Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2015
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Wordflex Touch Dictionary

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Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (6 Reviews)

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1 video | 5 images

Pros: You'll find more than 2 billion words for kids to interact with dynamically.

Cons: Kids will need intrinsic motivation to fully appreciate the breadth of its offerings.

Bottom Line: Dynamic, highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.

Not every student needs the app 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. The controls are pretty intuitive, but users 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. 

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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 and thesaurus titles covered in this app.

Looking up words in the dictionary can be tedious, 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 the power of this educational resource. 

Users can shape and rearrange content and then take a snapshot of the screen created and share it via email, Twitter, Facebook, or the device's camera role.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Word lovers and tech lovers will be drawn to this dynamic 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?

Representing words visually increases interest for kids, which should enhance their ability to learn and retain the word and its definitions. The ability to bookmark words with tags is also helpful.

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

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

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 6 reviews) (6 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Stefanie S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
A great way to learn about words
One of my all time favorite apps. How many dictionary apps and websites are there available? More than needed, but this app is like no other. The visual effects actually make vocabulary work interesting. If. Could install this app on every student iPad I would. The two downfalls include the cost $11.99 and the storage size. This app is comprehensive and data of course uses storage. You have to weigh your options of an online dictionary in the standard format versus lose of storage for other ...
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