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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Learning to Spell

Learning to spell in elementary school can be a drag, it is all rote memorization. Writing the words over and over again so you can learn them for the test. A web-site named Spelling Time has developed a fun an interactive method to teach kids in grades 1-5 spelling in an engaging manner. The process involves multiple steps, first an animated character speaks a word and then you type the word.

You then play a hangman type game for any words that you misspelled and then you are asked to get a piece of paper and a pencil and write the words you missed three times and the ones you got correct once (talk about an integrated blended learning approach). Finally, you are rewarded with points and allowed to play a game where you can send the high score to a friend or anyone on the high score list.

The application has built in repetition designed to teach facts which is an effective learning strategy. It has engaging activities and characters that provide an exciting learner experience and has built in motivation. It also works blended learning right into the learning process.

Plus it is fun, my 9 year old son in 4th grade had so much fun he played the demo twice. It would be a great way for him to practice his spelling words. Watch out the company is also working on topics like understanding money, math, geography, the solar system and others. Look out FDA compliance training...

Designers of instruction should take a number of pointers from this example of well designed instruction.

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