Showing posts with label vocabulary apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vocabulary apps. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

VocApp - Multimedia Flashcards on iOS and Android

Last week I shared a few tools that students can create digital flashcards. Two of those tools offer the option for including audio in flashcards. Another option is to use the VocApp app for iOS and Android.

To create flashcards on VocApp you need to create an account and sign-in. Once you're signed-in you can click "create flashcards" and begin writing out a list of words. Choose the language that you want to learn and VocApp will automatically translate words from English to the language you've selected. On the flashcard creation screen you can add an image to represent the words you're entering into your flashcards. The case of common words, VocApp will automatically add images to your flashcards. To help students learn how to pronounce words, VocApp offers audio support.

VocApp does offer some pre-made flashcard sets for sale, but you don't have to purchase anything in order to use the service to create and study your own flashcards. There is also a large gallery of public flashcards created by other users and made available for free.

Applications for Education
There is certainly not a shortage of flashcard services on the web. That doesn't mean we should ignore it when a new one comes around.  I like to give students a few options and let them choose. Some students may prefer the interface of VocApp over that of similar services. The ability to use VocApp in a web browser as well as on an Android tablet or iPad makes it a good option for BYOD settings.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Three Free iPad Apps for Fun Vocabulary Practice

Yesterday, I received an email from an elementary school teacher who was looking for some new-to-her vocabulary practice apps to put on her classroom set of iPads. The following were my suggestions.

Winning Words is a series of free iPad apps that feature matching / "memory" style vocabulary games. There are six apps in the series. Each app is played in the same manner of flipping a card and trying to find a match for it. The six apps are synonym match, antonym match, homophone match, compound match, double letter match, and singular/plural match. Each app supports up to four players and has three levels of difficulty.

Vocabulary Catcher is a series of six free apps. Each of the apps follows the same model. Students read and hear a word then have to "pop" the balloon containing the object that represents the word they heard. Students earn points based on their accuracy and their speed. Vocabulary Catcher 1 is about numbers, colors, and fruit. Vocabulary Catcher 2 is about animals. Vocabulary Catcher 3 is about toys and classroom objects. Vocabulary Catcher 4 features numbers and prices. Vocabulary Catcher 5 contains words about weather and seasons as well as more words about school facilities. And Vocabulary Catcher 6 contains words about clothing, sports, and sports equipment.

World’s Worst Pet is a free iPad app that contains a series of fun vocabulary games. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. World’s Worst Pet is designed for students in grades four through eight. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Good Tools to Help Students Learn New Vocabulary Words

As I do every year, I am taking this week to relax, recharge, and ski with friends. While I'm away I will be re-running the most popular posts of the year. This was one of the most popular posts in September, 2015.

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about using Vocabulist to create vocabulary lists and study sheets from a document. This week, I was contacted by a reader who liked Vocabulist for her own use but wanted something a little different (easier to use) for her students. Over the years I've reviewed a number of tools that students can use to help them learn new vocabulary words. Here are ten of them.

World’s Worst Pet is a free iPad app that contains a series of fun vocabulary games. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. World’s Worst Pet is designed for students in grades four through eight. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points. You don't have to register to play Knoword, but you can register if you want to. Registering for Knoword gives you the option to keep track of your game statistics. Registered users can also earn badges based on their performances. In the few games that I played I noticed that Knoword is probably best suited to use by students in middle school and high school. I think many of the words would be too difficult for elementary school students and they could end up frustrated with the game.

Vocab Genius is an iPad app from Brainscape. Vocab Genius features more than 800 vocabulary flashcards. Like any flashcard application the cards present one word at a time. To get the definition tap the card to read it. After reading the definition and sample sentence rate your understanding of the word. Over time the app learns the words that you know better than others and shows you the words you don’t know more often than those you do know.

Sight Words is a service that provides vocabulary flashcards and games designed for K-3 students. On the site you can find pre-made flashcards and pre-made vocabulary games. All of the the flashcards and games are PDFs that you print to use offline. In addition to the pre-made flashcards and games Sight Words offers templates for creating your own printable flashcards and games. Most of the games on Sight Words include detailed directions and videos on how to utilize the game in your lessons.

Flashcard Monkey is a fun little site on which students can review SAT vocabulary words. The flashcards feature simple cartoons that illustrate the meaning of the words on the flashcards. Flashcard Monkey currently offers cartoons for more than 500 SAT words. Flashcard Monkey is a nice little review tool for students preparing for the SAT. The model of Flashcard Monkey could easily be applied to any other set of vocabulary words. Your students could make their own cartoons to depict the meaning of the vocabulary words they're trying to learn. Sadly, this resource has gone offline. January 2016

WordWriter is a neat writing tool from BoomWriter. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. Assignments are distributed directly to students through the class lists that teachers create in their BoomWriter accounts. Students do not need email addresses to receive the assignments. Teachers can log-in at any time to see if and when a student has completed an assignment.

