Friday, February 15, 2013

Time 4 Learning Review.....



We recently had the opportunity to preview Time 4 Learning an on-line educational website for preschool ages through grade 8. It focuses on the subjects of Language Arts and Math, but also Science and Social Studies units as well. You can choose to set the timer for  the lessons before a child is allowed to go to the "playground" to just play games. The playground consists of links to child safe places on the web including PBSkids.com.

The lessons are interactive and keep the children wanting to learn. One of the aspects I liked the most was the ability to redo the exercises as many times as they like until they feel comfortable. The site combines 1000+ multimedia lessons, printable worksheets and graded activities. Feedback is essential for student learning. Learners need to know what they have done well, what can be improved upon and what misconceptions they have. Feedback is so much more than a letter grade. Feedback can improve a student's confidence, self-awareness and enthusiasm for learning.

The game-based learning offers a form of constant assessment.  Games do not actively teach, they don’t say here is some knowledge for you to remember, but rather they provide constant challenges and then give you feedback on your decisions, and that is how you learn. One defining characteristic of games is that they evaluate the player. They accomplish this by giving explicit feedback or by using technology to modulate the challenges of the academic material and cognitive demands to sustain play and affect learning (Baker & Delacruz, 2007; Salen & Zimmerman, 2003; Schell, 2005). This description of games is almost synonymous with the notion of formative assessment.  Games can provide a greater amount and better quality of formative feedback instead of weekly classroom quizzes, games provide constant feedback at the appropriate times in order to keep students in the learning zone.  They also offer low pressure learning and encourage risk-taking and even failing.

I do recommend this site highly and only wish I had more time to explore the site. The site does cost a monthly fee $19.95 for the first child and $14.95 for each additional child. This can be a bit pricey for a larger family. The billing cycle begins on the day of registration and members are billed every 30 days. Members can start and stop at any time. Time4Learning has no hidden fees, requires no contracts and offers a 14-day money back guarantee. I say give it a shot and judge for yourself.

http://www.time4learning.com/

Michele

1 comment:

  1. What a Great Review! I have been waiting all month to see what you thought and I am glad you liked it. I also agree about just trying it, because with the free month you can get by giving a review and of course the 14-day money back guarantee, there is just nothing to lose IMO by giving a shot ;) ~> One thing I like about T4L that might help bigger family's that our on a budget is that you get access to 3 grade levels at once. So, if your children are close enough in age, you could in theory use one account for more than one child. For instants: If you have a 3rd grader and a 5th grader, you could get the "4th grade level " which will give you access to "3,4, & 5 grades". Anyways, great post and hope I see you around the T4L forums sometime :)

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