How I Use It
"I have used Dictionary.com in my classroom for the basic definition and pronunciation search function, and my middle school students find it to be very user-friendly. I would expand my use of Dictionary.com by perhaps using Word Dynamo as an opener each day or an independent activity that students could engage in if they finish a class activity early. As I mentioned, this could be used for any age group because the game is divided for education levels. This function could also be assigned for homework in preparation for standardized testing because students can use it on their own and report back to teachers how many words they completed and how many words they got correct.
English and history teachers might find an application in the classroom for some of the writing tips, particularly high school teachers who may be working on assignments such as college essays, resumes, or term papers."
"""Many people turn to Dictionary.com to simply search definitions of words, and while it is a great source for that purpose, it offers much more. Dictionary.com does provide comprehensive definitions for any word one might need to know, but on top of a basic definition, it provides audio, so users can hear the word pronounced, which is helpful for students with weak phonemic awareness. Each definition also includes origins of the word, which could be helpful for foreign language connections.
In addition to the basic definition function, though, Dictionary.com offers features such as """"hot words,"""" a thesaurus, writing tips, word dynamo, and word games. The daily """"hot word"""" when I searched the site was """"awkward."""" Information was provided about the origins of this highly (and often inappropriately) used word. Writing tips on the site included formatting a cover letter and writing a thesis, while the """"Writing Dynamo"""" is a more extensive paid add-on that the site offers for comprehensive online proofreading. The word games looked promising for students of a variety of ages, but I was unable to access them because they required Adobe Flash Player 10, and apparently would not function with my more updated version. This was the only glitch I encountered with the site. I was able to play the daily crossword, which appears to be one of the major draws of the site. This was pretty challenging and would probably be most appropriate for students of high school age or older. The "Word Dynamo" function of the site was the most classroom-appropriate function that would work for all age groups; users access the version of Word Dynamo most appropriate for their education level and get quizzed on various vocabulary terms."