Pocket Sight Words
The Pocket Sight Words app utilises the idea of flash cards and embraces technology to help young children on their way to learning to read through working with sight words. By enhancing the idea of flash cards through using the ability of a device to read out words and help with comprehension this app really gives young children the ability to compound their knowledge of reading through sight words whilst challenging themselves within the game based element of the app.
Pocket Sight Words is a very well designed app that has a lot of extremely positive features to it. From looking at the developer’s website it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into producing the app including sound research of the type of app that will benefit young children the most in learning how to read. The website also contains some useful information about the app with some reasoning behind its design and also its functionality as well as the ability to contact the developer or share over social media. A nice addition on the website is a blog written by the developer and this has some useful information on but also gives a personal touch to the user rather than just feeling like a business trying to make money. The design of the website is also extremely welcoming and this is one of the main features in the app too.
The key objective of the app is to help young children, who are beginning to learn how to read, to improve their abilities through the use of flash cards. Through the app children are exposed to 44 different sight word lists which is a total of 220 words. Children work their way through each list in sequential order and unlock the next list by completing the one they are on. Each word is presented on the page nice and clear in big simple font. This allows the child the ability to learn how to read without any distractions. Help is given by clicking on a couple of different options. In total the screen is very sparse with one big bulk of colour in the background and the word on top of this, very much like a flash card. However, there is also the option for the user to click on a picture of a microphone. By doing this the word is read out loud giving the user the ability to hear the correct pronunciation. It is worth knowing that there is an Australian dialect to this app and because of this it may not apply to educational users outside of Australia due to the different enunciation of certain sounds. However there is nothing in the actual content and learning style that would mean it couldn’t be used outside of Australia, just the dialect. Another button that the user could click on is a magnifying glass. By selecting this button the user is taken to a further screen where they can access a sentence that gives further comprehension to the word. This sentence can again be read out by clicking on the microphone picture.
As each word in the list is accessed a small score chart at the bottom of the page keeps the progress of the user in that list. Once all the words have accessed then the user is given a short test to help them see how much they have learnt from the list. This test involves a list appearing on the page and the user being asked to select a specific word. Once they have completed this they are given a score for each word they got correct. The next list only becomes available when the user does not get more than 1 incorrect answer in the ‘Find the Word’ game thus demonstrating the user’s competency. This is a really good feature as it allows a competitive element for the user to continue to challenge themselves each time they use the app but also if the app were to be used by a school then it gives the educator and opportunity to see how much progress each child is making.
Overall Pocket Sight Words is a really good app that has a number of excellent features to it. In learning to read there are a number of words that have to be learnt via sight and this app utilises the strengths of flash cards and technology to make this not only a fun experience but one that the user can return to again and again to improve their proficiency.
From the Developer
Endorsed by Parents and Teachers, Pocket Sight Words is a literacy learning app for children aged 4+ including toddlers, kindy and pre-schoolers. Pocket Sight Words is focused on play-based learning of high frequency words for reading and writing.
Feedback from parents and teachers:
"Emilio loved using the sight word app, he was very motivated and just wanted to keep going. I had to tell him to stop as it was getting late, if it was up to him he would have kept on going. A great app and great fun for kids." - Kindergarten parent
"We have seen a major shift in the students attitude towards sight words since using Pocket Sight Words. We can also see the kids progressing in reading levels as they transfer their sight word knowledge into their readers." - Kindergarten teacher
"Pocket Sight Words caters for all students in our learning space. They are motivated and engaged to practise sight words at school and at home. We have received extremely positive feedback from parents and can’t wait to utilise the app in 2016." - Kindergarten teacher
"My son's improvement has wowed me, his level of reading has improved. He loves this and he's always on learning. To every parent out there it's s great app it has helped my son and I recommend it !!!!" - Kindergarten parent
"My kindergarten son absolutely loves the app, he has gone beyond his current sight word list at home with the sight word app. My daughter who is starting kindergarten next year is already enjoying the app and getting used to the early lists of sight words. The app certainty makes learning fun and interactive for children." - Kindergarten parent
"I have noticed that my son is really excited to use the app, he likes that he can go onto the next list when he gets his words correct. The app has definitely encouraged levi to do his sight words." - Kindergarten parent
• 220 words with audio assistance using correct pronunciation (Australian accent)
• Short sentences (written by Kindergarten teachers) provide added contextual learning
• Playful illustrations and reward system
• The 'Find the Word' (mini-game) is a lot of fun and designed to enhance learning experience through listening
• Sight words grouped into lists to support gradual learning
• High integration of vocal audio throughout the app experience
• Clean and simple design
• No Pop-ups or advertisements
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