Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew Review: CompuScholar, Inc

Recently, my son and I had the opportunity to review the digital computer science curriculum Digital Savvy from CompuScholar, Inc. This is a great online computer technology program to supplement your homeschool curriculum.

Digital Savvy is the perfect computer or information technology introductory course for students. It covers the basics such as hardware, software, and operating systems. It teaches students about the importance of internet safety and computer security as well as the rules of internet etiquette, which includes an informative lesson on intellectual property. It also explains processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs as well as image editing and website design. Keep in mind, this is an introductory course that will teach your child the basics needed for effectively utilizing a computer. If your child would want to learn how to design websites, I would recommend they take this course first so that they understand the basics. Then, you could look into CompuScholar's Web Design curriculum. While the Web Design curriculum does introduce Java Script, CompuScholar does offer an advanced course in Java Programming, which is more specialized and in-depth.

Digital Savvy is an online class that is suggested for use with those in sixth through twelfth grades and is available for both Mac and Windows systems. This is a yearlong, or two semester, course that contains twenty-three chapters or units. Each chapter contains several lessons for your student to complete. Each lesson is broken down into a lesson video or multimedia presentation, which is great for visual and auditory learners, and a lesson text, which is the equivalent to a textbook. The lesson videos are typically five minutes in length. Each lesson also has a quiz to reinforce what students have learned. The quizzes have five multiple choice questions. Students have three attempts at each quiz and will keep the highest recorded grade. Each chapter also contains a hands-on assignment in which students will complete a project using the skills they have just learned. Again, this will further augment the information they are learning. Each chapter ends with a cumulative exam for that unit. The exam has twenty multiple choice questions. Again, students have three attempts at the exam and will keep the highest recorded grade.

As the mother of a child with a diagnosis of high-functioning Autism, I am always striving to find curriculum that promotes independent learning. Digital Savvy from CompuScholar is a program that has an easy to use format, which fosters independent learning even in my reluctant student. Once students log into the online course, they are directed to their dashboard. From the dashboard, the student chooses the chapter they are studying. Once the chapter page comes up, they click a button to play the lesson video. Then, they click another button to read the lesson text. Finally, they click the button to take the quiz for that lesson. Each lesson will take your student a maximum of fifteen minutes with the exception of the hands-on activities. These assignments require students to put the skills they've learned into action. Therefore, these lessons may require parental guidance and can take an hour or more to complete depending upon your child's ability level, knowledge of computers, and the amount of effort put into each project.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Digital Savvy course. I felt that it covered all of the major areas necessary to gain a broad understanding of computer or information technology. My mother, who my son loves to tease about being technologically challenged, even found the course insightful as it helped expand her working knowledge of computers. Even though my son is computer literate, the course held his attention and he learned new information and reinforced important points such as computer security, internet etiquette, and intellectual property. My son liked that the lessons were short and to the point. He felt he learned best from the lesson videos, which makes sense as he is an auditory learner. I know Digital Savvy was a success as he never once complained about doing the lessons. That is always a huge plus when you have a reluctant student.

You can learn more about CompuScholar, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter. CompuScholar, Inc. also offers Web Design and Java Programming. To read reviews about these programs, visit the Homeschool Review Crew site.

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