I spent the first part of my summer working with teachers to help them learn to use technology as a tool for differentiating reading instruction to help all learners succeed. During that time we experimented with many different tools for teaching vocabulary. Here is a glance at the list of tools the course participants found to be user-friendly and useful for students and teachers.
Lexipedia A very nice multi-lingual visual dictionary that creates a word webanddefines words based on parts of speech. Use the toolbar bookmarklet for convenience.
Lingro An amazing tool that turns all the words in any website or digital text into a clickable dictionary and translates text into 12 different languages.
Shahi A visual dictionary that combines Wiktionary content with Flickr images, and more.
Snappy Words An online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that helps you find the meanings of words and draw connections to associated words.
Visuwords Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts.
The Visual Dictionary This tool uses photographs of words in the real world to visually explore them.
Vocabulary.co A very popular site for vocabulary games.
VocabGrabber Copy and paste text into the box and this tool generates a word cloud to identify the key vocabulary. Sort words by content area.
Wordsift Place text into a box and then press sift to create a word cloud in which most frequently used words appear larger in size.
Wordia A tool that uses video to make personal connections for users. The school account keeps it safe for students and allows students to create their own video definitions and schools to build their own dictionaries.
Wordle Use this word cloud generator to identify key vocabulary in digital text. Try copying and pasting more than one related article into Wordle to get the big picture.
WordStash Teachers can sign up for a free account and create word lists to support written text. With a click of a button, students can access dictionary information and create flash cards for review.
Tag Galaxy This tool creates a 3D orbiting galaxy of words and their associations
Click on any word to move it to the center of the galaxy, then click
again and watch the globe populate with images from Flicker. This is a must see.