Online Learning with Standard Deviants Accelerate (Review)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

As the children travel further through their education,  it is useful to find some subjects which they can complete entirely independently.  In this age of  the Internet & computers, this is very easy to do.  We were recently asked to review an online learning program called Standard Deviants Accelerate.  We were given 12 months access to all of their Homeschool Courses.
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Standard Deviants Accelerate is an online program that provides fun & adaptable lessons to students. They endeavour to provide the student with unique lessons which are presented in such a way as to keep them interested.  Standard Deviants Accelerate's lessons primarily focus on subjects for children in high school (in Australia - grade 7 up), although there are a few courses for children in the primary grades.  They offer a range of courses which cover a large variety of subject areas.  
The Homeschool Courses that we were given access to are:
Arithmetic (Grade 3+)
Fundamental Math (Grade 4+)
Earth Science (Grade 6+)
Nutrition (Grade 6+)
Biology (Grade 7+)
Algebra (Grade 7+)
Chemistry (Grade 9+)
English Comp (Grade 9+)
U.S. History (Grade 9+)
AP Biology (Grade 11+)
AP Chemistry (Grade 11+)
AP American Government & Politics (Grade 11+)
AP English Composition (Grade 11+)
AP US History (Grade 11+)
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Once I logged into Standard Deviants Accelerate , I was able to add my students.  Zai (grade 7) & Ellie (grade 6) were both enrolled in the Nutrition course.  The one issue I had is that it required a different email address for each student.  As our children are still young, they don't have their own email, so this was a problem.  We chose the Nutrition course to supplement their PDHPE learning program (although this is not one of Zai's electives, I feel that some information would be beneficial to him).  
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
The Nutrition Course contained eight different chapters.  Each chapter contained 3 to 5 different topics followed by a chapter review. At the end of the course was a subject review which contains a final quiz & a final word (where the student is presented with a case study & they need to utilise the information they have studied in the course to answer some relevant questions). 

Once the children open the topic for the day,they are presented with a screen which has a list of  tabs across the top.  Most lesson contained five separate sections (a couple did not contain all) which the students tab through & complete as they are ready.
The sections are:
1.  Video - The first section is the teaching video.  These videos are presented by a group of actors in a variety of scenarios. They are presented in a fun & catchy way to keep the student interested.  The videos provide the main teaching of the lesson.   There is also a full transcript of the video available for the student to follow along.  The student has the ability to take & save notes from these lessons to their own personal locker for future reference.
2. Vocabulary - This section contains a list of vocabulary words that the student needs to become familiar with.  Each word  & definition can be listened to to ensure correct pronunciation occurs.
3. Diagram - This section presents the student with a diagram from the lesson & asks them to complete the missing labels using the words from the word bank.
4. Quiz - The student is then presented with a multiple choice quiz of five questions.  This is automatically graded & any incorrect answers will present the student with a short section from the video that covers that particular topic. 
5. Written Answer - This section contains a writing prompt to get the student to think further about the topic. 
While both Zai & Ellie used Standard Deviants Accelerate, I found they had very different reactions to it.  Zai thought the videos were fun & kept him interested in the topic.  
Meanwhile, Ellie thought the videos were too silly.  She did, however, retain a lot of the information  as she talked about it often as we were cooking together.  
Overall, the topics presented were often very new to both students, but the content was displayed in such a way that encouraged retention of the subject matter.
Both students were able to complete their Nutrition course entirely independently once I logged them into the program.   I was able to monitor their progress through my teacher login. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Standard Deviants Accelerate is a unique program that presents a variety of homeschool lesson in an entertaining way to make learning fun!
Standard Deviants Accelerate can be found at:
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Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
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