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Reviews for SpellNow Series

In Summit Reflections, educators review tools that they have seen at an EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit. Summit Reflections can only be completed onsite at the event; reviewers are incentivized to leave reviews.
Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program to differentiate instruction with students in spelling and reading and also to promote student engagement.

Strengths: This program is amazing because it differentiates the instruction for each individual student and teaches basic phonemic awareness and spelling patterns.

Suggestions for Improvement: This program is wonderful! The only thing I think would be a great improvement would be making the graphics tailored towards older kids so we can encourage older kids at lower levels to engage in the program.

Verdict: I would highly recommend this program because it differentiates the instruction for each individual student and teaches basic phonemic awareness and spelling patterns.

Librarian, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to allow students to work on spelling words at their level.

Strengths: I think lower elementary would love this game, and it gives them multiple ways to.test them information. I love that it would give students different words if they didn't do well. The cost is appropriate for district as well.

Suggestions for Improvement: Teachers need to.be able to input their own words. It is important if the educators have to give specific words. It would be nice if the music changed. It was starting to annoy me.

Verdict: They price is doable. It is appealing to.younger elementary students.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use this website/app to allow my students a personalized learning experience as they build their vocabulary base. The students will enjoy this program because of its user friendly appearance.

Strengths: I like that this product allows the students to perform at their current level and offers a variety of methods for learning the vocabulary words and their spelling. This solves the dilemma of creating teacher made exercises that are engaging after school hours.

Suggestions for Improvement: The product appears to be pretty straight forward and offers the needs of students in regards to spelling. One thing that would increase the level of understanding is if they offered a slot where the students could create their own sentences and then the teacher or program could gauge the level of understanding based on application.

Verdict: I would recommend this program because it allows individuality, which is what our society is moving forward towards. It provides the pretesting and then moves them where nessicary.

Heidi, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I think this tool would be helpful for showing where my students need help I their own spelling. I do wosh the app would allow for teacher created lists in addition. I do like that the fee is per student. This is something that could be very helpful for my classroom with only 5 in forth grade and 4 in third.

Strengths: I like the fact the product can be structured for individual students and do wonder how this would work doe those students who are working above and maxing out.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to be able to in put my own lists. I would also like to be structured price for very small districts. I would additionally like to have reports emailed to users , parents, as well as me. I have found receiving email notices holds everyone more accountable.

Verdict: The biggest challenge is the limited practice with it at this time as well as the limited grade levels available. I am concerned that it would be viewed as to young for older students.

sierhah, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product so my fifth graders could practice their spelling skills. It could be a free time activity or used as a warm-up practice.

Strengths: I like the program very much as is. I look forward to it expanding.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to have the option as a teacher to add words that I want the students to know based on books we may be reading in class. It would also be great if the program could use sentences from the actual text we are reading. I would also like to see more grammar components. Lastly, I would just like to see the company use more arduous texts as the grades increase so students could genuinely practice the words in context.

Verdict: I would recommend it because it would allow my students to be tracked throughout the learning journey. It also allows them to get so may different types of practices with the words they are learning.

Laura, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population, Project Based School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to teach phonics and word recognition skills to my students. It would enrich their phonics and word recognition, which will help improve literacy skills.

Strengths: I believe my students would enjoy using this product and that it would help their literacy skills. I feel the games are visually appealing and students would enjoy the challenges. I really like the teacher dashboard and the way data is displayed.

Suggestions for Improvement: Needs to be flexible so teachers can create their own lists. Would like to be able to rollover classes or students from one year or another. Would like to know the pricing points.

Verdict: The only reason I would be hesitant right now is that they do not have a clear idea of how much this will cost per student. The list are also set, no ability to make your own list.

SpEd Teacher, School Type: High School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product as motivational guide through adaptive learning and being a
SpEd teacher this works out to my benefit.

Strengths: Personalized learning concepts, engaging to the student, and also ignites a passion for the learner by allowing them to have fun while at school.

Suggestions for Improvement: Students may not take it seriously and think it's all about playing games and not completing the task. Additionally, students may become too bored with certain types of the same games, therefore it may impede the process of learning.

Verdict: This system allows for students to learn through gaming and not really know that they're getting something out of the deal. It appears to be a fun app that captivates the students throughout the process.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to give my students spelling practice for those that need more of a challenge. Also, I would use it for all students for writing practice to give them immediate feedback to their writing errors.

Strengths: It solves the problem of having to do corrections manually.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would want to be able to put in my own sentences for dictation. I would want to be able to arrange my words within the program. I would like to create my own word lists.

Verdict: I would recommend it as a great tool for conventions practice in writing. The immediate feedback would cause the students to make immediate corrections instead of waiting until their writing is completed.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to help build vocabulary and to build an awareness of spelling words correctly.

Strengths: I believe that the gamifying appraoch will allow students to be engaged in their learning and see it beyond an "assignment".

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see a pre-assessment feature to help show students their growth. They would be able to see their progress and set personal goals for their learning,

Verdict: Our student population consists of a high percentage of struggling learners. To help begin to fill the gaps, this learning tool would be beneficial. I like the way that students could monitor thei progress, as well as, myself.

Special Ed Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would incoperate the spell now in to my academics during freetime I would like for my students to broaded their vocabulary and I believe this program would help.

Strengths: it is visually appealling to the students and i gives complete instruction and different information where to meet kids at their frustration level

Suggestions for Improvement: I believe the progam is to child like for older kids and I thin k my 6th and 7th graders would not like becuase the program can look elementary at times.

Verdict: this program is geared toward helping students widen their vocabulary and I thin it would help

Kaye, First grade teacher. School Type: Elementary School, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I will use it to supplement my word study.

Strengths: I like how appealing this would be for first grade students. Parents would be able to easily be able to use this. Students would love to use this at all times because it seems like a game.

Suggestions for Improvement: I want to be able to put in y own words. Of course I would ant it to be free. I would like to make sure that it is gears towards units states standards.

Verdict: I like the way students are assessed and that they can work to their own level.

Erica, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would integrate this program in my technology center as an activity for students to build sight word fluency and typing skills.

Strengths: The product is user friendly for children. I like that it provides a way for students to listen to the sentence. This would be great for my struggling readers.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if the program was available in multiple languages. Also, my concern is that because the program was written in Australia that the accent would confuse my students when listening to the words. Finally the dictation keyboard did not have a shift key for students to make capital letters which would be useful to teach my students typing skills.

Verdict: I would definitely suggest this product but would not necessarily follow up because teachers are already using so many things in their classrooms.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: It is not appropriate or geared for the grade level I teach.

Strengths: The product is individualized which is a big draw and could be very beneficial. Since it has a "game like" aspect it would be very appealing to students.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would connect vocabulary and/or sight words in some way. This would make the product even more appealing to administrators and teachers in all grade levels. It would make the focus a bit broader and allow for multiple uses in school.

Verdict: It would most likely be beneficial to some students, but since ALL students in the school wouldn't have access to the program I would not push for it.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I don't like products that cost the teacher for the teacher and class to use. Free trials are a tease and I don't like to show my class something then take it away when I don't pay for it.

Strengths: I like how there are size different games for each list. I like how the level of difficulty increases.

Suggestions for Improvement: I'd like for the program to be free for the teachers and maybe charge for home use. Maybe be free on web-based version and a slight charge for the app, such as $5

Verdict: It doesn't seem to be geared for American students. My African American students might have difficulty with the different accent.

Dianna, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: To build students spelling skills as well as punctuation, grammar, and comprehension.
I would have students log on to play fun games and build skills while having fun. I would use it to keep up with skills needed by individual students therefore being able to focus in on what they need to work on

Strengths: This program is very graphic appealing which helps make learning fun
Learning can be personalized.Teacher can input her own spelling words. The games are self correcting
There are pre and post test to measure learning

Suggestions for Improvement: Each student has to have his/her own log in which may be time consuming and it prevents them from working together

Verdict: This a program that will help to make learning fun for students while they are learning and building skills. This program is student friendly and easy to use. Teachers are able to go in and see how well students are picking up learning necessary skills. It offers a variety of games for different skills.

Sandy, SPED. School Type: High School, College Prep School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Vocabulary words and comprehension review. Students like to do games and they will learn as they compete in a game.

Strengths: This is a practical educational tool I know the students would enjoy using. It will keep them focused and learn without effort.

Suggestions for Improvement: Add games in all academic areas that follow and align the core curriculmn

Verdict: The interest students have for playing on their phones etc. this product would gain the interest of the students.

TA, School Type: Other, Blended Learning

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I will use this with my students in my classroom with the student that has the skills to use the program.

