Word A Day Visuals and Audios by VocabAhead
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Word A Day Visuals and Audios by VocabAhead will help their kids learn new vocabulary, but will raise some issues about mature social situations. Each word comes with a brief definition, a list of synonyms and antonyms, a cartoon, and a few sentences that use the word in context. The contextual sentences provided for each word sometimes include moral statements or ideas. It is an excellent app for parents and kids to use together, so they can discuss any questions raised by the definitions. Teens using the iOS version of the app can also log in to Facebook or share out the word on Twitter.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
Design is nearly flawless. Cartoons and audio teach while entertaining, but saving favorites is not quite enough to keep kids fully engaged. The quizzes in the iOS version are a boost.
The multimedia approach reinforces learning and is particularly important for kids with auditory or visual learning styles. More activities and better customization options could extend learning.
There's no tutorial, but navigating the app is fairly intuitive. Some extension activities would give the app a boost.
What's it about?
The app presents a new vocabulary word each day, accompanied by a cartoon illustration, a brief definition, the part of speech, a list of synonyms and antonyms, and a short paragraph using the word in context. Users can skip ahead to see the next three days' words and can access a limited number of previous days' words. There is audio of the definition and paragraph as well as a timed quiz.
Is it any good?
The combination of words, pictures, audio, and contextualizing sentences make learning new vocabulary with WORD A DAY VISUALS AND AUDIOS BY VOCABAHEAD easy and fun. The audio tool helps with pronunciation, and the synonyms and antonyms lists help kids connect the word to existing vocabulary knowledge. There are several great features, like the favorites list, the ability to view up to four words per day, the quiz, and the reminder function. The word list is drawn from VocabAhead's other tools for SAT and GRE preparation, so there is a good mix of challenging words and familiar ones. The contextualizing sentences, though, are not very tightly written and sometimes make surprising, seemingly irrelevant statements about social behavior.
Families can talk about...
Challenge your kids to a family vocab competition. Post a daily (or weekly) vocabulary word on the fridge and review the meaning together. Whenever one of you uses it correctly in everyday conversation, that person earns a point.
Point out new words for your kids when you hear them on TV or the radio or read them in a book.