Gaming

Words With Friends Reimagined for Classrooms

Words With Friends is out with a free, educational version of its popular Scrabble-like game for mobile devices. Created by Zynga, a social game developer, Words With Friends EDU includes new education-focused features to help students in grades 4-8 learn high-value academic vocabulary.

"Words With Friends EDU reimagines the Words With Friends experience for a game that's as entertaining as it's effective for students, whether they have an advanced vocabulary or are learning English as their second language," said Vaibhav Sahgal, general manager at Words With Friends, in a statement.

Words With Friends EDU looks essentially the same as the original version, with a few new features for students, teachers and parents:

  • “Power Words” that enable students to earn bonus points by playing high-value academic words, including terms that frequently show up in lessons and required reading;
  • Definition hints that help students connect academic words to their definitions and help students access power words;
  • Badges that students can earn when they reach certain milestones in the game and avatars that can be personalized;
  • An interactive dashboard where teachers and parents can track students’ gameplay and learning; and
  • Lesson plans for teachers to supplement the game in their classrooms.

The EDU version of the game was developed with help from teachers and education experts “to ensure gameplay and accompanying curriculum and lesson plans drive deeper learning and alignment with Common Core standards,” according to a statement from Zynga. Words With Friends EDU was beta-tested in more than 20 classrooms by more than 1,500 students.  

"Working collaboratively with teachers and education experts enabled us to create a fun and engaging experience that also increases students' vocabulary and educational outcomes,” said Sahgal. “With students showing significant gains in the use of academic words in their first six sessions of Words With Friends EDU, we are proud to deliver this new learning tool to students, teachers and parents as they start the school year."

Words With Friends EDU is available on the App Store for iPad, Google Play for Android tablet and online.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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