App #4: “I hate Google Docs!” stated a student in an advanced writing class. The teacher being stunned by this emphatic state turned my way with a “now what!” look. After probing, it became clear that this writer liked the thesaurus dictionary in MSWord. A quick introduction to online visual dictionaries opened a whole different world not only to the group but also for the teacher in expanding to other classes. Here are two of my favourites:
Lexipedia provides a visual display connection of words (nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and relationships fuzzynyns, synonyms, antonyms). Hovering over the term offers a definition. More importantly, this tool has an embedded audio option of the text. You can see a definite plus for those students who need this type of support.
Visuwords, another online visual dictionary uses colours and a variety of line shapes to define relationships and connections much like a concept map. Type a word in the box and see the connected terms come alive.
What are your favourite tools for expanding vocabulary in writing?