Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014

Twig

Pricey library of science and math videos for middle and high school

Subjects & skills
Skills
N/A

Subjects
  • Math
  • Science
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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Pros: Twig videos are easy to find, visually appealing, and provide real-world context.

Cons: Kids passively watch films instead of designing their own investigations or creating their own mathematical models.

Bottom Line: Short science and math videos have clear explanations but miss opportunities for deeper thinking.

Twig videos aren't intended to replace science investigations or teacher instruction. Instead, they can be used as tools to support an existing curriculum and lesson plans. Twig can be used with a whole class as a hook to introduce a new topic, or teachers flipping their classrooms can assign the three-minute videos as homework and have students come in with a written reflection of what they saw. Kids can work in small groups on laptops or tablets to watch and discuss a movie clip. 

Twig can also be a resource for teachers looking to challenge or excite individual students with interests that extend beyond the rest of the class.  ELL teachers might consider using the Video Glossary to support science vocabulary.

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Twig is Carolina Science’s middle and high school version of TigTag. The library features more than 1,000 three-minute math and science videos. School districts or individual teachers can purchase one-year subscriptions for just math, just science, or both. Schools can also choose to purchase just the Twig Experiments portion of the science videos. Many movie clips use footage from NASA, CBS, or BBC.

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Navigating the Twig library is very easy; interactive mindmaps allow teachers to quickly find what they need by topic. Twig math videos help teachers answer the question, “Why do I have to learn this?” Twig science clips are vivid, short, and get right at key concepts. One of the highlights of Twig is the video-based science glossary. Kids struggling with science vocabulary will benefit from the 500 short definitions paired with memorable visuals.

Twig Experiment films are organized into separate clips for set-up, method, analysis, and application. This could support a teacher in providing context and instruction prior to actually doing a lab in class. Although the visuals and instructions are quick and clear, Twig Experiment misses the mark when it comes to scientific inquiry. Kids are simply told how to do each step of the experiment, cookbook style, without any effort to explain why each procedure is necessary. 

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Overall Rating

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

Mindmaps on Twig make it exceptionally easy to navigate, and Twig movie clips are short enough to keep kids engaged.

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

Each short film is accurate, relevant, and easy to understand, but kids aren't empowered to be scientists or mathematicians; they simply mimic them.

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

Each video comes with editable transcripts to support students with hearing loss. ELL students will benefit from visuals provided in the Video Glossary.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Alice G. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Vienna International School
Vienna,
Good for clear definitions and basic descriptions of scientific concepts and processes.

I have created youtube playlists which do a very similar job as the twig videos. Finding appropriate videos can be very time consuming though and twig is very quick to use and easy to navigate.

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