About the Source
Title: Kids Wordsmyth, Wordsmith Illustrated Learner’s Dictionary (WILD)
Publication Date: 2018
Wordsmyth Illustrated Learner’s Dictionary (WILD) was developed by Dr. Robert Parks and a team of full time editors and writers who, according to the Wordsmyth website, are highly qualified and educated. Wordsmyth’s work has been licensed to IBM. This relationship implies that the work is credible and marketable.
WILD is, at its heart, a visual dictionary, but it includes many other engaging features not typically included in a standard dictionary. It includes:
- a beginner picture dictionary, allowing for typical search functions with clear, visual results,
- a world feature which allows for exploration through interactive hierarchical learning environments, inviting users to explore organically and to follow their interests,
- a collections section, where topics are grouped according to related topics (for example transportation, numbers and shapes, and art and music), and
- book, where entries are arranged alphabetically in a interactive book, allowing for more traditional dictionary use.
Definitions are simple and direct and include audio and relational links for each entry. The site also includes a subtle “Teacher Tips” section for assistance with use in the classroom. Entries are basic and limited. For example, the word acorn is included, but not walnut, apple but not kiwi.
The site is designed easily navigable even for young visitors. Pictures consistently matched with text, allowing users who are not yet able to read fluently or spell reliably to use the site. There is a large, bold toolbar with four main links: Picture Dictionary, World, Collections, and Book. Each of these options is also included with larger, bolder pictures in the main center area of the page. There is a large, noticeable search bar in the center of the page, and teacher tools like the Teacher Tips section, sound control, and settings functions are included in the footer and header of the page, less obvious to young users, but still readily accessible to adults.
This site is ideal for classroom use in kindergarten through second grade classrooms. It is free, and has many applications in the school and home settings. The vocabulary is limited and may not meet the needs of fluent readers or students with higher interest levels.