Sunday, October 19, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate Online Learning Review

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

Standard Deviants Accelerate was created by the brilliant minds at Cerebellum Corporation, an educational company that has been producing and distributing a plethora of educational resources since the days of VHS tapes (shh we still have a bunch of these archaic things). Over the years Standard Deviants has enhanced and modified their resources in order to keep up to date with the latest technological advances. Their latest advance is an online interactive educational website which offers a full years worth of curriculum supplement and test prep for 3rd through 12th grade (and even adults).

A moms review:
For the purpose of this review we received a 1 year subscription to all of the Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses. Both of my children ages 7 and 8 have been utilizing several of the courses, even the ones meant for older grade levels, over the last several weeks. Since we unschool I feel very strongly about letting the children make their own choices on what they wish to learn about, regardless of age and grade level recommendations. I was a little apprehensive about them doing the higher grade level courses in Standard Deviants, but to my surprise they did extremely well and easily comprehended the information being taught. And most importantly they loved doing the online courses. Since the children were interested in DNA, the human body, weather and slavery we decided to utilize the US History, Biology, Earth Science and Nutrition courses.  I also had the children try the Arithmetic course. 

Program overview:
Standard Deviants is unlike any other online educational teaching tool we have utilized before. The program includes RTI Alerts, Differentiated Instruction, automatic grading, streaming videos, a variety of activities and more. With Standard Deviants children ages 8-adult can learn a variety of subjects through online video and written transcripts which teach in a way that is fun and interesting. 

Course Options:
  • Arithmetic - Grades 3+
  • Fundamental Math - Grades 4+
  • Earth Science - Grades 6+
  • Nutrition - Grades 6+
  • Algebra - Grades 7+
  • Biology - Grades 7+
  • Chemistry - Grades 9+
  • English Comp. - Grades 9+
  • U.S. History - Grades 9+
  • AP Biolody - Grades 11+
  • AP Chemistry - Grades 11+
  • AP U.S. Government & Politics - Grades 11+
  • AP U.S. History - Grades 11+
  • AP Eng. Composition - Grades 11+

The information in each of the course chapters is given in bite sized pieces and a mini module takes on average around 15-30 minutes. Children are able to read a transcript of the lesson or watch and listen to it being taught by a variety of very humorous instructors (who are young adults) through a fun, engaging video. After children complete the course lesson they are then tested to make sure they retained the information. There are drag and drop diagrams, assessment tests and written answer questions to enhance critical thinking skills. There is also a vocabulary review which can be read or listened to.

The Standard Deviant courses can be utilized on any device that has internet access so that means it will work on a tablet, computer or other mobile device. 

Student portal:
The student portal is easy to navigate and my children could easy find their courses, topics, videos and quizzes on their own after being shown just once. The only thing the children need some assistance on was reading the quiz questions and answers to them. The great thing about the courses is that they are self paced and you can jump around the chapters as you wish. 

Each course subject is broken down the same and includes several chapter modules, and a subject review. Within each chapter module there is an intro, several mini modules and a chapter review. The mini modules are really easy to navigate and contain 5 tabs at the top for accessing the video/transcript, vocab, diagram, quiz and written answer. Under each video is a box where children can take notes as they listen and then save them to their "locker" or print them.

If a child is working more independently and has a question about something in the course content they can click a button on the right side of the screen that says "SOS." A little window will pop out where children can type a quick note to their parent/teacher.

The only minor issue we encountered with the student portal was that it doesn't keep track of what modules and mini modules you have completed on the main menu, which would be helpful. You are able to see that you have completed a mini module once you click on it and view the diagram or quiz tabs which will show your previous attempts. And of course you can go into reports as well. To help us with this minor issue I simply printed the course module list and we would cross off the modules that the children completed to help us keep track.

Parent portal:
The parent portal is also very easy to use and allows parents/teachers to read reports, view progress and more. Though most of the grading is done automatically, parents/teachers can provide inupt as needed by customizing the one-click rubrics.  Setting up my children's courses was really easy, though it was a little time consuming because I had to set up each course individually

Seeing is believing:

Additional details on courses:
Since my children did utilize so many courses I am not going to talk about each one, but I did want to highlights a couple of them.

Gwyn has really been into DNA lately so we focused on the DNA and genetic sections of the biology course. This course was fabulous and even I picked up some things I didn't know. The course covers everything from the cell to the ecosystem. SDA Biology teaches students the stuff that life is made of and shows them how it all interconnects. Topics include heredity, DNA technology, human physiology, and more. We are still working through some of the modules in this course but did complete the Molecules and Cells, Heredity & Inheritance and Molecular Genetics modules. The course has been a great supplement to our DNA strand kit and library books on DNA.            

Earth Science:
Space and weather are always popular topics in our home so the children wanted to give the modules on these topics a try. The weather module was a huge hit. In this course children learn all about the drama that Earth has got going on from the solar system to earthquakes. The course was a great way kick off the Fall season. 

FREE stuff:
Standard Deviants Accelerate offers a FREE 6 month trial subscription.

Wrap up:
Standard Deviants is a fabulous online teaching resource that can be utilized in a classroom setting, media lab, public library or homeschool environment. All course material is secular and non-religious. It works well with any homeschool style and it makes a great supplemental or even full curriculum. Standard Deviants offers affordability, flexibility and most importantly fun learning. The Standard Deviants accelerated learning program is interactive and multi-sensory so it's great for all learning styles (auditory, visual and kinesthetic). I highly recommend Standard Deviants. 

Gwyns review (8 yrs old):
I really like the courses and learned a lot for the videos. I even did really well on many of the exams. I think the videos are funny and I like the cartoon graphics. I do the courses a few times a week.

Links to follow:
-Standard Deviants Facebook
Standard Deviants Twitter
-Standard Deviants Pinterest
-Standard Deviants Google +

Where to buy:
Standard Deviants Accelerate is $99 per subject for a one year subscription (1 student, 1 teacher), or $24.95 per month. AP Courses are also available for $14.95 per month (1 student, 1 teacher, 1 subject).

Click here for more Standard Deviants Accelerates reviews from the The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Click to read Crew Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please check the follow up box so you can receive my replies.

Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs