Monday, March 9, 2015

Cheers to Vocabulary Spelling City

In the spirit of the conference season, I would like to take the time to highlight some of my favorite edtech companies! First, I would like to start with Vocabulary Spelling City, a site that I have used to support our spelling/word study curriculum for at least the last 8 years.  

I was fortunate enough to be able to escape the frozen Michigan tundra and the sub-zero temperatures a few weeks ago and soak up the sun in Southern Florida.  My husband had a day planned with his dad, so he told me to find something to do with the kids. I thought about all of the obvious things to do in Florida: beach day, putt-putt golf, shopping, pool day, etc., and then I thought about Vocabulary Spelling City! They have their headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, so I decided to send Robert Laundrie, the National Sales Manager, an email to see if we could pop over for a behind-the-scenes look at Vocabulary Spelling City. I first met Robert at ISTE 2012 in San Diego, as we presented together at the Edmodo booth, and I have stayed connected with both him and Nancy, another wonderful Spelling City team member, over the years.

We arrived at Spelling City’s parent company, Time2Learn, and I was instantly drawn into the awesome collection of past technology innovations ranging from phones that crank to ditto machines and pastel cassette players from my youth to old cameras.  It was a neat collection to browse while we waited for Robert.  Robert graciously gave us a tour around the entire company and introduced us to the talented people behind the codes, voices, support, and more of Spelling City!
This is Robert and my kids. Notice the awesome tech museum on the shelves behind them! 

We were able to meet with John Edelson, the Mayor of Spelling City.  We learned a lot of neat things from him, including that Spelling City began in his living room 10 years ago!  He showed us a site that has a ton of games he and his team created called Learning Games for Kids. I had not visited it before. My students now play some of the games on it!  He was wonderful to talk with about features of Vocabulary Spelling City and was genuinely interested in the feedback that we had!
The Mayor of Spelling City, John, and my kids! 

My kids loved getting a behind the scenes tour too!  
My daughter loved seeing the graphic designers drawing new characters and graphics!  My son loved getting a sneak peek at a new game and meeting the lady that says, “Get ready for the test. Don’t peek at your list! Begin.” We even got posters and pencils to bring back to Michigan!  Overall, we had a great visit!

From being wonderful hosts while touring their headquarters to providing engaging ways for kids to practice their spelling, learn new vocabulary words, and assess spelling easily, Vocabulary Spelling City is a wonderful educational technology company!

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