Zane Education is a subscription website offering online educational video for schools and homeschools. The site is filled with more than 2500 educational videos, on 11 different subjects and 260+ K-12 curriculum topics, with more material being added all the time.
The website is easy to navigate upon logging in, with every video in the collection listed, by subject, on your member account page. Topics are also easily searchable, so that you can see every video available for your current studies. Download a copy of the Curriculum Topic and Video Title Catalogue now to see what’s available for yourself.
As you can imagine, searching through that many videos to find exactly what your’re looking for can be challenging. Thankfully, Zane offers several user guides to help. That’s not all. Zane also houses all of the math videos from Khan Academy to round out the available subjects.
According to their website, homeschools should use Zane Education for the following reasons:
- The essential and ultra-affordable visual learning solution for home education that caters for each learning style.
- Single subscription per family slashes cost to homeschool.
- The Missing Piece enables students to study each topic effectively PLUS improve their reading and literacy skills at the same time.
- Enables each child to study at their own speed, achieve their greatest potential and develop interest in their study.
- Excellent homework help and revision aid and The Modern Tutor’s “Best Friend”
“The audio-visual nature of video – with the addition of subtitles – provides an online learning solution for the widest range of Learning Styles by providing each child with the ability to watch, read, listen to, or read each video presentation – according to their level of ability and preferred learning style. This enables the information to be processed by each child in the manner that most benefits and interests them, and provides the best learning outcome.”
The Videos are composed of mostly still photo slideshows (think pictorial Powerpoint), with audio narration and subtitles. The subtitles are particularly useful for students of ESL or those working on reading and comprehension skills. Sometimes Ben chose to turn off the narration and just read the subtitles himself. Especially, if he was going back over the video, looking for the answers to a question he could not remember. Since our focus this summer has been on our state history and the Civil War, these are the videos we spent the most time watching. I did take a peak at a few of the videos listed under the topics of Science and Religious Studies as well.
Videos are not all you get with Zane . . .
Online Quizzes are available for “units” of videos, not individual videos. I actually like that there isn’t a quiz for each video and so does Ben. The big plus with that is that he must retain information from several videos in order to do well on the quizzes. The quizzes are about 20 questions and multiple choice. Not necessarily my favorite way to test retention, but Ben didn’t mind taking them.
The Study Center is composed of several online resources, within the Zane site, for research — The World Fact Book (world maps, flags, time zones), Video Glossary (searchable defininitions of words found in the videos), Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, and Zane’s own Educational Publications, including my very favorite resource of all, The Christian Home Learning Guide.
The Christian Home Learning Guide: is a 400+-page ebook companion to the Zane video titles and “A Biblical Plan for Godlly Education.” This book is phenomenal. I love this book! It takes you on a tour of history from a Biblical Worldview, stopping to suggest additional reading, Biblical references, and video suggestions along the way. It also includes art, literature, music, science, mythology, and religious studies in sections it refers to as “Academic Disciplines That Manifest God’s Principles.” It ends with original source documents, as well as a few other documents that are necessary to have handy in a Christian homeschool. I love this book. Did I say that already?
I suggest that this guide is necessary for the Christian homeschool family using Zane. While Zane does claim that “all topics conform to the basic principles of Christian teaching,” there are science videos with evolutionary content that many Christian homeschools (including ours) will find objectionable. This guide will help steer you away from these videos. There are also videos that would not necessarily be age-appropriate for your younger students, in the area of sex education. Just like with anything you are using with any of your students, previewing the videos is always a good idea.
There are many other user guides you may find helpful. There are many for Special Needs students — ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Giftedness, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, among others. There are also guides for ESL, reading difficulties, and guides for the student, parent, and tutor.
One more awesome resource to tell you about are the Lesson Plan Guides, which include review questions, vocabulary words, questions for discussion and debate, and research and essay assignments. I printed these for Ben to follow-up with after watching the videos. In fact, I usually gave them to him before watching the video, so he would have an idea of what information he needed to be focused on. These are super handy to have.
Zane Education offers several pricing structures. For this review, we received their most complete package –Gold. It includes access to all of the site, as well as the downloadable resources, like The Christian Home Learning Guide. This subscription is priced at $17.99 per month, or $197.89 for 12 months (one month free). There are options for subscribing to either grade level videos (Silver –$12.99/month or $142.89/yr), individual subjects (Bronze — $8.99/mo or $98.89/yr), or individual topics (Topic Taster — $5/mo) for a lesser price.
Zane offers a free membership as well, which includes demo videos, the math videos from Khan Academy, some of the user guides, the downloadable lesson plans. Zane’s Facebook page is one of the most active I’ve ever seen and managed by Zane Education moms all over the world. They frequently post a free video each day.
Overall, I have found Zane Education to be a beneficial addition to our homeschool. Ben is an auditory learner, so this style of learning meshes well with his. He found the videos fun and interesting. I found them to be informative, the narration pleasant to listen to, and again, the additional teacher resources are very helpful to make using this method of learning more well-rounded. While I don’t imagine we would use Zane (or any other video schooling method) solely in our homeschool, I think you easily could. And we certainly look forward to using this resource as a much-welcomed addition.
A hearty thank-you to Zane Education for the opportunity to do this review, and the generous gift of a one-year Gold Membership. We will use it well!
To see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about Zane Education . . .
Don’t miss a thing! Like Ben and Me on Facebook!