Parents' Guide to


By Polly Conway, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Brief video lessons from pro teachers give teens a boost.

Brightstorm Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Charged me after free trial, and won't refund my payment

Watched a few videos based on free trial. Then they didn't notify me and charged me $99 for the year. I wasn't notified until I got another email that they were going to charge me even more the next year!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Although the company is based in Palo Alto, its founders and many of the staff are Estonian, and language on the site can be a bit choppy. It's understandable, though the translations aren't always perfect. The videos are generally great, and there's a diverse team of teachers who try to connect gently with their virtual students. Some of the teachers are outstanding, but they're not all equally engaging -- you need a lot of personality to teach well over video. Also, note that most (if not all) of the math videos are available for free through Brightstorm's YouTube channel -- a helpful alternative for families who might balk at the steep subscription price.

Struggling students might feel that watching these videos is too much like being in class, only with a different teacher. The site's tone doesn't help much: Testimonial quotes like "You explained in 3 minutes what my teacher couldn't in 5 weeks!" may further undermine a child's confidence that he can be successful at school. If kids are having trouble connecting with their teacher, it's possible that they can access that same content more successfully through Brightstorm, if their textbook is supported. However, the site's steep price tag and its pretty-traditional approach make it unlikely to be a game-changer for most students. Motivated kids may love it; those more on the fence may leave feeling uninspired.

Website Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

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