Thursday, September 15, 2011

BigIQKids review: online supplemental learning



Have you tried BigIQkids ?  For the last month we have been working in BigIQkids with both boys.
What is BigIQkids ?  BigIQkids is an online learning environment what rewards kids for finishing their lessons with access to fun games.
That is a very simplified description of the program. There aren't a ton of bells and whistles to this program. It is easy to use , easy to navigate, and fun for the kids. It was also very easy to adapt to each of the boys' level.

PhotobucketFor Nathan, we used the spelling program in the premium account set to the lower level. Each week he would get a new set of words and "Jake" one of the automated voice characters talked Nathan through the word list and various activities in the spelling section. The spelling program was very comprehensive , touching on definitions, pronunciation, and repetition.  During the final quiz if a words was missed the student is asked to pause and write that word down 3 times. The quiz is also set to retest until 100% is achieved.  While we don't use the same method at our classroom setting the computer setting works well for that goal.  The program also sent me an email report of successes and progress.

For Cameron we focused more on the Math section. I was able to adjust the number of problems and the areas we were working on as well as the percentage of various types of problems. In Cameron's case I set the program at 75% addition and 25% multiplication to match our math curriculum.  I also set the number of problems to 16 so he would do 12 addition problems and 5 multiplication problems. This seemed to be a good balance for him as BigIQkids was not a daily activity but 2 or 3 times a week. The math section became a quiz for him which helped us work on his test anxiety issues.   I would have liked to have seen some other math activities for him to work on other than just simple quizzes.  But overall the program was a good supplemental environment for us and gave him the opportunity to earn game coins and play games in a fun educational environment.

PhotobucketOne area of the program the boys both enjoyed was the BigIQ Buddy. After earning 2 game coins the student can create and personalize their own Buddy to reflect their personality. My boys actually changed up their Buddy a couple of times during the month. They understood it cost them 2 game coins each time but that didn't seem to bother them, it was just something fun for them to do..

PhotobucketWe did use the geography section of the program a couple of times but the boys didn't seem to engage with it as well as the other sections of the programs. I'm not sure if it was because they figured it out rather quickly or what but the boys would rather work on the Math or Spelling than the Geography/ State section. As a Mom I did like the various activities within the State Program but decided it wasn't worth the battle to make the boys do it; definitely one of those choose your battle moments.

Cameron and I talked about the program this afternoon as I was getting ready to write this post and I asked him what were some of your favorite parts of the program. He of course talked about the games section. That lead to questions about the various games and he compared the games to the online gaming community he plays on. That to me speaks tons, if an educational site and it's games can compare to a gaming community then it is a hit.

The price is also a concern for me, one of the best parts of BigIQkids is their free version. The free version is comprehensive and includes Spelling and Math program The premium version includes Spelling junior,  the Buddy, and the Geography sections. The cost of the premium versions are set up for individual or classroom settings and range from $7.99 for a month of premium Spelling Junior to $149.99 for a year of classroom interactive Math.  If you would like to see a price chart or a comparison of the basic versus premium there is a page on BigIQkids that details it out.

You can also connect withBigIQkids on twitter.

**We received a subscription to BigIQkids as a member of the Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for our review. All opinions are ours and no other monetary compensation was received.***

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