Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review for My Access! Home Edition Writing Program

Hello friends! Recently, Vantage Learning sent me a 12 month subscription in exchange for an honest review of their product: My Access! Home Edition. I was pretty excited because, to be truthful, writing is an area that I was planning to hit hard this year with the older boys.

Here are some of the features that the product offers:

*Each year-long subscription includes 1 parent account and up to 3 individual student accounts.

*The program is entirely web-based, so that means that you can access it from any computer with an internet connection.

*Writing topics are assigned based upon the student's age (so that the level for your 4th grader won't be the same as for your senior).

*It is self-paced and interactive.

*The lessons guide students through the writing process: planning, organizing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

*Essay scoring and individualized feedback is available immediately through an artificial intelligence scoring engine.

*A word processor with editing and writing tools including a thesaurus, grammar-checker, spell-checker, and word bank lists help students vary and develop their vocabulary.

My thoughts:
Once I got the student account set up for Ty, he was able to log in to his individual account and pick a topic out of many to begin writing the rough draft of his essay. Not only were there a wide array of topics, but there were several different *styles* of essay that he could choose from, as well (i.e., narrative, informative, persuasive, ect.)

I was also impressed with the step-by-step instruction that was given before each task was assigned. It was not only nicely descriptive, but taught in a fun, and engaging way.

The drawbacks, as far as we were concerned, were that, on several occasions, we found the website a little difficult to navigate. It was also tough because it seemed hard to switch between accounts with any kind of ease. There were a few days that we just gave up in frustration over this issue. However, once we were able to finally arrive at the right place, we did enjoy the curriculum.

The specifics:
Item: My Access! Home Edition

Publisher: Vantage Learning

# of pages: n/a (online course)

Price: $99.95 (however, it can be used for up to three students per subscription)

Age Range: 3rd grade up through adult

My Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


No comments: