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Two iPhone dictionaries

March 5, 2011

As students use the dictionaries on their iPhones or smart phones in classes, they need to use the best dictionary applications. When I first began using an iPhone, I downloaded the dictionary.com application. I found it useful because I could find the meaning relatively quickly, and it had a good number of definitions with examples. Recently, in writing class, a student asked me for the past tense form of steal. I quickly looked for it with him on the dictionary.com application, but the different forms of the verb were not shown. The past form was in most of the examples, but it was not prominent neither in bold print or italics. I then searched for the word on the Merriam Webster dictionary application that I had recently added to my iPhone, and the different forms were there. The next day I encouraged my students with iPhones to download the Merriam Webster dictionary application. I don’t like either application as much as an ESL dictionary, but most students don’t bring the heavy dictionaries to class despite repeated encouragement.

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