Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Access! (review)

MY Access!® HomeMY Access!® Home

Vantage Learning recently provided our family with an online account at My Access! (Home Edition), a completely web-based writing curriculum supplement.





The Home Edition does not provide lessons in how to write, nor does it focus solely on the mechanics of writing. It is to supplement your current writing curriculum and to help you, as the teacher. “At the center of MY Access! ® is IntelliMetric™, an artificial intelligence scoring tool. This tool instantly evaluates student writing against a standard rubric and provides students with suggestions to improve their writing. Around this intelligent core, MY Access!® incorporates instructional courses for each genre at each age range (8–10, 11–14, and 15–18), an in-depth writing manual, organizational resources, and a host of word-processing tools.” You receive a report of your students’ progress and scores, and your children can keep track of their own progress in an individualized writing portfolio.

You can choose which features to use. You can specify either pre-loaded writing assignments (there are 96) or topics that you enter to go along with your other academic subjects. You can give as much or as little hands-on guidance as necessary. The word processing program, editing and writing tools, and self-paced, interactive lessons guide students through the writing and revision processes. “Graphic organizers and other printable resources help students plan and build successful informative, persuasive, and narrative essays.” Included are many samples of actual students’ work for your children’s reference.

My oldest child thought their recommended topics were on the childish side (age 15, grade 11/12). My youngest daughter (age 12, grade 7) struggled with the actual program, since she’s not very technically literate, but did figure it out. I assigned her a topic from her history lesson, which was as easy as choosing one of the pre-loaded subjects. I liked the ease of assigning topics and allowing my kids to choose which one they wanted to write about and when they wanted to do them (the pre-planned ones). I also liked the autonomy and the tutor-suggested revisions it provided (although it might be overwhelming to ingest all at once). This product would be especially beneficial for parents who lack confidence in their own essay-grading skills.

Check out more features and benefits on the MY Access! Website @ http://www.vantagelearning.com/home/products/mahome/. It costs $99.95 for 3 students for 12-month subscription. Other products that are available from this vendor include the following: Home version, college version, professional version, Lexipedia, iSeek, and additional add-on packs.
 
Check out the TOS Review Crew’s blog for more opinions & reviews @ http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/782910/

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”