Monday, October 8, 2012

Zane Education

I was recently given the opportunity to explore Zane Education.  They gave me a 12 month Gold membership and in return, I will give you all a little insight on what Zane has to offer.  So- here goes!  And stay tuned to the bottom- there's a GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

I've seen educational video websites before, but what is unique about Zane is that each of it's videos contains subtitles.  This is handy for 3 reasons:

1.  It helps my ESL students make relationships between the spoken word and the written word.
2.  It helps all my Kinders increase their reading and literacy skills by seeing the words being spoken.
3.  The subtitles highlight key words (potential vocab words) in the subject being shown.

It is interesting to watch my students watch a Zane video- I notice that they follow the subtitles more than they do the picture.

Zane also offers free lesson plans to go with their videos.  These Lesson Plans are provided for each topic and are important because they provide additional activities to use in conjunction with the video to reinforce the learning of the topic. They also list those words highlighted in the subtitles.

Here are 2 things I'd change about Zane:
1: The videos look a little dated.  They are not animated.  They are still pictures- it's like you are flipping through the pages of a book.  This can be a good thing, however.  I think it increases the student's likelihood that they will follow the words instead of focusing on the picture.
2: The video itself can't be enlarged to full screen and there are buttons in the movie on the right hand side that aren't click-able.  You just have to tune them out :) (Edit- after further review:  They can be enlarged by going into your Control Panel and reducing your screen resolution size which is a 30 second job. The reason why this is so important is because those buttons on the video have been replaced by the interactive study tools located in the right hand colums beside the video - on each video page. This enables students to simply pause the video, then use those study tools to explore the topic further - especially those important highlighted words in the video subtitles (which are important to learning that topic). This then enables students to then return to the video without having to search for where they were when they stopped the video. Previously those buttons on the screen required them to completely go to a different page, which meant losing their place in the video.)

Here's what I like about Zane:
1.  I do like how the videos are categorized.  I can easily click a subject area, grade level, or format option to help narrow my search.

2. Quizzes:  These are helpful because you can take them before to see if you even need to teach that skill/watch that video and after you watch the video to check for understanding.  At the end of the quiz, it gives you the results as well as walks you through each question you missed- stating the right answer.  It doesn't just give you correct/incorrect feedback- it gives useful info to extend the learning.  I can see using this as a whole group instruction tool on a projector- answer the questions together and then discuss the missed questions as a whole group.

3. I also like that each video is only about 10 minutes long or less- so it doesn't take up all my class time.  I can teach the lesson, re-enforce the info with a Zane video, quiz using a Zane quiz, and then reteach anything that is still confusing to them. The science videos have been, by far, the ones I've used most.

4.  There are no advertisements to hassle with- it takes you straight to the video.

5.  The support that comes with a Zane membership is unbelieveable.  If I contact Zane, I hear from them within 24 hours (most of the time it's actually less than that)!

Thank you, Zane, for allowing me the opportunity to review your site!  Now, here's the fun part! 

Zane is GIVING AWAY a FREE membership to one lucky winner.  Just use the rafflecopter below to enter!  I'll announce the winner on Friday.  Good luck!

And if you aren't the lucky winner, Zane is offering all my readers a percentage off coupon code on your membership. Stay tuned for the coupon code- it will be released with the announcement of the winner on Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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