Virtual Nerd: Algebra & Physics Tutoring On Demand (w. Samsung BluRay giveaway)

December 1, 2010 66 Comments »
Virtual Nerd: Algebra & Physics Tutoring On Demand (w. Samsung BluRay giveaway)

First quarter report cards are in and the end of the semester is quickly approaching which might cause panic as students (and parents!) seek ways to raise grades in core classes whose grades are critical for graduation.  

I was one of the panicked teens who labored through algebra 1 freshman year.  My concrete brain didn’t get concepts like exponential functions, line equations, and factoring polynomials that were explained in class.  I was frustrated by my grades and embarrassed that I needed a tutor. 

What I didn’t know then is that my very visual brain needed to see the concepts drawn out repeatedly in order for them to sink in.  50 minutes of class was barely enough time for the teacher to get through the concepts and left no time for questions.  In short, the lecture style didn’t match my learning style and I really could have benefitted from Virtual Nerd had there been such a thing called the internet when I was in high school.
About Virtual Nerd
Virtual Nerd is an online subscription service founded by professional tutors Leo Shmuylovich and Josh Salcman, that provides access to hundreds of interactive step-by-step math and science video tutorials for struggling students in grades 7-12.  The site is like having access to a professional algebra and physics tutor on demand 24/7 for an unlimited amount of time for the fraction of a cost of the hourly rate of a private tutor.  All you need is the ability to access the internet in order to obtain constant assistance.



Benefits of Virtual Nerd
Studies have proven that there is not just one way to learn.  With today’s kids being incredibly tech-savvy and connected to the online world that constantly provides a wealth of multimedia, they need a platform that enhances traditional methods of studying and learning. Virtual Nerd uses video, multimedia and creative interactive features to engage busy high school students. The interactive site is easy to use and allows students to control the pace and amount of detail in each lesson to effectively learn concepts—not just find answers.
Since Virtual Nerd is web based, all you’ll need is a computer with internet access and the ability to play Flash videos.  Don’t worry too much about Flash- if you can watch YouTube videos, you’re probably good to go!
Virtual Nerd Content
Hundreds of step-by-step tutorials cover all pre-algebra, algebra 1, algebra 2, and intro physics concepts.  For algebra I, there are more than 450 tutorials on the site (the equivalent of about 18 hours worth of lessons) and more than 15,000 step-by-step graphics for this topic. Chemistry, pre-calculus and calculus tutorials will be on the site in 2011!
Video tutorials correspond to practice problems in textbooks and add another visual component for visual learners such as myself.
Navigating Virtual Nerd
Easy to navigate content can be accessed by clicking on a tab at the top of the page to select pre-algebra, algebra 1, algebra 2, or physics. 

 After clicking on your choice, locate the concept through a keyword search, topic search, or textbook search. 

Each topic is broken down into discrete skills and results are displayed in a list.
 
Clicking on one of the search results will bring up a video tutorial.  
As the virtual tutor explains the concept, step by step directions appear in the bottom right portion of the board, and a diagram is typed in the upper right corner as the virtual tutor is writing on the board.
The tutorial can be started and stopped as often as necessary.  Having someone explain the concept while watching them write it, helps reinforce learning through visual and auditory receptors.
Students can go back to the original search results at any time by clicking on “Back to Search Results” in the upper left corner of the screen.
Additional Features of Virtual Nerd
  • A dynamic whiteboard lets students interact with the tutorials in a whole new way. Every video has its own set of FAQs, and since you can call up new videos whenever you need them – the student is in control. Students can always get the help they need, stay focused, and get plenty of practice at their own pace.
  • Content created and aligned with national math and science standards by staff of educators that includes teachers and tutors. Virtual Nerd’s original content corresponds to textbook problems and concepts from educational publishers such as Prentice Hall, Glencoe, and Holt.

Cost of Virtual Nerd

I know you’re thinking that a service like this must cost a ton of money but here’s the run down on the costs and features:
  • Basic plan- FREE for students and parents.  Yes, free!
  • Premium plan- $49/month for the entire library of tutorials covering all course concepts in pre-algebra, algebra 1, algebra 2, and intro physics, amounting to hundreds of tutorials per subject, in-depth explanations and the ability to drill down to fill any conceptual gap. I think my college-age chemistry tutor charged almost that same price per hour!
  • Educator plan- Free account for use in their classrooms.

Sign up for Virtual Nerd

Signing up for a Virtual Nerd account is simple. Visit the Virtual Nerd site and select the plan you want. I recommend trying the basic plan first and then upgrading as necessary.  As for any site, I love the ability to try before you buy! 

Interested in Virtual Nerd?  Win a SamSung Blu-ray player just for trying it out!

If you are intrigued by Virtual Nerd, give their free basic plan a try and be entered to win a Samsung Blu-ray player courtesy of Virtual Nerd!
To enter, visit the Virtual Nerd site and try out their free basic or premium plan. Then come back and leave a comment on this post about your experience between now and Wednesday, December 15 at 5 pm. Include your email address or Twitter handle so I can contact you when you win!
Extra entries:
  • Post a comment to the Virtual Nerd Facebook page and post a comment below to let me know
  • Follow Virtual Nerd on Twitter and leave a comment so I know you are following them.
  • Daily Tweet: Check out cool online math and science tutorials from @VirtualNerd for chance to win a BluRay Player via @TechSavvyMama: Pls RT Come back here to leave a link to your Tweet.

