Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Virtual Nerd TOS Product Review


Computer Science Created, simulated, or carried on by means of a computer or computer network

A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept

Well, let's just forget the "socially inept" part of this definition since it certainly doesn't apply in this case!

If you have a child that is struggling with algebra lessons, physics problems and other math and science subjects, Virtual Nerd provides hundreds of interactive, video-based tutorials that offer a friendly, interactive and accessible way for students to learn.

If you want to get a better understanding in a short minute, click here and then click on the "view our intro video." Sorry, I can't imbed the video here in this blog, but it's only two tiny clicks away and well worth your time if you really want to see what it's all about.

I have used YouTube a few times to try and find more detailed explanations for our homeschool math curriculum. I have found YouTube to be very helpful as long as the explanation was clear and precise. If it wasn't, well, I kept looking around until I found something I thought might be helpful. Often times, after viewing a minute or two of the video, I realized it wasn't what I was looking for after all.

So, let me make this clear...while Virtual Nerd uses video tutorials, it is nothing like watching a video on YouTube which merely allows you to pause the video, skip around and repeat segments. There is no way to immediately and directly drill down to a related video for more detail about a particular step. This is what really sets Virtual Nerd apart from the competition.

Virtual Nerd's individualized learning platform combines step-by-step video tutorials with supplemental explanatory text and graphics. The text and graphics are synchronized with the video, and they provide an additional level of detail around each step in the tutorial, which students can access anytime they want. Links in the form of frequently asked questions are also available for students to click on. Clicking these links calls up new tutorials which help with the specific part of the tutorial they are confused about. This is what allows different students to get different levels of help with different concepts and drill down for even more help in areas where they have a specific need.

Here is a screen shot (click on each photo to see the entire image) from "What is the distributive property?" so you can see what happens while watching an interactive video...

Full Screen 3 Areas

and another showing additional video tutorials available on the subject...


Here's an excerpt quoted in part from an interview in edtech digest of Joshua Salcman and Leo Shmuylovich, the creative geniuses behind Virtual Nerd...

A student can simply click for more detail during a step that confuses them, and the e-learning platform will pause the main tutorial and superimpose a more detailed and focused tutorial that fills in whatever conceptual gap the student may have.

This unique feature allows students to customize the level of depth and detail they see. Different students may start at the same point and each take a completely different path. One student may get everything she needs from a single 3- to 7-minute tutorial. Another student may drill down to review two or three tutorials covering supporting concepts. Students can branch out, drill down, dig deeper, and find their own way through the material in the order that makes sense to them.

Another thing that’s unique to Virtual Nerd is that their system makes possible a bi-directional connection between instruction and assessment. What this means is that, (1) while reviewing a tutorial, a student can request a practice problem to test their comprehension of the concepts covered in that tutorial; and (2) if a student gets a problem wrong while taking a practice quiz, they can click a link to review a tutorial that explains the process for solving that exact type of question.

Virtual Nerd is completely free for teachers. Unfortunately, this does not include homeschool teachers at this time.

Virtual Nerd offers the following options:

1 Day Plan: $5 one-time fee

1 Week Plan: $19 one-time fee

Monthly: $49 recurring

3 Months: $129 one-time fee

Basic Plan: The Basic Plan is free and provides access to a sampling of about 20 percent of the tutorials in Virtual Nerd's library, mostly focused on basic concepts.

Premium Plan: The Premium Plan has a monthly subscription rate of $49 per month. In many places, that is equivalent to a single hour (or less) working with a private tutor. All Premium subscribers have unlimited access to the entire library of tutorials in all the subjects offered, as well as practice problems and other new features as they are released.

Virtual Nerd accepts Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and PayPal, and their 3- 6- and 12-month packages provide substantial discounts of up to 32 percent.

For additional information and to find answers to commonly asked questions, click here.

I will end by saying that Virtual Nerd is way cool. Although the monthly premium membership is too pricey for our homeschool budget right now, I really like the fact that we have the option to pay for a day or a week of instruction should we find ourselves needing a tutor.

If you're stumped by concepts in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 1 and Physics, Virtual Nerd is just a click away!

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.


  1. I thought you would like to know that because Virtual Nerd ( has received such positive feedback and significant interest following your review of their online tutoring service, we are offering a special discount to homeschool parents. Homeschool parents can receive 50% off the 1 and 3 month subscription plans. Just enter the discount code: homeschooldeal when you sign up for service. That is a huge discount, and hurry - the offer is valid until March 31, 2011!

  2. Virtual NerdJuly 25, 2011

    As a supporter of Virtual Nerd, we wanted you to know about our Math Boot Camp. To help students avoid the "summer slide", we are offering boot camps in: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II. The five-week camps cost only $19! A pre-quiz will assess student's knowledge, and weekly playlists will be assigned to help them attain a better understanding of the subject and build upon concept knowledge. Finally we wrap up with a quiz that assesses how far they have come! We hope you will share the good news. Get started today!