O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Psalms 43:3

And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. D&C 88:118

The kids

The kids

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zane Education: Schoolhouse Review


Zane Education is a subscription website with literally thousands of educational videos covering topics from Art to Zoology and elementary to adult levels. For a complete list of videos available, a pdf is available under Video Catalouge. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was blessed with a 1 year Gold subscription to Zane Education. The Gold Subscription includes access to all videos, quizzes, reference tools, Zane Learning Catalogue, and Christian Home Learning Guide and costs $197.89 per year. Through the end of August 2012, Zane is offering a 35% discount to my blog readers for any Gold, Silver or Bronze 12-month membership. Use the code ZE784HSM at checkout (case sensitive). 

Zane Education is not a new company. They have been around for many years. Many of their videos have been used in schools and home markets since 1989. Zane has taken all of the videos created over the years and compiled them into Flash videos on one website to allow for better compatibility with changing operating systems and computers. Zane works with tablets which support Flash as well. I received word from the Director of the company that one of the projects currently being undertaken is to convert all videos to MPEG4 in order to accommodate iPad users. 

There are many things that set Zane apart from other educational videos. One is the lack of cartoon animation. Another is the "Missing Piece," or subtitles. The inclusion of subtitles helps make these videos accessible to all students. By reading along with the voice over, the student is using more senses to learn and becomes more engaged. More information on why Zane uses subtitles can be found here.

When a video is selected, the page redirects to the video page. The page includes a short summary about what will be learning in the video as well as a list of learning objectives. The video appears to have clickable buttons within it, but these have been disabled. Instead, the glossary is found to the right of the video in the Video Learning Tools menu. There is also a downloadable Lesson Plan Guide as well as the online quiz for the video or video collection if it is part of a series of videos. During the video, the student will notice highlighted words in various colors. These words are found in the Video Word Glossary. Following the video (usually a series of videos in a given topic), the student can click on the online quiz to test his comprehension. After each quiz, the student is shown all correct and incorrect answers as well as an explanation of the correct answers. These results are not maintained by the website, although they can be printed if desired. 

There are some videos which are not appropriate for younger children, namely those in the sex education category. Also, some videos do contain some evolutionary content. As with all videos, it is a good idea to preview materials before turning children lose on them.

The first thing I noticed about some of the videos was that some of the voices seemed like voices I heard on cartoons and videos as a child. Some of the pictures likewise appeared to be more vintage. In a day and age where everything flashes and voices talk so fast, I appreciate the slower more soothing pace of the videos. Many are not live action video but are pictures with voice over, appropriate music, and subtitles. It was after noticing these characteristics that I discovered that Zane has had a history in the educational market. My children tend to really enjoy the older cartoons and really liked the pace of the videos on Zane. They also liked the voices.There are some live-action videos as well. I did find it odd that there were buttons on the videos that appeared clickable which were not. I also was a little disappointed that I couldn't make the videos any larger. Overall, we loved Zane Education videos. All of the children enjoyed watching videos. We watched videos on music, botany, history, and music to name a few. Butterfly also really wanted to take some of the quizzes. Although many of the videos are labeled as middle school or higher, we didn't limit ourselves to elementary school videos only and the children did fine with the higher grade videos.

With its large breadth of subjects and levels, Zane dovetails beautifully as an enrichment tool to any curriculum or method. It was wonderful to do a quick search for various topics we came across in our school time to watch a short video on Zane. I highly recommend these videos.

Be sure to find out what the other Crew Members thought by clicking the banner below.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

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