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What's it about?
Founded in 2012, CURIOUS describes itself as a marketplace that matches learners with exceptional teachers from around the globe. The site's more than 13,000 online courses are grouped into eight main categories, covering technology and business, crafts, music and arts, language, health and fitness, food, DIY projects, and academic offerings (located in the site's Brainy section). Classes are taught by book authors, organizations, bloggers, and other instructors who personally respond to questions and class homework. Users can check out a free preview of each course but will need to subscribe to the site to view most of its content.
Is it any good?
This video website's thousands of courses are certainly an unconventional way of learning. Not all of its courses are academic -- some cover topics such as crocheting and cake decorating. Kids probably won't be able to find a course to correspond with every subject they're learning in school; the site doesn't seem to have sessions on every U.S. historical era, for example, or every scientific concept. But the site's courses are all educational, and the material, which Curious reviews to ensure it meets the site's quality standards, isn't vulgar or offensive. As an added bonus, teachers assign homework and provide individualized feedback, making the experience feel more interactive -- and less like binge-watching educational videos.
A paid subscription is required to use the site, which may be a deterrent for some parents. But if you're looking for a way to amp up your child's excitement about learning, the site's mix of hobby-based and scholastic lessons may do the trick. Even though you don't really have to worry about kids coming across crude content, you may want to help your child select courses. Being involved in your child's Curious site use will let you add some lessons that relate to your child's schoolwork -- and, because user profiles list completed and in-progress courses, help you track your child's progress.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why learning doesn't have to end when you finish school. What things have you've learned, and how did you learn them, as an adult?
Curious provides a visual way to find out about new topics. Do you prefer to learn things by reading about them or watching a video and looking at pictures? Which method makes concepts easier to understand and remember?
Curious vets its instructors and course videos to make sure they provide value. How can you gauge whether something you're reading or watching is a credible, reliable source of information? Discuss legitimate information sources with your child, and describe several ways they can be identified.
- Subjects: Math: algebra, calculus, money
Science: biology, chemistry, geology
Arts: dance, music, painting
Hobbies: cooking, sports
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, applying information
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Arts and Dance, History, Music and Sing-Along, Science and Nature
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid
- Last updated: January 11, 2016
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