Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zane Education (Review)


Zane Education is a subscription website full of educational videos.  The videos cover the following 11 different subject areas:  Art, Biology, Geography, Health, History, Library Skills, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Religious Studies, Science, and Social Studies.  Within these subjects, there are 1500+ videos on 260+ topics for K-12 students to explore. 


In addition to the educational videos, Zane Education offers online quizzes, lesson plans, and interactive study tools including a word glossary, world fact book, encyclopedia, dictionary, and thesaurus.

Zane Education uses what they call the The Missing Piece©.  Through research, they believe that the addition of subtitles to their videos allows students to improve their vocabulary and reading skills while learning visually.  This often proves helpful for hearing impaired, special needs, and ELL students. 

Something very important to point out is that Zane Education is secular in nature.  If you are concerned about your child viewing videos especially that reference evolution, you will want to utilize the Christian Learning Guide.  This 424 page resource offers you a more detailed overview of the videos and alerts you to content you may find objectionable or in conflict with your beliefs.  Using this resource, in my opinion, makes Zane a usable supplement for the Christian homeschool, but I still encourage you to preview videos before showing them to your children.  
  • Bronze - $8.99 a month - access to all videos in one subject area
  • Silver -  $12.99 a month - access to all videos within one grade level
  • Gold - $17.99 a month - access to all videos in all subject areas & grade levels
  • Topic Taster - $5 a month - access to only one topic
Only for the month of August, Zane Education is offering 35% off any ANNUAL gold, silver, or bronze membership.  When checking out, use the code ZE295HSM to receive the discount.

Because it is the summer and we aren't doing much in the form of formal studies, I had the kids watch the Human Anatomy videos as a review of what they learned from their science co-op class last year. They were willing to sit and watch one video at a time, and from their interaction with the videos I could see they had retained much of what they learned. However, I did find some of the online quiz questions to be a bit difficult for elementary students.

My overall thoughts... as you'll see below, I have a fairly equal listing of pros and cons.  I found some aspects of Zane great and others a bit lack luster.  I see the value in using the videos as supplements in our homeschool.  When introducing new topics, I'll definitely check out the video library to see if anything aligns with our content and add them to our study resources.  I do foresee our continued inclusion of Zane videos intermittently throughout the year.
  • Videos can be viewed by the entire family
  • Large selection of videos to choose from
  • Website is user-friendly, well-organized, and easy to navigate.
  • Videos download quickly
  • Length of video is clearly shown
  • Subtitles are a nice feature
  • Thorough and complete education guides available
  • Video is a term I'd use loosely... think Power Point
  • Reminiscent of filmstrips from days gone by
  • Unable to resize video to be full screen
  • Some of the videos were narrated by what I'd consider a droning voice
  • Videos have inoperable buttons in the corner... they appear as if they should have a function but aren't clickable.
  • Secular in nature... really do your homework and follow the guide to avoid exposing your kids to questionable content
You may read what other crew mates are saying about their experiences with Zane Education by clicking the button below.  In addition to reading the reviews, as always, I recommend you do your research and get to know the company before making a purchase.  Consider joining Zane for free and viewing the free video of the day.  Follow the Zane News Blog and connect with Zane Education on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube


Disclosure:  I was provided Gold Membership to the Zane Education site in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. 

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