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Site Review: NBCLearn


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Content:  NBC Learn is a subscription-based Web site that uses the considerable heft of the NBC News archive to create original content for educators. Given NBC’s standing in the world of news and production, the product is extremely well put together. The fact that several lessons from the site have earned Telly and Emmy awards is a testament to their quality.

The site is only fully accessible with a paid subscription, a drawback in this era of budget cuts. For those with the means, however, the ability to offer students truly interactive lessons using the NBC News archive is an investment worth considering.

For an annual fee, schools receive:

  • Enhanced customer service and support, including free tutorial webinars, training and professional development for educators, and 24/7 technical support services.
  • CueCard media player upgrades, including video closed captioning and enhanced download feature.
  • Information about current events in Teaching & Education
  • Content feeds from, which provide the latest information and resources from NBC News’ “Education Nation” initiative.

There are several free resources available, including “Chemistry Now,” the Emmy-award winning “Science of the Winter Olympics” and “Science of NFL Football.” Access to this content still requires registration.

Design:  Minimalist and clean typically earn high marks, and NBC Learn is no exception. Users are presented with a dominating central scroller and several content boxes near the bottom of the homepage.

The main navigation bar is concise, providing an easy path to additional information on free resources, products, services and partners. Registration and user sign-in buttons are easy to locate in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

The internal pages are similarly designed. Videos are played in a pop-up that offers an easy-to-navigate main control bar. Teachers can access notes, print the lesson, or share the clip, all from the video control bar.

Review: There is a lot to take in from NBC Learn, but that is the point. Educators are bombarded with products and services touted as interactive. While some are noteworthy, many fall short of their promise. With NBC Learn, educators receive legitimate, interactive, all-encompassing lessons and materials that students will love.

Bottom Line: Take a titan of the news industry and put an educational spin on it, and you get NBC Learn. A brilliant product, but one you’ll have to pay for.

Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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Copyright © 2011 Education World