Review by Ericka D, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2017

Vizzle

Visual lessons reinforce concepts for students with special needs

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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5 images

Pros: Ready-made, interactive activities make lesson prep effortless.

Cons: Slightly outdated content, limited feedback for students; navigating the dashboard can take some time.

Bottom Line: Thoughtful but dated tool helps with differentiation and progress-tracking for students with autism.

Teachers can use Vizzle to differentiate their class lessons for students. Built with universal design in mind, students can complete lessons on an electronic device of their choosing (fit to their own instructional level). Have students complete lessons at home, or use rotating stations in your classroom; Vizzle can be used as independent work for some students while you work with others in small groups.

Use Vizzle as a supplement to instructing IEP goals. Set a mastery level (e.g., 80%) to fit a student's IEP goals (e.g., reading consonant-vowel-consonant words) and easily chart their progress. Then bring the report to annual meetings or parent-teacher conferences. When analyzing student-specific data, use the filter option so that you can see which lessons the student completed in a week's time or even during one class period. 

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Vizzle is a platform that includes visual, interactive lessons for special eduction students and students with autism. Log in to the teacher dashboard to begin searching for lessons, which can be sorted by subject, grade, or type of activity. Topics include everything from ELA and math to speech therapy and life skills. Once teachers find a lesson they like, they can tag it, preview it, add it to a student's education plan, or save it to My List. Once they're added to the roster, lessons can be assigned to multiple or individual students.

With Vizzle, teachers can set goals for students along with customized mastery levels (so that students must reach a certain percentage before moving to other content areas). Detailed reports show student progress toward mastery. Feel free to customize each student's play preferences, and add accommodations such as text to speech, color, theme, and visual reinforcer. Filter data to include start and end dates, times, and more. A separate Vizzle Player lets students interact directly with the online lessons that teachers have added to education plans. 

Whether students use Vizzle individually or at home for additional practice, the platform is best used for supplemental instruction. Because the website includes thousands of lessons, students and teachers can narrow in on specific areas, like single-digit addition. Once students complete lessons, data is automatically collected. The best thing about Vizzle is that it collects the data seamlessly and presents it in an easy-to-read graph. Filtering the student data helps teachers see if their students are generalizing content to their core academic areas, performing to expectations in different class periods, or even if they're able to independently complete lessons during a certain time of day.

While the data is great, the content in Vizzle could use a bit of sprucing up; the visual reinforcers will be less engaging to older students. Assessment is limited to matching and multiple-choice questions, and there's little help or feedback given to students if they get wrong answers. Vizzle is best for targeting specific student needs, and it may help provide reinforcement to students with autism or other special needs if teachers are able to use the data wisely.   

Overall Rating

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

The content is a bit outdated and stale, but students and teachers will appreciate the visual reinforcers they independently select, the easy-to-read data, and the positive reinforcement along the way. 

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

Students with special needs are presented with lessons that focus on visual reinforcement while teachers are given tools to differentiate and monitor progress. Matching and multiple-choice questions lack useful feedback.

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

Training videos and support manuals help teachers get started. A robust set of accommodations is available, including multiple sliders for text-to-speech settings and a selection of reinforcers and themes.  


Common Sense Reviewer
Ericka D Counselor, psychologist, or social worker

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Meg H. ,
Shiloh Middle School
Hampstead, MD
Great interactive tool for students with special needs, specifically Autism
I think that Vizzle is a wonderful teaching tool that can be incorporated during classroom lessons and routines for any subject area. As a teacher in a self-contained classroom for students with Autism, I've used Vizzle during whole group, small group, and for independent work. I absolutely love the fact that I am able to individualize lessons to meet each learners needs. I am able to assign lessons to each student and they are then able to log into their Vizzle Player and complete each lesson. It monitors their responses which is wonderful for IEP data collection. This data can be used for me to see what areas I need to re-teach or practice with the student. Students are extremely engaged and motivated to use Vizzle each and every day. Although Vizzle is wonderful and is an engaging interactive teaching tool, I did find that it often can be time consuming to create, edit or find lessons. However, I feel that Vizzle helps me tremendously to meet each students needs each and every day.
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