If you’re like me you remember the device in the image to the left. It’s something that one can’t easily forget, it was a staple of childhood, and something that everyone wanted. The app does a good enough job taking one back to that time…
But what about our kids? Do they know what it is? Probably not, and that’s ok. What’s great about the app is that they don’t have to. They don’t have to know anything about it going in and can still have fun and even get some education out of it. I do however stress the word “some”. While the app does a great job of taking inspiration from the original, it also takes its cues from the original…and it wasn’t the greatest “breakthrough” as far as learning was concerned…and neither is this app. It’s for nostalgic purposes almost entirely in my opinion.
That’s not to say some learning can’t be done, it surely can (it’s just not as beneficial as one would hope). There are a bunch of sections within the app to be used. The first is the “Say” area. In this section the app offers up a series of random words that the child or user is to repeat. The second section is the “Spell” section. In this second section the user is presented with a word via an audio speaker (it’s not the easiest thing to understand, but neither was the original game if you recall), and users then attempt to spell this word via the keypad provided. There are also sections for a “Letter Game”, “Secret Word Game”, and “Mystery Word Game”. Each offers something a little bit different for users.
Spell&Speak isn’t the best educational tool for the iPad, not by far (but kids can learn using it). It’s not the easiest for kids to grasp (as they have become accustomed to iPad gestures and navigations), and the audio isn’t the best (again, it’s mimicking the old original and that was hard to understand too). The app works, but in the end it’s not something I’d think tons of people will put down money for to help their kids, there are too many other apps that just do it better. However, it’s definitely a fun nostalgic app and I enjoyed using it myself, more so than the kids did. So take that for what it’s worth.