Strengths: It seem is and kid friendly

Suggestions for Improvement: There is nothing I would want to change from what I have seen.

Verdict: It will help the students with their spelling and pronunciation

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Weekly spelling practice in the computer lab. Also for sentence structure.

Strengths: We were able to try the product out.

Suggestions for Improvement: Make it free and accessible, direct or towards specific content.

Verdict: This would help with spelling and writing skills.

LMS, School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Help students increase spelling skills.

Strengths: Colorful. Easy for students to use.

Suggestions for Improvement: Giving a per student cost option or whole school cost option.

Verdict: Appealing to students, teachers, staff. Students will love it.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: If I had technology, I would use daily monitor what children can do. This would be used as educational tool where I can determine what I want children to do.

Strengths: I think students would enjoy this due to visuals, cute, appealing pictures.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. More customizable.
2. Teacher ability to restrict access to some parts until ready.
3. Demonstrate on actual desktop.

Verdict: It doesn't feel quite ready. I would need it to be more customizable so that children could work on my spelling lists and skills as I am working on them in the order I choose.

Meredith, Science. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I like the customized word list that I could use to focus on specific science vocabulary.

Strengths: Graphics were very engaging and the site was easy to use and understand. it wouldn't require much input to get the students to understand and use the program.

Suggestions for Improvement: Offering other grade levels

Maybe offering content specific vocabulary practice, like math terms and social studies.

Verdict: I would recommend it to help students with spelling and vocabulary because they are developing a version of the game that would focus on grades past 4th.

Tech, School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: To assess students and build vocabulary and spelling.
Spelling games and resources

Strengths: Great intervention strategy for engaging students in a game format. Love the different game op Ions within the app. Love that you can add your own spelling words and interact with tools. Organized reports

Suggestions for Improvement: Fix bugs in games make it more affordable for all schools.

Verdict: I like he gaming design and focus. Engaging platform
To interest students

Maria, TA. School Type: Other

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: To introduce literacy to early learners

Strengths: Visually appealing. I think young learners would enjoy the character antics.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be nice if there were an option for beginning readers. For example letter sounds and blends

Verdict: I think it helps to make literacy more appealing for students who find reading difficult or with issues with maintaining attention.

Kim, Math Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I teach hs alternative ed

Strengths: More focus for high school failing students.
Help with alternative ed students
Poverty students
More games

Suggestions for Improvement: More games
more high school
poverty and failing students in high school

Verdict: I teach high school not elementary

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would us this product to help with spelling lessons and help students gain a better knowledge of spelling concepts. I would use this in center time. The students would be able to gain immediate feedback

Strengths: The strengths of this program are that it allows the students to use technology while learning. It is geared towards their learning ability, which helps them learn on their own terms.

Suggestions for Improvement: If it was free, that would make it better.

Verdict: The focus on spelling is being left out of the daily routine in most classrooms. Most students have lost the art of spelling and need that skill to be put back into the daily lesson planning.

Kathy, Administrator. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would introduce this to teachers during PD and coaching sessions.

Strengths: Differentiates, visually appealing, fun for students.

Suggestions for Improvement: None

Verdict: Easy to use. The graphics and different games are appealing.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: If I would be a English teacher I would use it right away

Strengths: To be able to help students to learn English across all levels

Suggestions for Improvement: Not able to suggest anything yet

Verdict: It would help all students

Jonathan, LMS. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use library centers as a teaching tool, and would love to use this with kids as an alternative to some free resources I use online. The user-friendly interface and the feedback loop are great.

Strengths: It ffers auditory and visual cueing of spelling. It reaches multiple learning styles.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would have to use it and see.

Verdict: Since we are rolling out 1:1 device environments it would be great to have a learning software that can give us data feedback.

Virginia, Library Media Specialist. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Introducing words in a different format. Vocabulary practice for students that need to see a word many more times than a hearing student.

Strengths: It's colorful, fun, engaging.... Practice practice makes perfect. Excellent way to learn spelling for almost all grade levels to my students.

Suggestions for Improvement: I do not see any at the moment.

Verdict: Additional practice in a non tearful way. It looks like you make spelling and grammar fun!

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Since I teach Science, I would use this program after school with my tutoring students.

Strengths: The curriculum grouping is a very useful resource to see the sequence of learning as students grow.

Suggestions for Improvement: Continue lessons throughout middle school and high school.

Verdict: I would recommend this for ELA teachers or elementary teachers.