FAQs

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills do students learn at braintrain?

Braintrain ventures teach the skills that we feel will set them up for success in the future:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Complex problem solving

What are the sessions like?

Most sessions are one hour long and led by a conductor. While there are some informative presentations, we present information strictly to set the context and background for the bulk of the challenge or project. The primary focus of a typical session is to facilitate learners working together to solve problems.

What is the class size?

Most of our ventures consist of 4-6 learners.

What is the age range?

The age range is 6-14.

Why are braintrain ventures more expensive than other online courses?

Braintrain ventures are not like other online courses, they are better thought of as collaborative projects. Learners are not passive – they work together to solve problems, build things and complete challenges. A large portion of online courses for children are ‘virtual babysitting’ with little to no learning outcomes even attempted. Others have a business model that allows for anyone to offer and set pricing for a class on a digital platform with virtually no quality controls or screening. Still others make money by lowering prices and increasing class sizes to the point where there is little to no engagement or personal attention. We are priced to reflect both the small class sizes and the experience your child will get in a braintrain venture.

Does braintrain offer accreditation in my school system?

No. Braintrain is offering something that we feel is a gap in most education systems – direct training for higher-order thinking skills that will be critical for success in the future.

Does my child need to be gifted to enroll in a braintrain venture?

No. We sometimes refer to our ventures as ‘enriched’ because they are similar in learning outcomes to opportunities sometimes offered to students identified as gifted and talented. We do not understand why higher-order thinking skills such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity are sometimes only offered to gifted students. Braintrain ventures are inclusive and open to anyone within the age range of the course.

How should my child prepare for the first session?

You and your child should carefully read the venture description, complete any pre-work required and have a paper and pen handy.

Your child should log in at the requested time from a computer or laptop (tablets and phones are not recommended. While they can do in a pinch, some technical functionality within our platform will be lost and it will not be as smooth an experience). You should also note the technical requirements.

What are the technical requirements?

The majority of our sessions are conducted via zoom video conferencing platform. Your child at times will be asked to access the internet via web browser to access information as part of the session. We recommend downloading the zoom app but it is not necessary. Please see zoom technical requirements here.

Can I observe a session?

We recommend that parents/guardians do not watch the sessions. It may be helpful to be in proximity for the first few minutes of a session if you’re curious or to make sure your child is connected, however during sessions students are focused on working with their peers and it may be distracting or intimidating to see someone else on their group’s video feed.

What if my child has to miss a session?

Please email info@braintrain.org if your child has to miss a session. We will make every effort to ensure that your conductor is aware and can make the appropriate adjustments. We are not able to offer refunds for missing sessions, so please ensure you pick a time that works for your child.

Do you have ventures languages other than English?

Currently no. However, we are open to offering ventures in other languages. Please contact info@braintrain.org to request a venture in a different language.

What is braintrain's approach to privacy and community standards?

Click on the following links to read our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Community Standards and Conductor Guidelines.

Braintrain’s classes teach the skills that we feel will set them up for success in the future:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Complex problem solving
  • Creativity

Most sessions are one hour long and led by a facilitator. While there are some informative presentations, we present information strictly to set the context and background for the bulk of the coursework. The primary focus of our coursework is to facilitate learners working together to solve problems.

Currently our classes consist of 4-6 learners.

Currently the bulk of sessions are from 3-7ET / 12-4PT. We are always considering opening new timeslots if there is interest. If you would like a class outside of these times please send your request to info@braintrain.org.

The age range is 8-14.

Put simply; you get what you pay for. A large portion of online classes for children are ‘virtual babysitting’ with little to no learning outcomes even attempted. Others have a business model that allows for anyone to offer and price a class on a digital platform with virtually no quality controls or screening. Still others make money by lowering prices and increasing class sizes to the point that it might as well be a youtube video for all the attention your child is getting. We are priced to reflect the learning outcomes and experience your child will get, which in our opinion is enhanced by high quality teachers, low class sizes and a focus on skill building that other offerings simply do not match.

No. Braintrain is offering something that we feel is a gap in most education systems – direct training for higher-order thinking skills that will be critical for success in the future.

No. We sometimes refer to our courses as ‘enriched’ because they are similar in learning outcomes to opportunities sometimes offered to students identified as gifted and talented. We do not understand why higher-order thinking skills such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity are sometimes only offered to gifted students. Braintrain courses are inclusive and open to anyone within the age range of the course.

You and your child should carefully read the course description, complete any pre-work required and have a paper and pen handy.

Your child should log in at the requested time from a computer or laptop (tablets and phones are not recommended. While they can do in a pinch, some technical functionality within our platform will be lost and it will not be as smooth an experience). You should also note the technical requirements.

Please note the following technical requirements:

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome 81 (Windows, macOS, Android, Linux)
  • FireFox 76 (Windows, macOS, Linux)
  • Edge 81 (Windows)
  • Safari 13 (macOS, iOS 13.1)

Bandwidth

  • 2MPS in each direction

We recommend that parents/guardians do not watch the classes. It may be helpful to be in proximity for the first few minutes of a class if you’re curious or to make sure your child is connected, however during classes students are focused on working with their peers and it may be distracting or intimidating to see someone else on their teammate’s video feed.

Please email info@braintrain.org if your child has to miss a class. We will make every effort to ensure that your teacher is aware and can make the appropriate adjustments. We are not able to offer refunds for missing classes, so please ensure you pick a time that works for your child.

Currently no. However, we are open to offering classes in other languages. Please contact info@braintrain.org to request a class in a different language.