Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teachers - A Great New Site - TOS Review

KB Teachers (Knowledge Bear)
Great for PK-12th age children, all ages
$29 per year, or $49 for two years

As a member of the The Old Schoolhouse product review crew I recently received a free premium membership to KBTeachers to use in exchange for an honest review of the product.  No further compensation was received.  (What a timesaver this one was!)

Wow, KBTeachers is awesome!  This site is great for teachers and parents looking for new teaching tools and materials.  They don't charge per download or per workbook.  For a low yearly or monthly fee, you get full access to all of their content and services--which would easily cost you much more elsewhere.

Even better, before you join, you can preview the entire library, and after you join, you have 30 days to cancel your membership and ask for a refund.  If you go here to visit the site you can set up your free no risk 10 day trial with PayPal or use your credit card with a 30 day money back guarantee.
For Parents, Teachers and Educators this invaluable site offers worksheet generators and alphabet factory,
unlimited numbers of printable activities for all ages and grade levels, unlimited access with no watermarks,
graphics and clipart for use on websites, blogs, activity sheets, etc...  The available choices are numerous, with answers keys available.  The site regularly updates and adds new features and member created content every week.  Another plus, nothing to download--instant access (great timesaver if you're on dial-up internet)!  Where else can you find handwriting practice, math worksheets, detailed information about food pyramids, grammar lessons, a dinosaur workbook,  and seasonal clipart in the same place?

Site content is based on standards set by * NCTE, * NCSS,  *NSTA, * NCTM and * ISTE, (whew, say that three times fast).

As a KBTeacher you get access to an online community and can diversify your educational materials.  There are sections covering English, Math, Science, Biology, Social Studies, Seasonal, Crafts, Clipart and more.  This site is colorful and engaging, just like the printables you'll find there.  There's an online newsletter, and you'll find KBTeachers on Facebook too.  If you can't find something there's a request option too.

Taking into account all that I've mentioned, this really is a great option.  I'm glad this product came my way at a time when I was looking for the "extras" for my children.  I really like the seasonal options and worksheet generators.  My kids are having fun and learning.  It's great for my 13 year old and my 5 year old, and of course this 29+ year old!  You really should check out this site when you have time.  The cost is pretty reasonable considering all the options available.  For other reviews of this product click here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Collectorz - Book Collector - A TOS Review


Collectorz - Book Collector - TOS Product Review BV
W.G. Plein 384
1054 SG Amsterdam
The Netherlands om
Phone   +31-20 772 44 11  (during Dutch business hours, please note: Dutch time is GMT+1)
Fax   +31-20 772 69 08
Corporate website   Bitz & Pixelz

Organizing your home library just got so much simpler with this easy to use software!!


Collectorz software allows you to catalog your personal collection of  CDs, DVDs, books, comics and video games.  You can auto-download full data and cover images of your books by simply entering titles or scanning barcodes.

Some of the features include:   
Jumping directly to key features such as:
  • Browsing your book collection
  • Add data and covers automatically
  • Available data fields
  • Sort and Search your database
  • View your data in various skins
  • View statistics of your database
  • Export to CLZ Books (iPad, iPhone, Android)
  • Data export options e.g. to HTML
  • Use the loan manager
  • Print your book data
  • Book Collector Network Support
  • Browse your home library
  • Browse your book inventory, by Title, Author, Publisher, etc...
  • View your lists in a columnar List View or in the cool Images View.
  • Group your books in folders, e.g. by Genre, Author or Publisher,
  • or scroll through them as one big list.
How It Works:

You add your books in 3 easy steps to make a great database that will make you feel like you're at a real library.  Here's the process in a nutshell:

1. Type or scan the book's ISBN (Book Collector will use the ISBN to search the book database.)

2. Select your book from the Search Results  (When searching by ISBN there often is only one result, so you just have to confirm it's the right one.)

3. Click Add to add the book to your database (Book Collector then downloads all book data, including Title, Author, Publisher, Publication Date, Number of Pages and, when available, the cover image.)

Basically you add books in a easy-to-use search mode, or add books with the search queue mode. Or you can scan the ISBN with a barcode scanner.  (This will prevent typos and is much faster too.) 

**If you can afford the accessories and want to save time you might want to try the Opticon laser scanner or the simple Cuecat scanner, also available through

Books can also be cataloged by entering Author and Title .  (Typing the Author and Title of a book should make adding multiple books from a favorite author quick and easy.) 

Available Fields include:  Main book information, Author, Title, Publisher, Publication Date, ISBN, Format, Genre, Subject, LoC Classification (Library of Congress), and Dewey

More book details include:  Series, Volume,  Edition, Printer, Paper Type, Dimensions, Original Title, and Original Language

Collection Status  allows you to find out whether an item is actually in your possession, on your Wishlist,  Order, For Sale. 

I really like the ability to find information about authors, illustrators, and characters in your books.  You can also check out Chapter and Story lists for a list of the chapters or stories.  With this handy software you can also add links to websites, e-books, audio-books and extra images.

Another great Collectorz feature is the ability to catalog your collection on Windows, Mac OS X or online.
You can also check your list on any mobile device or share it with friends.

If organizing your materials is a priority for you this seems to be quite easy to use, includes most of the information you might want or need, and is reasonably priced.  In addition, the steps involved (especially if you use the scanner method) could be done by older children and less tech savvy computer users without much supervision or assistance.  All in all, a thumbs up for a really nice system.

The software pricing for Book Collector is as follows:
  • Book Collector Standard  all you need to catalog your collection   $29.95 
  • Book Collector Pro extra features for large collections   $49.95/Value Pack ($10 off)
  • Book Collector Standard  + CueCat Scanner  + Priority Support (1yr)  + Delivery on CD    $64.80   Deluxe Pack ($15 off)
  •  Book Collector Pro  + C37 Scanner  + Priority Support (1yr)   + Delivery on CD $139.80/$154.80   Power Pack ($20 off) 
  •  Book Collector Pro  + OPN-2001 Scanner  + Priority Support (1yr)  + Delivery on CD      $194.80/$214.80
For more information about products visit .  While you're there make sure you check out the CD, DVD, comic and video cataloging options. 

To see what other reviewers had to say visit

I was recently provided with a free copy of  Book Collector Pro software from the vendor for review purposes for the TOS Homeschool Crew.  No other compensation was received.  Observations and opinions are my own.

As I was preparing for this review my computer tower crashed and needed to be replaced.  To be timely with the due date of this review, I am writing an informational review based on researching the product.  I was unable to use the product again before the deadline.

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