Do you have apps? iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.: everybody loves apps! There’s an app that links to the app store so you can buy or download even more apps. Words With Friends (Scrabble knockoff) and Bejeweled Blitz, Google maps and NPR News, Twitter and Youtube, Stephen Colbert and Pandora Radio… What’s not to love?
So I have this app on my iPhone, “Vocabology“. Every day at lunchtime, it gives me a notification of a few new words to learn. For everybody that sees me regularly, you may have noticed and are probably annoyed with it. Sorry. Anyway, on my list along with Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and Yahoo Education, I’ve selected an Urban Dictionary word, too. To anyone else that occasionally picks up some humorous literature, you know that absorbing some quiet form of comedy can often be more funny than it would be out loud, because no one around you know you’re reading something hilarious. Know what I mean? Well, if you’ve ever been on Urban Dictionary’s website you do know what I mean, and this can get comical and awkward very quickly. As a disclaimer, if you haven’t been on Urban Dictionary, chances are you’re probably surviving life just fine and have no reason to be reading its entries; therefore, you should not look it up. I’m being dead serious, and I’m warning you (This is not to promote that website, just using it as an example. Okay, keep reading).
Today, I scrolled from hebdomadal to catechize to discern to Brotox. The other day, it was demarcate to adroit to insolence to The Airport Effect. Switching from words building my scholarly vocabulary to those usually classified as funny, slang, or taboo is a great way to break up the seemingly endless task of constantly learning new things. While I love learning and surround myself with people who feel the same, no one can argue that, at times, learning the same type of material in the same way doesn’t get boring. It’s why part of being a good educator is mixing up the way information is presented to make it more interesting. Having this one fun word at the end of my list is honestly a great motivator for me to keep returning to this app daily.
This great app also has options to “favorite” words to come back to later, “history” to review missed days, the choice to include languages such as Spanish and German, audio clips for proper pronunciations, and quiz features, too! Nerd status. Yay, learning!