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Review by Andrea Zellner, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013

Mobento.com

Search tool for curated, high-quality videos from the Web

Common Sense says
Teachers say (1 Review)
$avg_user_learning_rating
Grades
9-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: The videos are high-quality and support learning in a variety of subjects.

Cons: Passively viewing content isn't the most interactive way for students to learn; captions could help increase accessibility for more students.

Bottom Line: Culling content from around the Web, the site's powerful search tool makes searching for educational videos more convenient.

For many teachers, videos are an engaging way to introduce a learning unit or to supplement instruction. While the right video can be hard to find, teachers will definitely appreciate Mobento for its high-quality content. 

The excellent search tool is especially helpful for busy, on-the-go teachers -- the quick search can be a real time-saver for finding just the right video to meet their needs. Additionally, teachers might want to recommend the site to students who have access at home -- either those who may need some extra support or those who might benefit from some enrichment in a particular subject.

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Mobento is focused on finding high-quality learning videos from around the Internet for students' and teachers' benefit. Offerings on the site include videos from both TED and Khan Academy, among others. The site allows teachers and students to search for and watch videos from a curated selection of content. Mobento claims that its search algorithm allows users to search the words within their curated list of videos -- this helps locate the most appropriate video for their learning needs. 

Users sign up for "courses" based on topic and then proceed to view the related videos or bookmark for later viewing. Users are encouraged to "favorite" videos in order to help others on the site find the best content more easily. Additionally, users can leave comments and take personal notes on each of the videos. Social media sharing is encouraged through Facebook, Twitter, and email.

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Mobento focuses primarily on topics in science and math but also includes a few humanities-based "courses" like world history, world religions, and education; new topics are added from time to time. The site's search feature is its most powerful tool; the ability to quickly find the best videos from around the Web -- based on the video's content -- is an outstanding feature.  

The site is easy to navigate, and the simple interface allows for users to quickly engage with the content. However, with such a strong search feature, it's disappointing that Mobento doesn't offer captions for every video. In many cases, determined users may be able to find the videos on their original sites and enable captions there. TED, Khan Academy, and other learning sites from which Mobento pulls its content offer a captions option -- it would be great if this feature could work within Mobento's site as well. Overall, while it's nice to find these curated videos in one place, an even more extensive collection would help round out the site.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

The curated videos are high-quality and organized into helpful topics, and the site is easy to navigate. Engagement will vary from video to video, since they come from various sources.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Videos are carefully vetted and arranged by educational topic -- users select only from a collection of high-quality videos. The search tool quickly locates videos -- you can search using keywords, or even ask a question.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

It's fairly intuitive to use, but there's little support beyond general help forums. When watching videos through the site, a captions option would be a helpful tool.


Teacher Reviews

3
(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews)
Featured review by
Michelle N. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Lebanon Senior High School
Lebanon, PA
3
Great resource for educational videos -- no need to vet content!

Overall Mobento is a useful resource. Although there are not extension activities built into the website, the quality and quantity of diverse video resources provided by Mobento will allow teachers to use the video content as a "jumping off point." The site allows students to live stream the content, save the video into the "watch later" queue or share the video via social networking. The best part of the website is that students don't need to create a log-in to access content. However, it is advisable that they do, as this will give them access to their own history of viewed content and access to "organization videos" -- specific files of videos, like "Vids for Mr. X's Science Class," or "NASA." The website, unlike the app version, also compiles similar videos into "courses." As an example, these courses may package videos on 'how to solve order of operations,' or package a number of world religions into a course. Although this is not a resource I would use everyday, I would definitely recommend Mobento for the occasional small group assignment, or individual learning activity.

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