Word Dynamo

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Word Dynamo App Poster Image

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Excellent searchable dictionary includes word lists, games.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn vocabulary words for a range of levels -- from elementary school up to post-graduate. Dictionary.com is the fully featured dictionary that powers Word Dynamo, so kids can learn almost any word. If kids have a word list from school, they can build their own list, or they can work from existing lists and lists recommended for their level (determined by their Word Dynamo Challenge score). Some lists focus on Greek and Latin roots and prefixes and suffixes to help kids build deciphering skills, too. Word Dynamo is an easy-to-use vocabulary-building app that can grow with the whole family.

Ease of Play

Creating word lists is easy, and accessing and reviewing existing lists is intuitive.

Violence

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

Sex

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

Language

Word Dynamo includes a full dictionary of words, including profanity. Kids can easily search specific words and can access lists created by others -- including several lists of profanity and sexual terms (like "bad words" and "sexual or sex related," though others are more vaguely titled "101" or "vocabulary").

Consumerism

An option in the about section links to other apps available from Dictionary.com in the App Store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Contains excellent definitions of basic terms, including slang.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Dynamo is a word-study app developed by Dictionary.com that can be used by kids from elementary age through college and beyond. It includes preloaded study lists for different grade levels and tests, like PSAT, SAT, GRE, and LSAT, and kids can create their own lists and share them via email or social media. As with any good dictionary, definitions for sex, drugs, and curse words give useful objective information, not dramatization or glorification. Some users have created lists to highlight profanity and sexual content, and those lists are accessible through the search function.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byemmastanley August 14, 2015

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What's it about?

Kids start off with the Word Dynamo Challenge, which assesses vocabulary level (starting at elementary school, middle school, high school, or college level) and then gives lists and word studies to improve vocabulary along with quizzes built in to each of the 20 levels. Kids will need to set up an account with Dictionary.com, and multiple users can play on the same device as long as they have separate accounts. Kids can also create their own lists of words or review the numerous existing lists or search for specific words. Within each list, kids can review the list of words and definitions, do a Quick Study with flashcards, or take matching quizzes on the words and definitions. Based on the Word Dynamo Challenge, kids get recommended lists, or they can browse all of the lists, which are sorted by subjects, grade levels, test prep, and foreign language.

Is it any good?

WORD DYNAMO is an app the whole family can use and learn from. The exhaustive word lists include words for every grade level, many tests, specific areas of study, and even foreign languages. Kids have a variety of options for learning and practicing the words. The ability to create your own word lists and then study them with flash cards or review them in a quiz is very helpful. Kids (and parents) will get a kick out of the Word Dynamo Challenge, as well as be appropriately challenged, since the game serves as a pre-test to guide the recommended lists.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Watch as your kid takes the Word Dynamo Challenge to get an idea of his or her vocabulary starting point.

  • Encourage kids to read a variety of texts. Reading is the best vocabulary builder.

App details

For kids who love words

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