Education professor goes digital

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Education professor goes digital

Published on September 23 2013

When it comes to spelling Dr. Ruth McQuirter Scott is much like every other teacher, in so far as she cringes when she sees the errors on the pages in front of her.

But unlike most teachers, Dr. McQuirter Scott’s response to the issue is not to grab the proverbial red pen and begin marking away; rather she turns to technology.

With over 30 books authored on spelling and vocabulary, McQuirter Scott is an expert in the field and has taken her knowledge to the technological landscape, reviewing apps dealing with spelling and vocabulary.

Currently working with, McQuirter Scott rates and reviews apps such as Spelling City, Bluster!, and Whirly Word to name but a few, and focuses her critique in three separate categories: “why we love this app”, “what it teaches and how it works” and “why your kid won’t be able to put it down”.

“I came across AppoLearning while reviewing apps and was impressed that they were committed to providing solid advice to parents and educators,” said McQuirter Scott. “I have downloaded over 120 spelling apps in my research so far.”

McQuirter Scott will also be working with a local software developer in Burlington, ON, to create a full-fledged video game for teaching spelling in grades 2/3.

“My work with Mirthwerx on app development is teaching me a lot about the technical side of apps. Most educational apps for spelling are very limited in interest and sophistication. We are excited to be developing a video game that actually teaches important concepts about spelling and at the same time is engaging for children. “

And while McQuirter Scott isn’t necessarily teaching spelling and vocabulary to younger students, she is introducing the best ways in which it can be taught in her J/I Language program. Constantly integrating technology into her teaching, McQuirter Scott introduced herself to her class this past week in the form of a “gami”.

A gami is created with the iPad app Tellagami and allows you to create a customizable digital character that you can record and share messages with.

“I want my teacher candidates to see that there are multiple ways to convey a message,” she said. This week they will be drafting reviews of products in their everyday lives and promoting them through a 30-second “gami” they create with the 10 iPads we have in our classroom. iPads are becoming almost commonplace in today’s classrooms and our teacher candidates need to be prepared with solid ways of using them. I am weaving iPads and other forms of technology throughout our 50 hours of Junior/Intermediate Language Arts.”

students around a table
Creating a gami

Students in Dr. McQuirter Scott's class made their own gami's as part of their instruction