For more information, view the intro video at the top of this post, or the FAQs on Virtual Nerd’s website.
Fine print: Eligible entries will be accepted until Wednesday, December 15 at 5 pm and must include an email address or Twitter handle. E-mail/Twitter handles must be valid.   Winner must reside within the United States. Prize will not be shipped outside the U.S. or to a P.O. box.  Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama and Virtual Nerd are not responsible for items lost during shipping or delayed shipment.   
Winner will receive Energy Star Qualified Samsung Internet Connectable/WiFi Built in Blu-ray Disc Player model BDC6500XAA, SKU: 9776791 plays DVD and Blu-ray discs with 1080i HD video output, 7.1 analog audio output.  Brand and model of Blu-ray player subject to change.  If item substitution is necessary, a comparable Blu-ray player will be sent.  

I am a paid educational consultant for Virtual Nerd and received complimentary access for consulting purposes.  I was asked to review Virtual Nerd from the perspective of an educator with years of experience with online services as part of my responsibilities.  I was compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.  I wouldn’t work for a company or recommend their service if it wasn’t something I believe in.  Logo, images, and video courtesy of Virtual Nerd.
Thanks for reading Tech Savvy Mama through your feed!

Original post by Tech Savvy Mama
©2012

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66 Comments

  1. Thrifty Blogger December 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I signed up for a free account so my daughter can try it out.

    thriftyblogger@gmail.com

  2. melanie December 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    i signed up and found the process very simple. i am glad to have help available for my daughter and for me when her homework gets beyond what i can remember from my school experience!

    melanie(dot)myatt(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. melanie December 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    i followed virtual tutor on twitter

  4. Molomatic December 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I set up a free account to check it out. Looks fabulous! The videos are helpful and I love all of the info to right + the ability to drill down for more info! So smart, thanks!

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  5. Molomatic December 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    I’m also following Virtual Nerd on Twitter @ molomatic, thanks!

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  6. Molomatic December 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I tweeted, thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/11860169881292800

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  7. jodifur December 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    I signed up, but I had to say I was not a parent because the only parent option but your child in 6th grade or older. And my child is 5. Just an FYI.

  8. jodifur December 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I followed virtual nerd on twitter.

  9. Stimey December 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    I really like that Virtual Nerd has the ability to help kids with more than one learning style. It looks really easy to use too!

  10. Stimey December 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    I also followed them on Twitter.

  11. Sandie December 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Hi there! I signed up because my son is in accelerated math and will probably need this when he’s in 5th grade in a year and a half.

  12. Sandie December 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I also followed Virtual Nerd on Twitter

  13. Sandie December 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm - Reply
  14. Bailey Vincent Clark December 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    I wish that I had virtual nerd back when I was in school! Not only is the name cool (love it), but I think it would be a huge help for almost anyone (except for my 4 year old and 18 month old… they need a Virtual Nanny!) ; ) Thanks for this contest!

  15. Aimee @ Smiling Mama December 9, 2010 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Wow! I have to admit that I avoided math and science as much as possible in HS and college. Even though my son is still too young for this, I have wondered what in the world I will do when he reaches beyond my limit of math/science help. I sure hope virtual nerd is still around in a few years to help him out! I’m going to share this with the parent listserv in our town–I know there are more families who could really use it!

  16. MusingsfromMe/Jill December 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    I signed up for the free account. I’ll let both girls try it out tonight. I have a pre-algebra student and a geometry student. I also passed on the VirtualNerd job listings to our math tutor. She would be perfect for the site!

    JillAnneBerry @ msn . com

  17. MusingsfromMe/Jill December 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I’m following @VirtualNerd

  18. MusingsfromMe/Jill December 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    I liked and posted a comment to VirtualNerd Facebook page.

    JillAnneBerry @ msn .com

  19. Clueless_Mama December 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I went and signed up for the basic plan. My kids are a little young for this program right now, but my sister will love it. It looks very easy and since she homeschools, I know she will love it. Thanks for making me aware of the easy process.

  20. Clueless_Mama December 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I follow VirtualNerd on Twitter now. @clueless_mama Left them a comment

  21. Clueless_Mama December 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm - Reply
  22. Clueless_Mama December 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Liked Virtual Nerd on Facebook and left a comment. Laurie R. Cooper

  23. Molomatic December 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I tweeted, thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/12931832962097152

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  24. Molomatic December 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I also “like” virtual nerd on FB and left a comment on their page (I’m Molly Jorgensen). Thanks!

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  25. Nicole Pelton December 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I signed up, it looks really cool. My kids are a bit young to need a tutor quite yet, and grandpa will be the goto guy :) but I’m betting they will love watching the problems being solved and they have a strange fondness for algebra. My 1st grader likes to ask his older brother to solve for x :) Very easy to sign up too.

