Review Crew: Zane Education

Photobucket

Zane Education is an online subscription to access over 260 educational videos in many subjects.  The videos are designed to complement any curriculum and to maintain a neutral worldview.  Each video has subtitles, allowing the student to practice reading skills while watching.  The website also contains quizzes and a study center to enhance learning and promote retention of materials.  The study center contains a World Fact Book, Video Glossary, Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedia.

Photobucket

The videos are divided by subject or by grade level (Elementary, Middle School, High School, College, Adult).

What subjects are covered?
Art
Biology
Geography
Health
History
Library Skills
Literature 
Mathematics
Music
Religious Studies
Science
Social Studies

What’s included:
I received a one-year membership subscription to Zane which retails for $197.89.  The membership can also be purchased on a monthly basis for $17.99 per month.  This membership allows access to all videos, quizzes, and study tools.

Subscribers also receive the Learning Video Catalog and Christian Home Study Guide.
The catalog lists all the videos by grade level with a short description of each, including any dates or important people mentioned in the video.  The Christian Home Study Guide is written to help users adapt the material to a Christian worldview and to promote discussions of the material in light of a Christian-based perspective.

Want to know more about the topics included?  You can download a free catalog at this link to view the video topics included in a subscription.

How we used the product:
I searched through the catalog of videos to find some that complimented our current studies.  The kids watched some videos about ancient Egypt and Greece.  I also let them choose videos on other topics and they chose many science and music history videos.

The kids only watched videos in the elementary section of the website.  However, I checked out a few of the middle school and high school videos to have a better understanding of what’s included in the program.

Cons:
Of the elementary videos that my kids watched, many were not actual videos but rather slides or still pictures with narration.


The videos do present the theory of evolution rather than remaining neutral regarding the origin of life.

Many of the elementary videos have cartoonish characters and scenarios that seemed very childish.  Several of them were very outdated and looked more like cartoons from the 80’s or before.  Rather than using actual pictures of real objects or people, cartoon representations were used in many cases.

The math videos are actually from Khan Academy and not specific to the Zane site (these videos are free for non-subscribers in addition to members).

Pros:
The subtitles are an excellent tool to promote reading and are especially helpful if the audio is not clear.


The video learning format is beneficial for visual learners.  The broad range of videos allows the teacher to supplement current studies.

Overall:
I was not very impressed with the quality of the videos.  I found the cartoons to be condescending and dated.  In addition, the lack of real-life pictures was disappointing.  I was also disappointed that many of the videos are not actual videos-just slide shows of pictures with audio and text.


I was not expecting the program to contain evolutionary ideas because the website said the company tried to remain neutral in regard to religion.  I mistakenly thought that neither evolution nor creation would be discussed and that I would be able to insert our viewpoints when needed.  I did not realize that I needed to preview videos, and I felt I should be present when the kids watched each video so I would be ready to discuss content with them.

The kids enjoyed a few of the videos but complained multiple times that they were not “real videos” but were “just old pictures.”  The videos did not maintain their interest long.  Curly did not enjoy completing the quizzes and was uninterested in exploring the video topics further after she watched them.

In our home, I think I would prefer videos with a worldview more in line with ours while my kids are still young and impressionable.  I would also choose videos with actual pictures of the live objects rather than cartoon versions.  I don’t think Zane Education is quite the right fit for our home and our belief system. 

NoteI did want to add a short warning to anyone interested in this program.  I watched multiple videos from the older levels.  The program contains a health education section which discusses reproduction and childbirth.  The videos are geared toward teens and depicts numerous stories of unwed pregnant teens.  Graphic childbirth videos are shown.  Any parent using these videos should be aware of this content.

Coupon Code:
Want to subscribe to Zane and save?
Zane Education is offering a 35% discount on any of the one-year memberships.  Just enter code ZE553HSM at checkout until the end of August 2012.

For more information on Zane check out their Facebook page.

See what other Crew members thought about Zane Education here!

Photobucket

Disclaimer:  I received a free one-year membership to Zane Education in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge