How I Use It
I used eSpark as an optional platform that students could visit after completing mandatory math fact practice on another site which was pretty dry. I allowed them the freedom to pursue math or reading "quests" as they chose. I liked the adaptive nature of the platform because students work at their level.
I think the fact that it is an optional choice which students select intentionally shows that eSpark has found the sweet spot of learning meets engagement.
eSpark is great for all learners! Low-achieving students get the practice they need, on-level students receive quests at their level with a bit of reach material, and high-achievers get exposure to new material--and every student gets vetted links to outside videos/sites for additional support and teaching opportunities.
You have to make sure to "allow notifications" on the site so that students will have access to the outside sources. I really like that it's fun, but not overly gamified like some sites. The fun stuff/rewards are quick, ensuring that students spend more time learning and practicing than playing around.
I also like the weekly updates from eSpark a lot! I get an update telling me which students earned "a high five" for completing a "quest" and for which level and standard, so it's very specific. If a student is struggling, I will get an email informing me of this, plus tips and video links to help that student.
Overall, I'm very happy with eSpark! They have awesome support, too. A+