Friday, May 20, 2011

Time to Exercise - A New TOS Review!!

Lately I've been really trying to get our whole family on the same page when it comes to eating healthy and fitness.  We've been doing better, but not nearly where I'd like us to be.

The Product:
As a member of the TOS Crew I was given the opportunity to review GoTrybe, an online fitness, nutrition, wellness, and motivation program for children of all ages.  There are three disticnt areas on GoTrybe:
  • ZooDoos (K-5th)
  • Tribe180 (6th- 8th)
  • NextTrybe (9th-12th)
Once you are signed in your child is given an avatar - a customizable "person" that can be dressed and decorated to be more representative of themselves.  There are four parts to the program and participating in each part daily earns your student points which then can be spent while in the online avatar store.

The first portion of the program is the Fitness section.  While here your student can pick from a pre-designed Trybe workout or you can help them )or they can create their own) custom workout picking from different video clips.  If you scroll over the clips with your mouse you will find pertinent information about the clip including the video name, description of the workout, video length and whether it is usable in a classroom setting, as well as other information.  Some of the clips in the name portion will put the age range that would be better suited for that exercise clip.

If you chose to design your own exercise program, you will pick 1 warm=up, 3 cardio, 1 strength, and 1 flexibility which builds a very well-rounded exercise regimen.  Once built, you can save that custom program with your own name and then load it each time or choose to build several to be used throughout the week.  The customizable section also told you the age range and length of the clips, which I found very helpful.

The next sections of the program are a little less intensive and pretty much give a small bit of education and allows your student to earn many points for little effort.  The first of the three sections is Nutrition.  There is a question that is immediately followed by a multiple choice answer.  These help keep your child thinking of nutrition as it applies to their everyday life.

Then is a Motivation section.  These are short video clips with real people who are asked questions (which you can read on screen) and then are answered within the video.

The last section is the Wellness section.  This section has short video clips that teach about a wellness issues like checking expirations or not picking up needles if you see them lying around in the park or on a street.  At the end of each portion of the program your child will see this:
and if your children are like mine they will be very pleased with themselves for getting the answers correct.

There is also a forum feature, but we did not use this feature.  Since my children are not typists, nor do they have hours and hours to spend online.  And I couldn't really figure out how safe it was, so we just left it alone.  You could "friend" others that you might know so my two girls friended each other, but they didn't do anything else with that.  There's also a "shout out" feature, but again we didn't use that either.

Our Experience:
We had a little trouble coordinating the use of the program with our living conditions. Our desktop is in my mom and dad's bedroom and the space between the computer and the bed is about ... 4 feet, so not really enough room to exercise.  When we first received this program to review, my husband's computer (which is a netbook) was not really home enough due to his work and school schedule so we were only able to use it a few times per week.

When we did get to use the program since the netbook has such a tiny screen (like 7 inches) we hooked it up to our big screen tv.  Needless to say this was just a bit of a hassle.  I was hoping that the program would be accessible through the Wii, but that wasn't the case.  The format the videos are in isn't yet supported or vice versa, so the hooking up of the netbook was the process we went through each time we used the program.

The first time we went to use the program it took a bit of time, to familiarize ourselves with all the features and where very thing was and we chose to create our own workout so that took a bunch of time to do also.  After that experience, I decided that I would "prepare" some workouts and save them so that in the future we could click one of our 'customized' workouts without having to waste all the picking and choosing time.  I did set up an account for both Arianna and Audrie, so then I had to duplicate things which also took up some time.

Once we started the girls loved it.  Even Seanan got in on the exercise.  The workouts we choose were cute.  Some of them had them doing exercises disguised as being animals, or running mini relay races in the living room.  They though that was fun and seemed to be having a blast.

My Thoughts:
One thing I would like to see is the compatibility with the gaming systems (ie Wii, PS3, XBox) and/or BlueRays or through an app on a tablet.  That would have made it much easier for us to use as a family and we proably would have used it more often.

Because I had two accounts (one for each child) I did notice that the questions were the same.  I wish they had not been, since once the one answered (since we were all doing it as a family) the other would already know the answer.

The other thing is that the kids seemed more interested in earning their points (to dress and change the avatar) then in really retaining any of the educational information that was being presented to them.

I did like the ability to totally customize a workout and that when you swiped your mouse on the clip it told you all the pertinent information about that video so that you would know at a glance whether that would be appropriate for your family.

All In all I think GoTrybe has a great idea ... it just needs a bit more tweaking to fully fit our family.  If you would like to try it out for a day go and enter the code GETFIT and you will get one free day.  After your trial you can get a full year for just $19.95 (regularly $39.95.)  You can read what other Crew members thought about this program and how they used it in their families by visiting the TOS Crew page for GoTrybe.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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