Demme Learning's New Digital Packs {a TOS review}

Demme Learning Math U See Review
My eldest had long struggled in math until 3 years ago when we switched to Demme Learning's Math-U-See; and, finally everything just clicked for him.  At the end of this past January he finished up Alpha and was ready for Beta, almost exactly at the same time that we were given an opportunity to try out the new Demme Learning Digital Packs

Math-U-See is a multi-sensory conceptual math program which covers everything from Primer (beginning) to Pre-Calculus.  It is mastery based lessons, which means your child should know each concept enough to tell it back to you before moving on.

With a typical Math-U-See purchase you would buy, in any level:
  • a teaching kit:  contains the Instruction Manual (also contains answers) and DVD lessons
  • a student kit:  contains student workbook and a test/activity booklet
  • manipulative blocks:  necessary for Primer through Algebra 1; or, Fraction Overlays for Epsilon, and Algebra-Decimal Inserts for Zeta, Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1.
  • optional:  a song CD of skip counting and addition fact.
Demme Learning Digital Pack
With a Digital Pack you are gaining 12 months access to Demme Learning's new on the go math site.  Your access gives you: 
  • all video lessons (in the level you purchase)
  • PDF versions of your purchased level Instruction Manual
  • Digital Manipulatives
  • all test and workbook solutions, in your level
  • additional resources:
    • an MP3 of  Skip Count songs
    • Record Keeping Sheets to download
    • worksheet generator
    • several educational resource links
In short, the Digital Pack contains everything from the Instruction Manual plus the activity sheets, the manipulatives and the Skip Count CD & Book.
What the Digital Pack does not include would be the student workbook and the student test booklet.
What is the same and what is different from the familiar Math-U-See?
Really, nothing is different from our beloved Math-U-See other than the presentation.  The content remains the same. 

Where before I would turn to my spiral bound teacher manual, I can now login and download lesson summaries to read before my student begins a new lesson.  Everything from Lesson 1:  Place Value and Manipulatives to Lesson 30:  Bar Graphs and Line Graphs is available to you online.
With the regular Beta learning pack, we were confined to watch the DVDs in our designated learning spot, which was from my computer in the basement.  Now, with the Digital Pack, we watch the very same lessons presented by Mr. Demme, except now we watch from anywhere really.  (more on that later).
Before my son would work out his lesson problems from the Student Workbook with the manipulative blocks.  He still uses manipulatives to work out a problem, but now instead uses the Digital Manipulatives.  I do have to add that, while I haven't seen it written anywhere on the Demme Learning website, I have an inkling that the blocks are not to be replaced with the digital version but rather the digital is supposed to add a freedom.  The actual blocks are so very beneficial to use in play as well as with lessons.
How we used the Digital Pack:  Beta
My son has worked his way through 6 lessons of Beta using the Digital Pack.  He has done this from his computer, the couch, the living room floor, and once from his bedroom.  I login to my account, select our level, then select his lesson and he then watches a video. 
After a video lesson he works on corresponding lesson problems in his Student Workbook (not included in the Digital Pack), as many or as little as he needs throughout the week.  Usually he completes one lesson in one week.  Most times he needed to watch the video just once on one day and work out problems the rest of the days.  We still used our Digital Pack for him to have access to the Digital Manipulatives while he was away from our school area or his sister was using the Manipulative Blocks with her Primer lessons.

What we thought:

We have loved Math-U-See from day 1, and we love the Digital Pack from Demme Learning just the same, as it is no different (just more accessible). 

One day of our review period sticks out more than any others because on this particular day we were having a very loud and distracting lesson.  With a toddler in the house things can get quite hectic.  My eldest was struggling with his lesson problems in the Student Workbook which hasn't happened since before using Math-U-See.  He admitted to me that he hadn't heard his video lesson that well.  I loaded up his lesson on an iPad and sent him off to his room (under guided access so he wouldn't try to distract himself with games) to listen again in blissful quiet.

We will be travelling in the fall and I like the idea of taking Demme Learning along with us, without the bulk of the manual nor fear of losing our blocks.

Connor (9):  "I'm thinking it's pretty cool.  And I kinda like it because you can use the blocks on the computer and iPad.  What I like to do is play a game with the blocks.  I pretend they are criminals and go to jail {meaning he'd put them in the digital trashcan} and I say the number of how much crime they have done and it's actually the number of the answer. 

I like watching from my own computer now or from the iPad."

What is needed to run the Digital Pack?
What you need to be successful with the Digital Pack would be a computer and/or tablet with internet access and the Chrome or Safari browsers.  The Digital Manipulative will not work properly outside of Chrome or Safari.

To see other reviews of the many math levels offered by Demme Learning, click the banner below:
Demme Learning's Math-U-See Review

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