Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online Review

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online.

My family has always had a love for science. We love doing science experiments at home and love learning about the world around us out in the field. The more interactive and hands on it is the more my kids love doing it. Ever since my children were very, very little they have been extremely inquisitive. My kids love to explore everything and find the answers.

I believe that teaching science is very important. It helps us unlock the mysteries of practically everything. Visual Learning Systems is an online based educational science publisher that has top of the line visual curriculum from kindergarten though twelfth grade. We have been given the chance to use both their Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) and Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12) if we wanted to.  We also have access to ALL the levels with Admin, Teacher, and Student accounts for a full year. For this review I have already used it for 3 days per week for 6 weeks with my children. This curriculum is great for teachers in public school as well as homeschooling parents.

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online full screened video.

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online is an annual K-12 digital subscription online to a vast variety of visual tools for science education. This wonderful media includes: videos, animations, images, and activities. The videos are a wonderful visual aid. The live action footage from all over the world on these videos is colorful and engaging. Chapter video clips are indexed within the lesson. You can either play them individually or play all. If you choose to play all they will be about 10-20 minutes long per unit study or lesson. You can make the video full screen too. They have vocabulary words that show up on the screen to go along with the lessons. A video review quiz follows each video and there are "you decide" questions throughout the program. This can be paired with the worksheets in the teacher's guide section or just done aloud with your student. The animations are easily accessed within the videos or all on their own by clicking the tab. In the images tab their are images that are annotated to give you more information. These also are in the video as well. The resources for the student/teacher include: printable worksheets, lab activities, vocabulary exercises, reading activities, assessments, quizzes, and tests.

Vocabulary words to go along with the program show up from time to time.

Teela answering the question asked in the trees video for Life Science.

Navigation is pretty simple. Once you are logged in you can see that the lessons are categorized into subjects and grade level along the bottom left hand side for easy access. Once you click a grade level then you may also pick a subject. Under each subject there are lesson titles which show up in the mid-bottom part of your screen. Above those there is a search bar to search for keywords in their database. Up at the top will be the lesson title you have picked and the clickable links to the videos, animations, images, and teacher's guides off to the right. Under those you will see chapter video clips within the lesson that you can either play individually or click to play all. If you click on the teacher's guides it will give you how to introduce the video to the student, student activities, learning objective list, and the video script. This whole program makes for a wonderful well rounded science curriculum.

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition is geared to grades kindergarten through 5th. These lessons are split into two grade groups: Primary (K-2) and Elementary (3-5). My daughter Teela is six, going on seven in April and fits comfortably within the primary grades (K-2) under this edition. I don't have any children that fall into the grade group for elementary grades (3-5) right now.

Teela working on a tree worksheet for Life Science.

Teela worked through the Life Science units of study in the primary Elementary Edition section. We didn't want to skip around too much, but this subject interested my daughter the most and because it is Spring time I thought it was fitting to start there. The other science education subjects that are in this are Physical Science, Earth Science, and Health. We will be working through these at a later time, but I still wanted to mention them. The elementary grade level of this edition has Physical Science, Earth Science, and Life Science, but no Health.

Teela had lots of fun learning the lessons in Life Science. She learned about life cycles, food chains, classification and grouping, plants, trees, and specific groups of animals, etc. She loved the videos which were so informative and doing the worksheets too. We had her do a lesson per day, 3 days per week, for 6 weeks. This had her completely done with Life Science by the allotted time that I had to do this review. She said that her favorites were learning about the parts of the plant, about the rings on a tree, and the life cycle of a butterfly.

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition

Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition is geared to grades 6th through 12th (middle/high school). My oldest son Delbin is 14 and his younger brother Jaedan is 12, going on 13 in May and they both fit comfortably within this edition. Besides Physical Science, Earth Science, Life Science, and  Health the secondary studies have Integrated Science and Biology. We have not started this with my boys yet, a lot of this for them is refresher. I do know they will also love it though and plan to have them do it in upcoming months.

I love that this is so accessible to so many. This is available for subscribers 24/7 as well as seven days a week for the student, teacher, and/or parent. It is also accessible to so many different platforms. You can use it on digital whiteboards, LCD projectors, iPads, handheld devices, and all computers. This integrates with all networks and no servers or software is needed. You can also have closed-captioned on for the visually impaired.

This whole program works really well for us and so far we absolutely love it. I can't wait to dive into more of the lessons with more of my kids.

Pricing:

$.90 per student (minimum $300/year). They have multi-campus discounts as well. Also, homeschool pricing is available for $99 per edition (elementary or secondary), up to 8 students.
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