09 10

01 December 2009

Giveaway and Review: SpellQuizzer

The Review

SpellQuizzer is a downloadable spelling program that helps kids (and adults!) learn their spelling and vocabulary words. They contacted me last month and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their product, and gave me a complementary copy to look over. This is the first time that somebody came to me for this sort of thing! As it turns out, I really like SpellQuizzer, and think it'd be a fabulous addition to either a public or homeschool education.

So, the idea with SpellQuizzer is that you take an inexpensive microphone and automate the spelling practice. You make your list, which doesn't take long. Then you practice. It's easy and quick and painless. When I finish the list, it offers to re-do the ones I missed, and when I finally get them all right, it offers to scramble them up and let me have another go at the list. It's very efficient. In addition, each word on all the lists go into a database, with their recordings and hints, and you can create new lists from that database.

I don't actually have a microphone, which turns out to be just fine too, though it's not quite as easy. You, the list maker, have to think harder about the print "hints" you give, rather than just saying the word into your microphone. However, I was able to download a Latin-based word list designed for spelling bee preparation, and it had the recordings. It worked out very nicely, because although nearly all the words on the spelling bee list were ones I thought it would be good to practice, there was 144 of them on the list and it took too long to get through. 15-20 is much more workable, and it's not hard to break it into that size of chunks. (Though it did take a minute to figure out how to do it.) So I can use that database to create new lists using the words, with their recordings, after I download.

In addition to doing spelling lists, this program is flexible enough to do a couple of other things too: one the website talks about is vocabulary learning. You put in the definition, the student gives the word. I didn't test extensively, but it looks like SpellQuizzer also can handle special characters, so you could probably use it for foreign language study as well, as long as it uses a Latin alphabet. It didn't like the Japanese I put in, but the little bit of Spanish I tried went just fine.

The SpellQuizzer web site has pre-made downloadable spelling lists that you can download and use with the program. They've got message boards, though those look pretty new, but given time they may develop into a nice list-swapping resource.

The Giveaway

The gentleman that developed the software, Dan Hite, has graciously offered a free SpellQuizzer registration key for one lucky winner! Here's how you qualify:

1. Post to your blog about this giveaway and review. Do this before Dec. 11, 2009.
2. Come back and leave me a link to your post in the comments.

If you would like, you can use the following code for your post. Just copy and paste.

It will look like this:

Visit Baby Steps
SpellQuizzer software works with any spelling program, whether homeschool or public. Click to enter Ritsumei's giveaway on Baby Steps for a chance to win SpellQuizzer!

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