Tuesday, 15 November 2011

[W7] Visuwords

I believe that many of us are looking forward for an online dictionary which does not only offer us with different meanings and concepts of a particular word using graphic aids. These needing functions are available in this week's learned website, that is Visuwords. Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary that is carried out by Princeton Univeristy using the WordNet database. 

How to Use Visuwords?

1. Learners can use Visuwords by keying in a particular word into the box on top of the page (see Picture 1) before they press 'Enter'.
2. For example, learners want to look up for the word 'literature' and they key in the word into the box provided. After few seconds, Visuwords will produce a diagram that visualize the meanings and concepts of the 'literature' (see Picture 2).
3. The coloured arrows and links represented in the diagram that connects the synsets actually refer to the different types of concepts. Learners can view the meanings of the coloured arrows (or relations) at the right side of the page (see Picture 3). The coloured arrows that connect synsets can also show the relation between the synsets. For example, hyponymy, hypernym and subtance.
4. Learners can even zoom in and out to see the diagram at their best view.

Picture 1
Picture 2
 Picture 3

  • Visuwords portrays Tony Buzan's idea by representing information through the use of mind maps (or diagrams), and Visuwords demonstrates ideas using neural networks type of diagram. And we all believe that mind maps (or diagrams) are effective tools for learning. 
  • Visuwords has a convenient and adorable interface that allows learners to learn vocabulary meaning and functions, anytime and anywhere as long as the Internet connection is available.
  • It is forever free and users do not have to sign up for an account to use it. 

  • Even though Visuwords is belived to assist learners who opts for the visual learning style, however it can be demotivating for those who face colour vision deficiency the categorisation of the vocabulary details are presented by different variety of colours. 
  • Just like 'bell and whistle', Visuwords looks like an amazing tool for learning purpose, but I believe it is not suitable to be implemented in the classroom. 

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