When the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Instructional Technology Division, makes a recommendation, school districts nationwide listen:
The department is the only one of its kind that assesses educational technology in extensive independent classroom evaluations.
Extensive field testing and classroom evaluations were used as we developed eSpindle, but to hear this wonderful feedback from an independent state agency is a very valuable and exciting encouragement.
We are honored and delighted to have received such glowing report, classifying our program as “a valuable addition to any school’s tools for reinforcing spelling” and a “powerful and well-designed online approach to learning words.”
Please read on for the full report.
eSpindle, eSpindle Learning, 866-377-4635.
Contact producer for pricing.
Date Searched: May 2006
Update frequency: Daily.
[1-12 ELA] eSpindle provides an online approach for the development of spelling and vocabulary skills. After logging in, students start a quiz drawn from a database of more than 100,000 words, organized into grade-level groupings.
Students have an option for the number of words in a quiz, ranging from fifteen to 500 words. Teachers also can add their own word lists.
Students first hear a word (which can be clicked for repeated pronunciation), read a definition clue, and view an example sentence with a blank for the missing word. Sentences can be clicked for audio reading.
Students type the spoken word in a box that utilizes a large font.
Two attempts are allowed before the correct spelling is shown.
Correct answers are reinforced with a positive random sound and the prompt to go to the next word.
After correctly spelling a word (or viewing the answer after misspelling a word), additional links appear to ThinkMap’s Visual Thesaurus, Answers.com (for additional definitions), the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and Wikipedia.
The program tracks misspelled words and repeats them at periodic intervals in subsequent quizzes.
Students can view their own progress reports, including words spelled correctly, incorrectly, and skipped.
From the Preferences page, they can set personal goals and switch to another grade-level quiz. Teachers have options for setting up classroom lists with additional spelling words, reviewing individual student progress, and assigning individual student word lists. When words are included by the teacher, they are presented first, followed by words drawn from the database.
Weaknesses: None found.
Strengths: This powerful and well-designed online approach to learning words empowers students to control the rate of their own spelling development and expertise.
The word list for the program is impressive and growing.
Uses: eSpindle would make a valuable addition to any school’s tools for reinforcing spelling. The program is well suited for both individual and classroom needs.
It also can be used as practice for spelling bees, as support for English language learners, and for SAT preparation.
NC Department of Public Instruction
Instructional Technology Division