App Review
WordFlex Touch Dictionary for iPad

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

  • In additional to searching for specific words, kids can discover words as they float by in shuffle mode.

  • WordFlex Touch Dictionary includes more than 2 billion words from contemporary English.

  • With the swipe of a finger, words expand to show definitions, word origins, usage, synonyms, and more.

  • The auto-expand command automatically expands all of the nodes for the word.

  • Posters of word trees can be printed or shared over email or social media.

Quick Take
Pros: You'll find more than 2 billion words for kids to interact with dynamically.
Cons: Kids will need internal motivation to fully appreciate the breadth of its offerings.
Bottom Line: Dynamic and highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Word lovers and tech lovers will be drawn to this dynamic and visual dictionary, but some kids may need motivation to explore it fully.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

Representing words visually increases interest for kids, which should enhance their ability to learn and retain the word and its definitions.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

The interface is already intuitive, but kids can choose from a quick how-to or a full, expanded tutorial to get started.

Our Review
What's It Like?

WordFlex Touch Dictionary is a dictionary –- three, actually, including the largest, most exhaustive compilation of words in print –- that kids can explore and interact with visually. The nodes branching out from the word -– creating a tree-like structure –- show kids the multiple definitions of words, while breaking down each aspect of the word into small, easily understood chunks. Kids learn all about words –- definitions, spelling, pronunciation, word origins, synonyms, antonyms, other tenses, and related words.

Kids start by searching for a word, even without precise spelling. For example, typing the word excess also offers the word excel as an option floating onto the screen. Tap the intended word and the dictionary entry expands like a tree, showing dozens of similar words, grouped in branches demonstrating the subtleties of meaning for each. It's pricey as far as apps go, but it's fabulous and costs substantially less than buying the multiple Oxford's dictionary/thesaurus titles covered in this app.

Is It Good For Learning?

Looking up words in the dictionary can seem methodical -- even boring. But students will actually enjoy looking up words and playing around with WordFlex Touch Dictionary. By exploring, kids can develop a depth of understanding for old and new words and broaden their vocabularies. Its breadth and interactivity are also impressive. Picture the huge unabridged dictionary sitting on a pedestal in the library – the one kids are afraid to touch because it’s so heavy. Add to that a personal tutor pointing out all the connections that a word has with other words. Then make it visually appealing and compact enough to be accessed at the touch of a button on the iPad, and you get an idea of the power of this educational resource. The controls are pretty intuitive, but kids can review the Quick Start Guide for a short tutorial, the Comprehensive Guide for a more detailed manual, or the Touch Gestures link for a short list of screen maneuvers. The information page includes a link to the developer's website, which features a short video showing how to interact with the word trees.

How Can Teachers Use It?

Not every student needs a WordFlex Touch Dictionary on their own device, but it's an excellent resource for any classroom or home to have. If you have access to a tablet, you could make one available to the entire class or to a core group of students who would benefit.

This review of WordFlex Touch Dictionary for iPad was written by

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