How I Use It
I used this product for my advanced learners who weren't challenged by my classroom vocabulary content. It was good for a little while, but users only get 40 words with the base app (which you pay $0.99 for). In order to get more words, you must pay an additional $0.99 for each pack (which include: SAT preparation, ecology, French cuisine, "good or bad" and two other packs touting an additional 30 words in each pack). Basically, to get the full functionality of this app, users will have to pay $7.00, which was a downfall to me, as my classroom budget is limited. Some of the words were quite difficult for my middle school students, but the words pushed them to become critical thinkers about roots, prefixes and suffixes of words.
On the plus side, whether a user knows a word or not, they are always give the definition and pronunciation of each word and given an anecdote to help them memorize the word. I did go a step further in my teaching and had students use the words in their writing so that they were forced to use the word in order for it to become a more fluid part of their vocabulary. The app allows students to add words to their dictionary, so that the words they've reviewed can be studied again and again.
My take is that there are better apps for building vocabulary that are free or won't cost as much money. This app is a little sneaky in the fact that it seems like you'd get more for buying it then you do, as there are multiple in-app purchases that will need to be made once your student gets through the first 40 words offered by the initial cost of $0.99. I really think it should be stated on the app store that users will need to purchase additional words if they are going to seriously use this app for building vocabulary. I do wish there were some features for students to practice using the vocabulary words in their own writing, but this would have to be a teacher-driven exercise, as the app does not allow for that.
On a plus side, I enjoyed the fact that once users learned a word they could then review all of the words they learned previously in a quiz format or they could review them in their own personal dictionary. Also, the app has a setting where it reminds students with a daily notification to review their words. This would be helpful if this is the go-to vocabulary instruction in one's classroom, so that students could get a reminder on their phone or iPad to review.