Winning Words is a series of free iPad apps that feature matching / “memory” style vocabulary games. There are six apps in the series. Each app is played in the same manner of flipping a card and trying to find a match for it. The six apps are synonym match, antonym match, homophone match, compound match, double letter match, and singular/plural match. Each app supports up to four players and has three levels of difficulty.

PrepFactory is a free service for high school students can use to prepare for the SAT and or ACT. PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets. Click here for a video of PrepFactory in action.

Flashcard Stash is a free vocabulary flashcard service for teachers and students. The service makes it easy to quickly create flashcards and sets of flashcards. As a registered user of Flashcard Stash when you type a word into a blank flashcard suggested definitions and sample context sentences are provided to you. You can then choose to add one or all of those definitions and sentences to your flashcard or you can write your own definitions and sentences. When making your own flashcards you can include images. If you don't have time to create your own flashcards you can choose to work with some of the pre-made lists of flashcards. Teachers registered on Flashcard Stash can create flashcard sets to share with their students.

Vocabulist enables students to upload a document and have it extract words and definitions from it. Each word in the document is matched to a definition. If the definition rendered isn't exactly right, students can modify it within Vocabulist. Once the list of words and definitions is set students can download the list as a PDF or export the list to Quizlet where it will then be turned into a set of digital flashcards. (Students must have a Quizlet account).

Disclosure: Prep Factory and Boom Writer are advertisers on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Monday, November 2, 2015

VocApp - Create Multimedia Vocabulary Flashcards

VocApp is a free service for creating and studying multimedia flashcards. You can use VocApp in your web browser or in their free iPad and Android apps. The purpose of the service is to help students learn a new language.

To create flashcards on VocApp you need to create an account and sign-in. Once you're signed-in you can click "create flashcards" and begin writing out a list of words. Choose the language that you want to learn and VocApp will automatically translate words from English to the language you've selected. On the flashcard creation screen you can add an image to represent the words you're entering into your flashcards. The case of common words, VocApp will automatically add images to your flashcards. To help students learn how to pronounce words, VocApp offers audio support.

VocApp does offer some pre-made flashcard sets for sale, but you don't have to purchase anything in order to use the service to create and study your own flashcards. There is also a large gallery of public flashcards created by other users and made available for free.

Applications for Education
There is certainly not a shortage of flashcard services on the web. That doesn't mean we should ignore it when a new one comes around.  I like to give students a few options and let them choose. Some students may prefer the interface of VocApp over that of similar services. The ability to use VocApp in a web browser as well as on an Android tablet or iPad makes it a good option for BYOD settings.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Vocabla - Learn English and Spanish

Vocabla is a service for learning English, Spanish, and Polish vocabulary. The service can be used online or with the free iPhone and Android apps. The concept behind Vocabla is similar to a lot of other language learning applications. In Vocabla you can create lists of words and phrases that you want to learn. Alternatively, you can select a list that was made by someone else and shared to the Vocabla library. You can study each list in a flashcard style until you feel like you're ready to take a practice quiz. You can earn digital trophies and badges for your scores on the quizzes that you complete.

Applications for Education
The aspect of Vocabla that makes it a nice option for use by teachers is that you can create a list of words and share publicly. All of your students can then use that list to study on their own.

Monday, February 25, 2013

5 Good Services to Help Students Learn New Vocabulary Words

This morning I received an email from a reader who was looking for some recommendations for websites that her students can use to learn and practice new vocabulary words. I have made a couple of lists on this topic in the past but it's been a while since I updated them and a couple of the items in those lists have gone offline. Therefore, I put together a new list of the websites that I recommend.

Professor Word is a service that can help students learn new SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Professor Word operates as a browser bookmarklet in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. When you're reading a webpage click on the Professor Word bookmarklet to quickly identify SAT and ACT vocabulary words on that page. You can also use Professor Word to get definitions for any unfamiliar word on a webpage. To get a definition just highlight the word a small dialogue box containing the definition will appear.

Vocabulary Spelling City offers a database of more than 42,000 spelling words and sentences. The words and sentences can be customized for your students. This means that Vocabulary Spelling City supports US and UK spellings of words like "favorite" and "favourite," "color" and "colour." Teachers can use Vocabulary Spelling City to create custom lists of words for their students to practice spelling and to study the definitions of those words. To help students learn the proper pronunciation of the words on their practice lists Vocabulary Spelling City provides clear, spoken recordings of every word. Students can play games, study words, and quiz themselves on the spellings of the words on their lists. Vocabulary Spelling City allows teachers to print activities for use in their classrooms when their students don't have access to computers.

Wordia is a service that offers features videos of people (students and teachers) explaining and demonstrating the meaning of words. Wordia offers games based on the words in the word lists developed by Wordia staff and the lists developed by teachers and students. Students and teachers have the option to create their own word lists and create their own games based on those lists.

Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points. You don't have to register to play Knoword, but you can register if you want. Registering for Knoword gives you the option to keep track of your game statistics. Registered users can also earn badges based on their performances.