  26. Nicole Pelton December 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I tweeted :)

  27. Nicole Pelton December 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Following virtual nerd (what a name) on twitter.

  28. Molomatic December 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    I’m tweeting! Thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/13281992741228544

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  29. Jackie H. December 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I signed up for a free account. I wish they had had this when I was in school! Math was not my thing!! I know when my boys get old enough for this, I’ll need something to help them!

    bookblogmomma at gmail dot com

  30. Jackie H. December 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    followed on twitter @bookblogmomma
    bookblogmomma at gmail dot com

  31. Molomatic December 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Tweet from earlier today, thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/13601411564576768

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  32. Tabathia December 12, 2010 at 1:58 am - Reply

    enrolled in basic plan and I like how interactive it is, just like you have a teacher taking you through the steps
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  33. Tabathia December 12, 2010 at 2:00 am - Reply

    liked virtual nerd & posted comment on wall (michelle b)
    http://www.facebook.com/virtualnerd/posts/474719708388
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  34. Tabathia December 12, 2010 at 2:01 am - Reply

    follow virtual nerd on twitter @chelleb36
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  35. Tabathia December 12, 2010 at 2:03 am - Reply
  36. Eunice December 12, 2010 at 2:52 am - Reply

    I just signed up. The program seems like a great way for kids to get help. I especially like the part where you can ask questions.

  37. Eunice December 12, 2010 at 2:52 am - Reply

    left a comment on the Virtual Nerd facebook wall!

  38. Eunice December 12, 2010 at 2:53 am - Reply

    following Virtual Nerd on twitter! @unellie

  39. Eunice December 12, 2010 at 2:54 am - Reply
  40. Molomatic December 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Tweet, thanks!!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/14152075575296000

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  41. justicecw December 13, 2010 at 2:31 am - Reply

    I signed up for a free account. I really like the math tutorials…I think the getting ready for algebra will be a good one for my son. Thanks for the chance, justicecw@hotmail.com

  42. justicecw December 13, 2010 at 2:32 am - Reply

    Now following VirtualNerd on twitter = @justicecw
    justicecw@hotmail.com

  43. Thien-Kim aka Kim December 13, 2010 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Believe it or not, I loved algebra in high school. And physics too. I’m a total nerd. Though Sophia’s not old enough for algebra and physics, I can definitely brush up on it. The whiteboard videos are pretty cool!

  44. Thien-Kim aka Kim December 13, 2010 at 5:04 am - Reply

    I followed Virtual Nerd on Twitter

  45. Thien-Kim aka Kim December 13, 2010 at 5:43 am - Reply

    I left a comment on their FB page

  46. Megryansmom December 13, 2010 at 9:14 am - Reply

    I signed up and the process was very easy. I plan to share Virtual Nerd with 2 neighbors (students) and 2 teacher friends.

    megryansmom@sbcglobal.net

  47. Megryansmom December 13, 2010 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I follow Virtual Nerd on twitter.

    @megryansmom

  48. Molomatic December 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Tweet, thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/14327452813762561

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  49. Amy Anderson December 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Signed up for the basic plan and think it’s such a GREAT idea! I know I will need a service like this when my daughter is older. It was really easy to sign up and the website seems very intuitive.

    @TheAmyAnderson
    amy@amyanderson.net

  50. Amy Anderson December 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Liked and left a comment on Virtual Nerd’s FB page.

    amy@amyanderson.net

  51. Amy Anderson December 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Following Virtual Nerd on Twitter and left a comment:

    http://twitter.com/#!/TheAmyAnderson/status/14475304504393729

  52. Amy Anderson December 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm - Reply
  53. Tabathia December 13, 2010 at 11:31 pm - Reply
  54. coriwestphal December 14, 2010 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I signed up for a free account with email coriwestphal at netzero dot com.

    I think there is lots of great info on the site. I like how there is a link for parents and students seperately. That way kids don’t have to deal with info the parents might be more interested in.

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  55. coriwestphal December 14, 2010 at 2:49 am - Reply

    I follow Virtual Nerd on Twitter @coriwestphal

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  56. coriwestphal December 14, 2010 at 2:50 am - Reply
  57. Molomatic December 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Tweet, thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/14689850665996288

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  58. Anne December 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    I signed up for a free account. My daughter used the algebra I site last night to review the pythagorean theorem, and she said it was easy to use and helpful.
    ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

  59. Anne December 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/lunaj1456/status/14742179628974081
    ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

  60. Tabathia December 14, 2010 at 11:34 pm - Reply
  61. Nicki December 15, 2010 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Wish this had been around when I was suffering through high school math!

    meanwhile…

    I liked and commented on Facebook

    I followed on Twitter @thenicknick

    and I RT

  62. Molomatic December 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    My last tweet, thanks!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Molomatic/status/15052229832609792

    molomatic at gmail dot com

  63. Tabathia December 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm - Reply
  64. Thien-Kim aka Kim December 16, 2010 at 12:17 am - Reply

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