concepts of the topic he was trying to master.

I liked the fact that there are both male and female instructors.  I love that you can skip around in the video pretty easily, so you can skip over the explanation that you already "get" and move right to the part that confuses you.

Virtual Nerd is available at a variety of pricing levels.  The main one is a monthly subscription for $49 per month.  You can also make a one-time (meaning it won't keep charging your credit card) three-month subscription ($129), one week subscription ($19) or one day subscription ($5).

You can check out what my fellow crew-mates have to say about Virtual Nerd at:

Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive a complimentary 45 day subscription to Virtual Nerd.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.


Blessed Beyond a doubt.... said...

Great review!

Heidi said...

Great review! I would have like to see Chemistry covered, and was glad to see it was coming soon, but J got plenty use out of it for Algebra alone.

Debra said...

Heidi - I would have been thrilled had chemistry been on there already. This was a tough one for Connor to help me review. He's so tired of algebra I, but with the geometry he's been doing, he didn't really want to be diving too far into algebra II.

Anyway, thanks, both of you :)

Virtual Nerd said...

I thought you would like to know that because Virtual Nerd ( has received such positive feedback and significant interest following your review of their online tutoring service, they 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!

Virtual Nerd 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!