Vocab Ahead offers online study rooms in which students can take practice vocabulary quizzes. The quizzes provide instant feedback on each question as well as summary information at the end of the quiz. While taking the quiz if a student is stuck on an item he or she can click on the hint tab. Vocab Ahead also offers video demonstrations of SAT vocabulary words. Teachers can create their own custom video playlists and place them into playlist widgets.

Disclosure: VocabularySpelling City is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spell + Friends Helps Students Learn to Spell

Spell + Friends is a free iPad app that provides students with word lists to practice in a virtual spelling bee manner. There are three modes in Spell + Friends. Learn mode is for creating word lists to study. Practice mode reads words to students that they then have to spell correctly in the app. Compete mode allows students to compete head-to-head against other users of the app. 

In the Learn mode students select new words to learn. There are more than 2,000 words in the word bank. The words are divided into three categories based on how frequently they are used.

In the Practice mode students practice spelling words that are read to them from their word lists. In addition to hearing the pronunciation of the words they can find the definition and origin of the word. Students can also read a sentence that uses the word they're trying to spell.

In the Compete mode students can play against others who are nearby in a peer-to-peer environment. The Compete mode will search for other iPads and iPhones that have Spell + Friends running at the same time. Students can also compete against the world in the Spell + Friends game center.

Applications for Education
Spell + Friends provides students with a way to track their progress as they learn their new word lists. I like that students can find the origins and definitions of the words without having to use another app or open a dictionary.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sproutster - Spell Words and Support the UN World Food Program

Sproutster is a free iPad game that has a concept similar to the one behind Free Rice. The difference between the two games is that Sproutster wants you to spell words and Free Rice wants you to guess the definition of words.

Sproutster asks you to spell three to five letter words by catching letters in a bucket as the letters rain down on you. You don't need to catch all of the letters. You just need to catch letters in sequence to spell any word that you like (proper nouns don't count). When you have spelled a word dump it out to make a plant grow. When the plant has reached its full size you move on to the next level. For each plant that is grown Sproutster donates 30-50 grains of rice to the UN WFP.

Applications for Education
Sproutster could be a fun way for students to practice spelling simple words. If your students have a vocabulary list that they are studying in your classroom, have them try spelling the words on that list. My one complaint about Sproutster is that even on the first level the letters fall very quickly. I would like to see a level on which the letters move just a little bit slower.

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing this fun app. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

SpellingCity for iPad and iPhone

SpellingCity recently launched a free iPad and iPhone app for students. The app gives students access to the same vocabulary lists that they use on the SpellingCity website. SpellingCity's list of words for students exceeds 42,000. Students and teachers who register for accounts can create custom word lists (Note, new lists have to be made online. Through the app you can only access existing lists). If you don't register you can simply choose from the many suggested word lists created by SpellingCity.

The SpellingCity app offers six types of practice activities. The activities are Teach Me, Test Me, Match It, Word Unscramble, Hang Mouse, and Which Word. I am particularly fond of the Teach Me activity in which the words and their spellings are read to students. Again, if you are registered and logged into SpellingCity you can create custom lists that are read to your students when they use the Teach Me mode on their iPads.

You can learn more about the free SpellingCity iPad app here. Or download the app here.

Disclosure: SpellingCity does help me pay the bills at the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Vocabulary Apps for Android That I'm Testing

This morning I had the opportunity to run a couple of short workshops at my own school. Other than the initial oddness of being "the consultant" in the place where I've worked for almost nine years, it went well. The workshops I ran were based around our new school agenda of helping students improve their vocabularies and in turn improving the SAT scores on which we're judged as a school. (For the record, I don't agree with teaching to a test, particularly one as flawed as the SAT. That said, I was asked to present some tools that teachers and students could use to practice SAT vocabulary so that's what I did this morning).

One of the things that came up in the course of a conversation in the workshop was the idea of having students use their cell phones to study. And since in my district Android phones outnumber iPhones by at least 10 to 1, I thought I'd test out some Android apps for studying vocabulary. Here are the three that I am testing on my own phone right now.

Vocab Builder, built by Gordon Hempton, was the first app that I installed. I chose it, in part, because it has the most 5 star ratings of any of the apps I browsed through. Vocab Builder also offers more words than most of the other free apps that I looked at. You can use the app to quiz yourself in a flashcard style of matching words to definitions or matching definitions to words. A good companion to Vocab Builder, from the same developer, is Beworded which is a "Boggle-style" word game.

Wordalation, developed by Appulearn, is the second app that I installed on my phone. I chose Wordalation because it offers a text to voice feature for hearing your vocabulary words and definitions pronounced. I also like that Wordalation presents the vocabulary words in groups of ten. Study a group of ten until you think you know them all before moving onto another set of ten words.

Vocopedia is the third app that I installed on my phone. Vocopedia offers a very large selection of vocabulary words that commonly appear on the SAT. To study the words you can use the standard flashcard method of reading a word and guessing the definition. You can also use the Vocopedia hangman game to practice identifying and spelling the words in your vocabulary lists. I have to admit that I'm not as keen on Vocopedia as I am the other two apps, but that could change depending upon the feedback I get when my students try these apps.