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The Basics v2.0 Individual License Edition Review by Sheila ChairvolottiJason J Lukawitz
ETron Circuit Labs / ETron Academy
P.O. Box 998
Smyrna TN 37167
Circuits and electricity are a part of our everyday lives; some circuits are simple while others are complex. ETron Circuit Labs, in conjunction with the online lessons in ETron Academy, offers students the opportunity to learn the components of circuits, build and test many different types of circuits, and understand how electricity flows and is controlled within circuits. The Basics v2.0 Individual License Edition provides a complete curriculum using online videos, a book, and lab activities.
This complete set includes a full-color lab manual with photos and drawings to illustrate each item and process, a collection of electrical components and a solderless circuit board (all the pieces needed to complete the labs), and access to a series of twenty-eight engaging lessons with activities and quizzes. This program costs $299.95, though it does go on a significant sale occasionally.
ETron Academy is a series of instructional lecture lesson videos that are interesting and engaging. The student is asked to pause the video and complete different tasks, such as identifying the different resistors or connecting components; the student then resumes the video and continues learning. The videos are professionally made, and the instructor is an interesting speaker with a well-modulated voice that is easy to pay attention to—and the lectures also contain slides, pictures, activities, and more, including references to lab activities in the (included) lab manual.
The lab manual is illustrated with incredibly detailed photographs of different components and processes for completing various circuit projects. Each lab includes learning materials as well as instructions for performing the forty lab activities. There is a quiz, and an answer key for each lab also contained within the book.
A learner will find that the different teaching methods (video lectures, slides, lab book, activities, illustrations, and quizzes) cater to many different learning styles. As a result, this program is excellent for teaching students of a broad age range (from eight years old through adults) about circuits. In addition, when used with the ETron Academy, this course is relatively easy for students to use independently without requiring much guidance or assistance from a parent or a teacher.
My sixteen-year-old daughter, who has previously created basic circuits by soldering components together, has been using this course. She is enjoying the lectures, which she finds interesting—and she loves making the circuit projects—and having them work! This course goes far beyond what she already knew about circuits without being confusing or frustrating. She has had quite a bit of experience using online courses, and she has nothing but praise for this course. It is easy to use, easy to find where you are, what you are to do next, and easy to pay attention to.
As a homeschooling parent, I appreciate the completeness of this course and its materials. Its twenty-eight lessons and forty labs can be used throughout a school year. The lessons are fun, engaging, and practical. The fact that it allows my student to learn and practice concepts independently is a big positive for our family.
I highly recommend the ETron Academy and ETron Circuit Labs (The Basics v2.0 Individual License Edition) for any homeschooling or non-homeschooling student—I would additionally recommend it to adults who would like to learn more about circuits. The program is easy to use, comprehensive and would be a great addition to any homeschool program.
-Product review by Sheila Chairvolotti, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2021