September 12, 2007– English and language-arts teachers who want toengage students in the language and its many nuances can subscribe tothe Visual Thesaurus, an interactive dictionary and thesaurus with aninnovative display that encourages exploration and learning. With adatabase of more than 145,000 English words and 115,000 meanings, theVisual Thesaurus displays words and meanings that are related to asearch term, but here’s the catch: Its visual interface displays thesearch term at the center of the screen, with a web of spokesconnecting this term and all other related words–giving users agraphic depiction of how words and meanings are interrelated. Throughthe tool bar, users can search for words, view word suggestions, see asearch history, and change their preferences. Clicking on a word in thedisplay brings it to the center, and users can hear the word spoken outloud by clicking on the speaker icon. Rolling the mouse over a relatedword lets users learn more about it, and clicking it will bring it tothe center of the display. For example, typing in the word “happy” willbring up related words, such as “cheerful” and “euphoric.” Users canexplore each related word, searching until they find the term they’relooking for. The site also features a Word of the Day and an SATvocabulary lesson. While some resources are free, the majority of theVisual Thesaurus is subscription-based.

About the Author:

eSchool News