There has been some buzz going around on my campus about an educational website called Educator.com. Supposedly, a lot of students are using it to help them prepare for exams, especially in the math and science departments. After overhearing two students talk to each other about how helpful the videos had been for them last semester, I decided to check it out for myself.
Educator.com claims to be #1 in providing trusted online educational courses to high school, college, and professional students. There are a lot of companies that make the same claim, but when the website’s homepage came up and I looked at all the classes offered, I immediately saw why they might be right. Educator.com works with top teachers to provide in-depth video lectures, detailed lecture notes, thorough explanations of problems, and answer students’ questions in class forums at the bottom of the page.
Last year, I paid for private tutoring for my daughter when she was having trouble in her chemistry class. You never really know what you’re going to get with tutoring services, you have to wait around for someone to come to your home, and the rates can be very expensive. I would have much rather had her sit down at her computer with a private one-on-one teacher, who is also one of the nation’s top professors. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
As I mentioned in a previous review, a few months ago I signed my daughter Abigail up for Brightstorm’s SAT prep videos. Things were going well for a while, she watched a few of them, but I don’t think either one of us were all that impressed. I especially thought I could get a better deal elsewhere. I have since canceled that subscription and am considering signing her up for Educator.com. Here’s why:
– There are choices when it comes to subscriptions. Not every family is the same and we need options. I love that I can choose between a 12 month, 6 month, and 1 month plan. Since Abigail has half the school year left, I decided to go with the 6 month plan at only 25 dollars a month. You pay upfront and then you get unlimited use of the service. Great deal, especially since she’ll get complete complete access to all the other videos on the site in addition to the SAT prep. Educator.com even provides their service for free to school districts who want to use it in their curriculum.
– There are over 60 courses. Each professor provides a full curriculum of an entire course, which is very similar to what you would get at a college. These courses are comprised of video lectures along with interactive notes and slides. Abigail will probably get the most use out of are in the extensive AP section, SAT section, math section, and the QuickNotes at the end of each video.
– The environment for learning on the site is very professional. The video quality is great, there are no distractions, and I could tell after watching only one or two free videos that they are professionally produced. I’ve seen other sites where it is very clear that the teacher simply set up a tripod and a camera in her homemade studio. Presentation is everything and Educator.com definitely gets points in this area. My daughter and I both found the artistic black and white format and crystal clear sound pleasing to watch and listen to.
Here’s some video footage to give you an idea!
– The professors on the site are also very articulate and knowledgeable about their subject. Many are a bit older, but that probably means they have advanced degrees, publications, and many years of teaching in their field. There’s also younger instructors that are definitely more upbeat (SAT especially). And maybe other people don’t care about this, but they are all wearing suits and/or formal attire while delivering their introduction lectures. They then wear a uniform polo in other lessons. I always show up for a class I’m teaching dressed professionally or in a suit because I believe it sets the tone for the lecture and creates an environment suitable for effective learning.
– Another great feature is the fact that you can search for literally any aspect of course. The video will instantly skip to the section. Let’s say you’re a software programmer and you’re watching a video on Ruby coding and you only really need to study Class Instance Variables. You can click or type in what you need to study and the lecture will skip right to it. I found the navigational tools on the videos very easy to use and the site very user friendly.
– I also wrote an email to their customer service center because I wanted more information about the subscription packages and they responded within 24hours. Hi Tiffany!
– There are many things I like about the site, but more than anything I like the types of subjects offered. There is a Language Arts and Music section, as well as, all the sciences. Professionals and college students who are studying very specific topics such as Adobe Photoshop, ProTools, or HTML can look through the software training and computer science to find a wide variety of courses that are very difficult to find elsewhere.
– Although the colors are vibrant, I did feel like the homepage was very cluttered and overwhelming. There is a lot going on in such a small space. For someone older, like me, it may be challenging to read the small font.
– The ‘Start Learning” button could be larger because it look me a while to figure out how to sign up and where to go to find the prices. I had to call Abigail over and ask her to locate it for me!
– I would say the drop down menus on the homepage that show a list of the instructors and their courses is probably my least favorite part of the website. When you scroll over it, it instantly starts coming down in a weird accordion style that hurts my eyes and gives me a headache.
– Also, although many of the professors are highly educated, not all of them are watchable for long periods of time. And according to my daughter, some of the videos are boring (but I think she just hates learning no matter who’s teaching.)
– I just want to remind any future users that Educator.com is a reoccurring service. I had some questions at first, which I put in an email to their customer service center. The FAQ and Terms and Conditions page makes the billing parameters very clear. Since I wanted the 6-month, I quickly realized it was an up-front payment and not really $25/month.
– If you’re like my wife and prefer using an Ipad to watch things on the Internet, then you’ll have to go to the FAQ page and download the app in order to watch the lecture videos on Educator.com. Unfortunately, there is no IOS support on the site yet.
Overall, Educator.com is a great learning tool for any student or adult professional who is serious about learning and wants to get the most bang for their buck. There are certainly some very engaging professors on the site, but depending on your stimulation needs, you may not be highly entertained. If nothing else, you’ll definitely learn the facts (as well as some figures) from the nation’s brightest minds. I think Abigail will benefit from at least 6 months of use and I feel confident knowing that by subscribing to Educator.com, I’ll be subscribing her to success. Eductaor.com is essentially college level courses online. When you think about how much it costs to attend and succeed at a four year university, paying for a year’s subscription on Educator.com is well worth the money.