K5 Learning Review

We recently had the opportunity to review the K5 online learning program.  In exchange for an extended free trial, we are posting our honest review and feedback of the program.

From the website, "K5 Learning is an online after-school study program for kids in kindergarten to grade 5.  We build reading, math and study skills to last a lifetime."  We used K5 with Caleb as a supplement to his other instruction.  It was a great program for him because he is more successful when he is focused on one thing and computer based programs are quite helpful for him.   

Pros
Caleb was easily able to figure out navigation
Has the ability to add in weekly spelling words
Basic fact mastery tables
Placement tests
Clear parent feedback
Automatic advancement/review built in

Cons
Flash based- does not work on iPods, iPads, iPhones.

Final Verdict
My final verdict is mixed.  I thought the program was honestly significantly better than others that we have tried.  The content was relevant, well organized, and flexible.  The graphics were fun without being over the top, same with sound effects.  This is the first program that I would have spent out of pocket money to continue using on a regular basis.

Because of our family's technology usage, however, I can't whole heartedly endorse the product.  I understand developing new technology takes time and that the iPad is only one system, but the fact that they program is Flash-based is a biggie for us.  The programming required is different, but relevant.  Tim was just reading in the paper today about a school district in Wisconsin who purchased something like 1500 iPads with settlement money from Microsoft.  One of our local high schools provides and iPod Touch for every student.  The adaptive technology of the iPad is quite frankly unbeatable in any of the other tablet/touch platforms and it is what we have chosen for our family, which makes the product irrelevant to us.  I personally believe that programs wishing to be competitive are going to eventually have to move this direction.

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