The educational tool I focused on this week is actually just a simple word game that has been around for decades. The reason I chose this particular tool is simple, it speaks of this generation. How many people sat around playing Scrabble on family night? Let’s admit it, you hated that game as a kid because it wasn’t shiny or flashy, you didn’t blow stuff up or defeat monsters. You basically sat around a table while your parents showed you they knew much bigger words than you did.
Words with Friends is for the “instant gratification” age. It’s got brighter colors, chat features, and you can play it on your cellphone. The ability to play random opponents from all over the world can make you feel so very cool especially if you crush them by a large margin. People love to feel superior and boy does this game give that feeling in spades!
Despite the fact that this tool is a game, you still learn. You get to step into a realm with words that break all kinds of rules you learned in school. For example, did you know there is a word out there that starts with the letter “Q” but has no “U” in it? Consider your mind blown. Or how about the fact that there are no two letter words in the English language that start with “C” or “V”? Ca and Va…I don’t think so.
I predict that Words with Friends will be around for a long time. It’s popularity keeps coming back in waves and now they even have a game board version, and it’s not called Scrabble. There is always someone who is going to get that amazing phone upgrade and suddenly want to challenge all their friends to the games they’ve been missing out on and if teachers allow it in the classroom as part of the regular curriculum then it’s not going anywhere.