I just came across Wordnik.com, a website with a huge collection of words (8 million so far) and various information about those words-examples, definitions, histories, usage, statistics, and more. The website is using new technologies with full potential and differentiates itself from other online dictionaries with interactive and social tools. For instance you can hear the pronunciation of a word from other dictionaries (i.e. American Heritage Dictionary) and also from the users. You can even record your own pronunciation. This way, it is more authentic and collaborative. Tagging and tweeting are also integrated to the website. I particularly liked the examples section, where various usage examples are drawn from various resources from the Internet. I couldn’t quite figure out how they control the quality, but I will keep exploring.
While writing a dissertation, I have a constant need for using a dictionary or a thesaurus. Wordnik is currently trying to build some applications for the mobile devices. It would also be nice to have a tool that is more integrated within the computer, where I would have easy and quick access to Wordnik. Overall, very innovative idea and a tool with great potential for educators.