|REPORT CARD |
|Overall Rating:||5 Stars|
|Ease of Use:||A|
Located online at: http://www.cosmeo.com/.
Company: Discovery Education, One Discovery Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Phone: 888/698-6247; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://education.discovery.com/.
Price: $9.95 per month or $99 for a year. The subscription includes access for one adult and four student users.
Audience: K-12 students at home. The resources are labeled with the appropriate level of interest and ability. With assistance, students of almost any age could search the site and find quality information.
Format: Internet-based homework help resource designed for home use to enhance student achievement.
Minimum System Requirements: A computer with an Internet connection and browser. High speed Internet service provides optimum access to the site's streaming media.
Description: Cosmeo is an innovative approach to helping students with homework and independent studies. The site's resources include 30,000 educational videos, 20,000 images and clip art files, and 27,000 full text encyclopedia articles, as well as 200 brain games, 200 math activities, and links to 200 teacher-approved resources.
Installation/Access: No installation is required; a user name and password are needed.
A 30-day free trial is available on the home page. Note that you will automatically become a subscriber unless you formally cancel the free trial. Installation/Access Rating: A
Content/Features: The home page opens with a password. This page can be customized to include easy access to learning resources. Students can customize unique home pages by selecting a theme for color and graphics, creating a greeting, and choosing an image to display.
As you enter Cosmeo, you see the current date and a link to events in history for that date. Across the top of the page are links to resources for science, math, social studies, English, health, and art and music. Going down the left side of the page is an area that enables searches for articles by subject.
I entered Hawaii in the search engine and found 117 articles, 115 pictures, 85 videos, and one brain game. The articles, from the online encyclopedia, can be copied or printed with the touch of a button.
Notes can be taken online and saved for later use. Pictures and clip art can be easily captured or downloaded and placed into student reports or presentations. The videos, correlated to state curriculum standards, load quickly and play easily—although I did experience a few that did not play the sound.
Searches can be refined by grade level and subject. I entered China and found 926 articles. After limiting the search to the Great Wall, I found a much more manageable 62 articles and 11 videos.
The WebMath feature provides a great math tutor that lets students pick the process they are learning, enter the numbers to be manipulated, and then proceeds to explain each step of the process that leads to the answer. This will help everyone in the family. The application illustrates math solutions from simple addition to advanced algebra.
Finding clip art is easy. Users enter a topic and find pages and pages of art to download. Photos are also easy to capture. Below each photo is a download button that makes the process simple to complete.
All students need graphics for their reports; these are very high in quality. Content/Features Rating: A
Ease of Use: Cosmeo is easy to use, for students and adults. The links are intuitive and help is provided to find the right information. It is easy to learn to capture information by copying and downloading text and graphics. Ease of Use Rating: A
Product Support: The Discovery Channel is well known for the support provided with all products. Support is available using a toll free telephone number (888/698-6247) or by e-mail. Product Support Rating: A
Recommendation: I highly recommend Cosmeo as a home learning tool for homework help and independent study. Home school students could also use this site for support and practice of skills.
Students always love having many resources at their fingertips. They should shine as they use these tools to write and produce quality reports. The games and lessons enhance learning and reinforce the skills required in school. State standards are available to keep studies on track. This site provides all the resources a student needs, in one spot on the Web.
I love the idea that you can have a 30-day free trial to see if the site works for your needs. Log-in and try it for yourself. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Susan W. Hixson, Educational Consultant, Integrating the Internet; swhixson[at]yahoo.com.