Monday, February 07, 2011

VocabAhead ~ TOS Review

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Having a high school student is quite challenging to say the least. Some days I wonder if I am doing it “right” or will he be at a disadvantage for college. In my heart I know he will be fine as anything we “miss” he will learn in college, but first he has to get there. If he does well on his ACT/SAT exams he will have many more doors open to him. VocabAhead vocabulary videos is one way I can ensure I am doing my best to prepare him for what to expect on those exams.
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Contained on a single DVD-Rom are over 1000 Vocabulary Videos & MP3s for SAT words. Each video plays audio that states the word meaning, uses it in a sentence and then repeats the word and a briefer definition. While listening to the audio you are shown the written definition, a still cartoon depicting the word in action, the written word, and the part of speech. The audio can then be loaded onto a MP3 player for portable review. VocabAhead also sells a book containing the 300 most common SAT words.
We were having some trouble with our video players on the computer and I do not have an MP3 player so not sure how well that works. However, I did find if I used Quicktime then the videos played just fine. I do wish the words were divided up into sections not just one big long alphabetical list because I found we would lose track of where we left off. I could have just wrote down where we left off each day but that means another thing I had to track.
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The most valuable part of VocabAhead for me was the website itself. It is very well put together and easy as pie to use. There are, of course, the videos, but there is so much more. Our favorite place to visit was the Study Room. From the site:
“A Groundbreaking system for Vocabulary building through an innovative interface! Study Room makes it fun and easy to build Vocabulary for SAT, GRE and ACT words. Whether you create your own word lists or share your lists with your friends or students, this clean innovative interface makes all tasks easy! Frequently Test yourself by taking Quizzes and use Flash Cards for a quick review.”
You would have to register to use the personal word list and shared word lists. Relatively little info needed and FREE! This enables you to create a personalized list and share that list with others.
studyroomquiz The other features are the word list, teacher tips, and best of all in my opinion the iPhone Apps. Being visual myself the MP3’s wouldn’t help much but the videos on my iPhone would. I love seeing a company using innovative ideas to reach our kids with good products.

One word of caution to those with sensitive children, some of the cartoon images may need to be pre-viewed as a few are pretty worldly and cruel looking (amorous, licentious, abase). If you look at the word list first it gives you an idea of what image may be used to depict it.
Overall I really liked this program and plan on using it for my children. Even my 8 y/o son liked watching the videos and would remember some of the words. It was fun for me to take the quizzes and see how many definitions I actually knew, but then again maybe I am just weird like that!
Both the book and DVD-Rom are available at Amazon.com
Swing on by the TOSCrew to see how other families benefitted from this innovative product.
Mandy
Disclosure: I was given a copy of the above free in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

VocabAhead said...

Hi, Mrs. Mandy,
Thank you for reviewing our DVD. We are surprised that it did not work on the video player on your PC. May I ask which player you were using? This DVD is compatible with most players like Windows Media Player etc. For resolving the issue of sorting the files, please refer to our post here: http://homeschoolblogger.com/vocabahead/?p=3
You are absolutely correct that children 8 yrs of age should not be exposed to some words in the DVD. I am sure you also realize that this DVD is catering to SAT level High School students. Our books and DVDs for younger students will be available soon too. :)
Let us know if you have any further questions by posting a comment or sending an email to admin[at]vocabahead.com
Thank you once again! We are glad you found our website useful!
Faiza

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