I made the mistake of telling Anna when I applied to review the Magic Treehouse: Middle Ages Online Course ($145, grades 1-5) with Bridgeway Academy. Usually, if I have something I know she will be excited about I don’t even tell her until we get accepted to the team. She asked me every single day for a week if we made the cut! It was so fun to see how excited she was when I told her we got to review it for sure. I do have to say that whenever I have the chance to review an online class, I jump on it because we cannot typically afford this kind of class and Anna loves them!
The first thing we had to do once we registered for the class is get our equipment working. And by equipment, I am referring to the computer, and a headset with a microphone and earphones. It took us a little while to figure out how the headset worked and she actually did the first class in a closed room using the computer’s microphone and sound. I think that worked fine, but we had a few days when the twins would barge in on Anna and start chattering so it was good that she had the headset. We also had to have a camera which is built in to the MacBook we use so that was fine.
I watched Anna attend the first class and found it very interesting. This particular online class had a sweet LIVE teacher who interacted with the kids and taught them how to use the Jigsaw Meeting room where class was held. The kids were able to interact and answer questions, see the teacher and other students, watch presentations through slideshows and videos, each child could even write on the whiteboard! At the end of each class period, the students were given homework assignments to complete by the next week. Also, each class was recorded so that in case you had to miss a class you could still watch the video of class.
Here’s what Anna has to say, “I think it’s great, and I really like it. My favorite part was the videos. Or you can just say everything. I liked everything. I learned about Knights and Castles and Horses and regular people and cities, and some very gross things that happened in the Middle Ages. They had some really weird laws, like how they figured out who was guilty of a crime was whether or not you floated when they threw you in the river. If you floated you were guilty. If you sunk you were innocent, but very likely to die anyway. Not good.”
The final project was to create a castle which Anna has to turn in tomorrow for the last class. She chose to build her castle in Minecraft of course. She is so excited about sharing that!
My Bottom Line: Anna absolutely loved the Magic Treehouse: Middle Ages course and goes on and on about what she learned. She remembers so much information when it is presented in this online, interactive format. This class was definitely a success.