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Discovery Education Streaming - is it worth it?


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I'm considering ordering the Discovery Education streaming (basic or plus) but I'd love to hear from people who have used either one. Is the basic "good enough" did you wish you'd bought plus? Has anyone bought plus and thought it wasn't worth it?


It looks great, but even with the HSBC discount it's still very expensive and I want to be reasonably positive that it is worth it.


I anticipate using it mostly for science this year, and American history next year. I do have Netflix but don't like having to plan out in advance what I'll need when.

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We have plus. I use it all the time! It is a great tool that adds a lot to our weekly plan. I usually put videos that go with our plan of the week in the 'my content' area to have them handy. There is more than just videos. We've used the clipart and graphics and there are some interactive games as well, and much more. I wouldn't pay the prices for it unless I used it consistently though because it is expensive. We use it almost daily.


Another thing, check to see if your school district offers it free to schools. If that is the case you may qualify to have it free. Only thing about that is that it may not be full access. You'd have to check that out. :)

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I have the basic, and we use it frequently. What I really love is that a lot of the audio files are downloadable, so I put them on my iPod for carschooling. We also do Elementary Spanish, plus use it frequently for science.


Wait, they have Spanish?!


Which audio files do you listen to?


I wish I could get it for free through the school district. I was happy to get World Book!

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Northern Arizona University's Elementary Spanish Curriculum for K-6 is available on Basic, and I believe the middle school is available on plus. There's also a lot of other nice Spanish resources. I subscribed for ES, though.


We have plus and worked through the middle school course this past summer. It was priceless! Turns out the girls FLVS Spanish uses some of the videos from the middle school course in their program. The girls get a kick out of that because they've already seen them. :D

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I really liked using it for Elementary Spanish, but during the two years we had it (and used it regularly for ES), I only used a handful of other resources, even though my kids were prime ages. . . I find that I rarely have time for video 'extras' (preferring books, etc.). Now, with the abundance of free videos online, I don't think I could imagine paying for it again unless I had a specific course (ES or similar) that I knew we'd use regularly.


FWIW, I would do it again for ES if I knew we'd use it. . . At this time, only one of my dc is still at a level to use those spanish programs & I can't justify the expense when we have so many other free resources & other things I own. (Just discovered the free Salsa videos, lol)

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  • 1 month later...
Does anyone know if you can stream Discovery Ed through a WII?


That's a great question. I noticed in our new Wii update that there is an option for web surfing...I wonder if we can get videos to play on there?? OOOOh I might have to try that later! I don't have Discovery Ed but imagine the other possibilities!

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I have the basic plan.

For us, the Elementary Spanish program justifies the cost completely! My kids watch the program twice a week and are learning so much.

They also really enjoy watching science videos as well.

I haven't used it much for history, just because we currently spend enough time each week on history. There is a lot availiable for that subject too!

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From http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/streaming.htm



  1. The Free Trial.
    If you are a homeschooler who is *not* eligible for a free subscription, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial to see if you think it is a resource that would be worthwhile for your family. Simply go to www.unitedstreaming.com and click on free trial under the New Users section.
  2. Who Can Get It.

    1. Who can access for free, and how.
      According to the United Streaming website, NY, GA, LA, SC, IA, AR or RI you might already have access to unitedstreaming! Please contact us by phone at 1-800-323-9084 to set up your account.
    2. Paid Subscription.
      If you are not eligible for a free subscription and are a homeschooler, you can sign up for United Streaming for $149 per year.


[*]System Requirements.

There is a link at the bottom of the home page that you can click on to open a page that will check your system's requirements. (I could not find a specific listing of exactly what the minimum requirements were exception for screen resolution.)

[*]Who cannot get it.

Everyone in the US should have access, either through a free subscription or through a paid subscription.




III. How to get shows


The page layout may be different for different subscribers. I can access US either directly through US or through our public broadcasting system page. Both open up in different page formats. Also, some have reported that they have access to some programs through United Streaming that others cannot access.

  1. Searching and Browsing Listings.
    You can search for materials using several different search criteria including title, subject area, grade level, type of media, producers, etc.
  2. Download Shows




Procedure click on the link
Download Time & File Size. This varies depending on the length of the video and the quality of the file. Be advised, with dial-up service, a 30-minute show can take two or three hours to open (this does not include viewing time).
Saving to Disk.
Shows can be saved to CD or DVD to play later on a computer equipped with Windows Media Player or Real Player. If you have a program that can convert files to a media format your DVD player can play, you can also convert the files and burn them to DVD to watch on a TV. Please note: the quality of the picture is not very good.
Watching Shows.
Most people watch online. The videos open in a small screen format and are very clear. If you enlarge the picture on the computer screen, it loses it s clarity. Some have suggested sitting further away from the screen to make the larger screen size appear clearer.
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Found this on Homeschool Buyers Co-op:


SPECIAL NOTE</B> to Co-op members residing in the states of Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina: You may have an option to obtain the Basic version -- but not the Plus version -- of DE streaming for FREE through your local PBS station.


It has come to our attention that Georgia, Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina homeschoolers can get access to get the "Basic" version of Discovery Education strearming through your local PBS station. Contact your local PBS station for details. (Arkansas members click here. South Carolina members click here.) Alternatively, you may join our Group Buy, but you will be charged our non-refundable $10 transaction fee and pay the same price as other members, regardless of your state.

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You could try logging in using your district name as the username and password :tongue_smilie:. Dh is a student teacher at a local school and was given a list of the username/passwords for various subscriptions, and they are all pretty much either the name of the school, the name of the district, or the name of the mascot.

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