Monday, February 8, 2010

A Few Software Applications of Note

I tested a new software called SpellQuizzer.   The main page can be found at  (http://www.SpellQuizzer.com).   It was designed to compliment a teacher's spelling and vocabulary curriculum by allowing them to create their own spelling lists.  The built-in spell checker recognizes both US and UK English spellings and warns the teacher if they make a typographical error while creating their own spelling lists.  That is an important feature because we all make typos at one time or another.  The teacher makes recordings of themselves pronouncing each word and can put it into a sentence to foster the correct meaning and spelling of those pesky words that are spelled more than one way depending upon their meaning.   The software also gives you free downloadable spelling lists at their website:  http://www.spellquizzer.com/Spelling-Lists.htm.   There is also a community area where collaboration is encouraged through discussion forums and places to share your spelling lists.  This software is not free, however, the creator, Dan Hite, is currently offering SpellQuizzer free to any educator who contacts him at http://www.SpellQuizzer.com/Contact.htm.  

Another great application that I have found is the Visual Mathematical Toolkit.  This is a free download at http://amath.colorado.edu/java/ .  This software came from the University of Colorado at Boulder's Department of Applied Mathematics.  This is a very powerful mathematics tool that can be used to simulate the visual learning of Calculus and Differential Equations. 

MVT, as it is known, contains visual and computational tools which are designed to help students visualize the concepts of Calculus. MVP contains several tools such as: a Scientific calculator, Plotting tools, Numerical tools, Linear algebra tools, Differential equations tools, Content-specific applications, Other Calculus visualization tools, and has a Tutorial-style help system.  This software is extremely powerful and can be used for high school as well as for college mathematics. 

Another math tool that is free that can be used on-line is Visual Math Learning.  This web 2.0 tool can be found at:  http://www.visualmathlearning.com/.  
 VML is an interactive multimedia software program  that can be used as a pre-algebra and elementary algebra tutorial.  Included in the tutorials are lessons, exercises and games to keep students engaged and learning!  Teachers, parents and students can all benefit from using this tool.  It does not require any registration and the sites goal is to simply improve math education.

I encourage you to give these tools a try.  Please feel free to give me feedback about them.  

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