Title: Words with Friends
Platform: iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone
Also available in HD version for iPad for $2.99
At the beginning of the school year I received an invitation from a friend who is a school librarian in Alaska to play a new game called WORDS WITH FRIENDS. Frankly, I had heard nothing about it. So, I scurried over to the APP Store and downloaded the free version for my iPod Touch. I was hooked: Scrabble games with friends or random opponents and all online. In some schools, students are coming in to the library at lunch and other free times to challenge one another (and to challenge the librarian, too) to games. I currently have 5 games going concurrently and love when I get a notice that it is my turn to play the tiles.
Yes, this is Scrabble online basically. The differences, though, make this an app that provides more than some simple word play. First, it is possible to select opponents from your friends on the various social networks (Twitter and Facebook). You can invite a specific person or you can allow the app to select a random opponent for you. There are all levels of players from some that appear ready for professional competition to those (like me) who play for fun. How could this app be used in a library setting?
As my friend in Alaska reports, students can challenge one another in a friendly competition. Or a librarian could set up challenges and brackets a la Sweet Sixteen basketball. It could be used in classrooms to develop vocabulary skills. Or it is possible to teach gaming strategy and then apply these skills to other games online and traditional.
Words with Friends even has its own support web site found here: http://wordswithfriends.net/