Monday, February 7, 2011

Vocab Ahead New TOS Review

VocabAhead One Thousand SAT Vocabulary Videos & MP3s


Also available:

VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s  Book

SAT Vocabulary Words iPhone/iPod Touch Application   

App prices:  Free up to 50 words,  $9.99 for 1000 words

DVD ROM $24.99
Book  $12.99
The DVD and Book are available through Amazon

Age Range: Students who are preparing for the SAT or other Exams.  See later section of this review for the age of my user.

You can watch samples of the videos on their website here
There are also many other neat features on the website.

As a member of the TOS crew I received a DVD ROM from Vocab Ahead of One Thousand SAT Vocabulary videos and MP3's to use and review.

VocabAhead is designed to help students prepare for the Vocabulary sections of the SAT.  According the the copy on the DVD ROM case the user will

"learn new words easily and reinforce your learning by:
  • Building visual connections with vocabulary cartoons and pictures in a fun and engaging way
  • Listening to the narrations on the go using your favorite MP3 player
  • Watching Vocabulary Videos on you computer or other portable device such as video iPod, iPhone, or even iPad."

VocabAhead is a compilation of 1000  vocabulary words often found on the SAT and other similar exams.  Each video begins with a word and a picture describing the word. Then words are defined, and the screen shows the word and definition while it is being verbalized.  The corner of the video has a label telling what part of speech the word is. Then the word is used in multi sentence example.  There are often several pictures shown during the example. In closing each video the word is repeated along with the definition.

Sample of Video
Sample of video

My Thoughts About VocabAhead

Honestly I was disappointed with the product.  The definitions and explanations are extremely long. It is very easy for the listener to get lost in the story connected to the word and miss the point which would be the word and its definition.   I also assumed the cartoons would be different for each word, but that is not always the case.  The same picture is used for several words.  I would find it confusing to recall the word and cartoon when each cartoon is not unique. Sometimes the antecedents or pronoun in the descriptions do not match.  Occasionally genders mentioned in the audio do not match the genders in the videos . Something I do like is having the screen where just the word and definition are presented and read aloud.  I also like being able to use the DVD ROM without having an internet capable computer.

My 9 year old daughter watched some of the videos.  She did not overly enjoy it.  She thought there was too much talking and some of the pictures were boring.  She had no difficulty with the material presented, it is very appropriate for her reading and speaking levels which are above age level.  It does challenge her to expand her vocabulary and it will definitely help her as she reads longer, more complex books. She enjoyed learning words which were new to her. The DVD ROM also meet my goal of giving her a challenge in Language Arts. I appreciate that fact about this product. We will continue to use this DVD ROM.

I would like to sit and use this disc myself, I just have not had the time to peruse sections that my daughter has not viewed. 

We also had issues with getting the videos to play.  It requires either itunes, quick time, or quick time alternatives.  The other option is to install 3rd party codecs and additional helper programs which will allow Windows media player to use it.  These codecs are not on the Windows XP operating system. 

Also interesting to note my husband tried to download some of the files to our Android phones and was able to do so without any problems.

See what other crew members had to say here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew I received a DVD Rom to use to right this review. I have not been compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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