Educator Edtech Review: Walkabouts

(Image credit: Walkabouts)

Walkabouts is an evidenced-based online learning platform for grades Pre-K to 2. It uses short, interactive videos to reinforce ELA/literacy and math skills through movement. These on-demand videos are designed to supplement instruction by using movement to reinforce learning, giving educationally based brain breaks. Walkabouts content are aligned to state standards as well as Head Start and NAEYC standards.

I found Walkabouts intuitive to use and engaging for students, and it would be welcome in any classroom.

Walkabouts: Getting Started in the Classroom 

Creating a Walkabouts account is very easy and, once set up, I was able to begin using Walkabouts right away. I found the dashboard very intuitive – it features two menus, one for active movement Walkabouts and the other for “Walksheets,” downloadable worksheets which correlate to the Walkabouts video content.  

I was able to go through the menus and select a Walkabout or Walksheet that fit my needs by simply just choosing the grade level, subject, subcategory, and lesson. A “recent” menu at the bottom provides quick access, and this tool provides me the ability to even create favorites to access my most-used content.

Each video has upbeat intro music and a fun song to get my students ready to move. The animation and characters are very well done and age-appropriate. Characters introduce the lesson and learning targets at the beginning of each video.  

My students follow the character around as they move about the animated environment. As they move, they are asked to perform different kinesthetic movements between questions. The characters stop at various points in the video to introduce the next task. For example, in a math video, my students were asked to do a jumping jack or squat depending on their answer to the problem on the screen. The Walkabout characters are very encouraging, and do a very good job at explaining content. 

Walkabouts: Best Features 

Walkabouts has a menu at the right of the video screen that offers a variety of choices. I can make a video full-screen, which is perfect for presenting to an entire class. I can assign a video to a student, a class, or “team,” as well as save the content to a playlist, my favorites, or download an accompanying .PDF file to hand out. Additionally, there are buttons to open or email a link to an associated assessment  

At the bottom are playback controls as well as choices so I can vary the volume and speed of the video. The speed setting only slows the speed of the lesson, the audio remains clear and easy to understand throughout. 

The backend features of Walkabouts are very user-friendly and rich. Once my students and I have accounts, I can divide them into 'teams' that can be an entire class or a small group for differentiation. 

Other teachers, learning coaches, and administrators can view notes and reports with data relating to student progress and usage, Furthermore, Walkabouts is compatible with Clever and ClassLink single sign-on solutions. This is especially valuable since the target grade levels could have challenges remembering login information. 

All students using the program can be rostered in their classes through an automated process or manually via file uploads.

Walkabouts: Pricing 

Pricing plans for Walkabouts are very competitive and budget friendly. These range from $29 per year for home or homeschool, $99 per year for single classrooms, $799 per year for Daycare/Pre-K, and $999 per year for an entire school grade Pre-K-2. 

New videos are coming for grades 3-5 that are included in the “Entire School” plan.

Walkabouts: Key Takeaways 

The Walkabouts video on-demand learning platform has done the work by providing myself and colleagues with an evidenced-based learning platform that is a fun and interactive way to teach math, language arts, and literacy skills both in-person and remotely. 

The interface is very easy to use and has tools in intuitive locations that I found simple to access. The single sign-on, rostering, and differentiation features are invaluable and translate into saved instructional time. 

With Walkabouts, students will not be able to stop themselves from getting up and moving when they hear the music and see the welcoming faces of the animated characters. Overall, this is a great value that could find a place in any elementary classroom.

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Frank Pileiro is the former Supervisor of Technology & Data for the Linwood Public Schools in Linwood, NJ.  He speaks at the local, state, and national levels about empathy, educational innovation, and instructional technology.