Virtual Nerd

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Virtual Nerd Website Poster Image
Detailed math videos and practice -- from simple to complex.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational value

Kids can learn introductory physics concepts; pre-algebra, and other math principles. Tutorial videos and practice problems are listed by topic, such as turning fractions into repeating decimals, and by age group. The tutorials are detailed and include step-by-step explanations. Although the site's content is thorough, adding additional perspectives that focus on the writing on the board (which can be difficult to read at times) would make the video instruction even stronger. From pre-algebra to physics, engaging instructional videos go a long way toward helping kids learn math and science principles.

Positive messages

Kids are given an upbeat "You’re right!" response when they answer a problem correctly; however, the site's focus on making math fun is its biggest source of positivity.
 

Violence

The math videos aren't aggressive, but links to YouTube videos, which can include car crash images or other violent content, can be added to the shareable playlists kids create on the site.
 

Sex

The site's user playlists could potentially contain links to YouTube videos with graphic images.

Language

Students can save notes to their shareable playlist of tutorial videos, and it's possible to enter words like "hell" and "s--t." You can also post unfiltered comments on the tutorial library listings section with an automatically generated username that's a shortened version of your email address.

Consumerism

The site offers several paid subscriptions but is generally product-free.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

The ability to add YouTube links to the site's user playlists means kids could include -- and distribute -- videos that involve drinking or drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that subscription options include a five-week math boot camp ($24), $19 monthly fee, or $49 for three months. You can also purchase 24 hours of site access for $3, use the site for a week for $9 -- or test it out for two hours for free, without having to enter any credit card information.
 

User Reviews

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What's it about?

By providing videos that break down math and physics concepts, Virtual Nerd helps kids and teens learn about fractions, decimals, and other topics. Users can also create lists comprised of videos and practice problems that they plan to tackle. Teachers and schools are able to sign up and offer their students customized extra math help. However, parents should be aware that, at least for now, all user-created playlists are public. Once their school has signed up, kids can easy add links to external YouTube videos -- and swap lists.

Is it any good?

VIRTUAL NERD offers instructional videos, practice problems, and supplementary written materials to help middle school- to high school-aged students learn math and science concepts. Kids can access tutorials on geometry, algebra and other subjects; they can also save lists of certain videos and math questions to help them categorize what they're learning by topic or grade level. However, once your school or district subscribes to the site's school edition, kids can assign each other playlists -- which could potentially be problematic because, in addition to Virtual Nerd educational videos and problems, users can also include links to any YouTube video.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what things you might not want to add -- such as a personal photo to a link to a video on another site -- to your online profile. How can you know if friends or other users you don't know will be able to see something you post?

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  • Which ways does your teen like learning new math concepts? Do visual examples help your child understand algebra and other types of math -- and, if so, what real-life examples might help your child understand certain theories?

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  • Videos created specifically for the site illustrate math and science problems; however, users can also link to other videos from YouTube in their playlists. How can you tell if a link someone sends you is OK to click on -- even if it comes from someone you know at school?

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Website details

  • Subjects: Math: algebra, functions, geometry, graphing, probability, ratio, statistics
    Science: momentum, motion, physics
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, self-assessment
    Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, thinking critically
  • Genre: Educational
  • Price: Free-$5+/month
  • Pricing structure: Free, Paid

For kids who love learning

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