Common Sense Review
Updated October 2012

Word A Day Visuals and Audios by VocabAhead

Cool multimedia approach to daily vocab study slightly limited
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • Page for mawkish (adj) with part of speech, definition, and image, plus audio button at bottom (right arrow).
  • Page for lampoon (verb) with part of speech, definition, and image, plus audio button at bottom.
  • Favorites list (in some versions of the app) with acclivity and lampoon listed.
  • Page for uxorious (adj) with plus symbol on heart button showing it has not yet been chosen for favorites.
Pros
Cartoon graphics are engaging, and the content is presented through video and audio.
Cons
Limited content with few customization options gets repetitive and is sometimes socially questionable.
Bottom Line
Word A Day exposes teens to challenging vocabulary words with plenty of helpful context.
Leslie Crenna
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

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.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

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.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

There's no tutorial, but navigating the app is fairly intuitive. Some extension activities would give the app a boost.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
What's It Like?

Word A Day Visuals and Audios is one in a series of vocabulary-building apps from VocabAhead. Meant for teens who may be studying for the SAT or looking to expand vocab skills, it gives kids a chance to learn in a few different ways. Quirky cartoons depict each word, and audio recordings present "short stories" or usage examples at the touch of a button.

The main menu allows teens to view favorites (in some versions of the app) or select the daily word. For the word acclivity, which is defined as an upward slope (as of ground), a young man is shown at the bottom of a steep grade on his bike, with cartoonish sweat or anxiety lines emanating from his head. If kids select the audio button (right arrow), a narrator reads the definition and usage text (though usage text does not display). Selecting the heart symbol with the plus adds words to favorites (in some versions of the app). Kids swipe left and right for other available words.

 

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Is It Good For Learning?

Graphics are crisp, navigation is intuitive, and the fully formed, coherent audio feature is great for teens who struggle with reading or have other learning challenges. Entries also feature spot-on definitions and parts of speech, sometimes left out of competing products.

Even with all these great features, nothing's perfect. As with other VocabAhead products, settings don't always seem to work, and the cartoons or "short stories" are sometimes a bit questionable, as in the case of the word uxorious, (meaning excessively devoted or submissive to one's wife): "... No one knew why [Glen] spent so much time doting on her because she wasn't really a nice person and certainly wasn't attractive." Yeah, it illustrates the definition, but the message is troubling.

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See how teachers are using Word A Day Visuals and Audios by VocabAhead