SpellingCity’s Journey to VocabularySpellingCity
At VocabularySpellingCity, we went through a transition, moving from being a spelling program to one focused on vocabulary building and reading comprehension. Here’s our story from the beginning.
I had a few goals in 2010 when I was starting SpellingCity, as I called it then.
First, I thought students should be empowered to study on their own, yet practicing vocabulary and spelling words were an example of where students needed to ask others to help. I wanted to build a tool that allowed them to study independently.
Then, I looked at how teachers do their job and I realized that nobody had really focused on building productivity tools for teachers. They were still spending their time on non-value-added activities such as handing out lists, reading off words for tests, grading tests by hand, and then recording them in their grade book. So my second mission was to provide meaningful productivity tools to help teachers. The third part of the initial mission was to make it all easy to use and fun. Prior to creating an educational tech company, I had made video games for PlayStation. I come to the concept of gamification with some serious experience.
So this is SpellingCity’s legacy: gamification, student empowerment, and teacher productivity. It is on this foundation that we are building a focus and system for vocabulary building which is fully aligned with today’s highest priority in education: improved comprehension.
One thought on “Our Journey to VocabularySpellingCity”
John – here’s an article on literacy, research, and the reading wars:. It follows up on our discussions at ILA. https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jameskim/files/bookch2.pdf