I received one month of complimentary access to the Dacobots eLearning portal in exchange for an honest review.
This is a Math Lovin’ Momma #SponsoredPost. All opinions expressed within are 100% my own.
The Math Lovin’ Momma Reviews:
Dacobots eLearning Portal
As a parent and a teacher I am always on the look out for new or new to me products that can help my daughter at home and my kids at school be more successful academically. Sometimes it feels like there are so many products on the market that have similar purposes it can be overwhelming. In my short career, thus far, as a teacher I have played around with a lot of the options that are available for middle school and high school age students but now that my daughter is getting old enough to start looking at preschools my focus has started to switch to finding eLearning opportunities for her as well.
Dacobots eLearning has lots of games based on a variety of topics offered at many different grade levels. The program is still currently in its Beta phase of development, which means that there are still some bugs that need to be worked out and there is still content being added. However, I feel that I was able to try out a lot of content in the one month that I had membership.
Dacobots eLearning portal has games for students in grades K – 6, divided among six categories. The categories include: Health, Math, Science, Language, History, and the Arts. Currently there are no games in the Arts category or for grades 1, 2, 4 and 6, but since the project is in Beta I’m sure there will be games coming soon to those groups.
Each game category has an specific avatar that leads the user through the games. Currently there are four active avatars and a slot for a fifth avatar that is grayed out. The four active avatars include:
G4 Zalmox Derzelis H.E.N.A
Math Science Health History
Since there is not an existing avatar for Language or the Arts I’m assuming the grayed out avatar will eventually be the guide for one of those categories.
All of the avatars speak with a very robotic sounding voice. I don’t really mind that but sometimes they are difficult to understand. What they say is always shown on the screen as well, but children who are not yet reading or who are not quick readers may not be able to read the instructions before they leave the screen.
Finding a Game
There are a lot of ways to search for the games. You can specify a grade level and a category, you can search for a name, or you can just browse through all of the games available. At last count there were 130 games available for play with a paid membership.
As you can see from the screen grab above, some of the games have an unlocked yellow padlock in the lower right corner. That padlock means that those games available to play without a full membership. Right now there are only seven games that are free to play and most of those are Kindergarten level games.
Each Dacobots eLearning game has three parts. The first part is generally the place where the main teaching takes place. The avatar will give information or instructions related to whatever topic you have chosen. In the screen grab below, from the Brain Power series (free-to-play) game ‘The Human Brain‘, you can see in the first part Zalmox is giving information about different parts of the brain.
In the second part of the game, the avatar guides the user through some activity after a brief review of the information given in part 1. If a mistake is made the avatar will tell the user the answer was incorrect and let them try again. For instance in ‘The Human Brain‘, as shown below, part 2 asks the user to identify the parts of the brain and the activities associated with each part.
The last part of each game is a review of the information given in part 1 and practiced in part 2. However, in part 3, the avatars do not provide any guidance beyond the basic instructions until the user has finished their attempt at a solution. Sometimes this means that the activity will have to be repeated because the user completed the challenge incorrectly. In ‘The Human Brain‘, part 3 requires users to identify brain parts and their jobs in more detail, while also introducing them to some new ideas.
Many eLearning portals that I’ve investigated have some kind of user incentive that help keep students engaged and wanting to keep playing games. Dacobots is no different. The Dacobots award users with collectible cards for decks that correspond to certain game series. Right now there are 11 decks for users to complete, the number of cards in a deck varies depending on the number of games that correspond to that series.
When you complete a game satisfactorily you get a card showing you’ve mastered that skill. When you collect a card it shows the card face when you are viewing your card deck, as seen below.
Current Series Corresponding to Card Decks:
- Arithmetic – 5 cards
- Healthy Eating – 2 cards
- Dangerous Habits – 4 cards
- Brain Power – 10 cards
- Basics of Genetics – 2 cards
- Parts of Speech – 2 cards
- Bygone Civilizations – 5 cards
- Autumn Secrets – 21 cards
- Winter Magic – 21 cards
- Masters of Astronomy – 31 cards
- Signs of Spring – 27 cards
There are a few options to choose from when choosing how you’d like to pay for your Dacobots eLearning membership. Users can choose a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, or 1 year membership. As with most subscription-type services choosing a longer membership time equates to a small amount of savings in the cost.
For my US readers, those prices currently equate to $5.29 for one month, $10.63 for three months, $18.11 for six months, and $26.66 for a full year. Basically, a buying a three month membership is like getting one month free, a six month membership gets you 2.5 months free, and buying a full year at one time is like getting 7 months free, so if it is something you like and expect to use for a while the full year membership is definitely the way to go.
All in all I really enjoyed the games and I feel that they do have a nice balance between fun and learning. Obviously there are some games I liked more than others, as with any eLearning system, but overall there were many more games I liked than there were games I did not like.
I like the characters of the various avatars and I like that their voices are not all the same. However, as I mentioned earlier they are sometimes hard to understand. Sometimes the words seem a bit jumbled together and other times I just feel it is hard to understand because there are no pauses or voice inflection.
I think the card decks are a fun addition and they give kids something to work toward as they are learning new things. Overall, I really enjoyed the time I had with the portal and Dragonling loved playing the Kindergarten level games (with a little bit of help). I could definitely see this being an eLearning portal we subscribe to in a year or two, when Dragonling is ready for Preschool or Kindergarten!
To keep up with new releases and other news Dacobots eLearning creators would love to have you follow them!
What do you think? Would your kids or grandkids enjoy learning through games and puzzles? Let me know in the comments below!
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