Successful integration of vocabulary into the curriculum is always a difficult area for teachers. In past weeks, I’ve reviewed Google Dictionary and Flashcards, as well as PearDeck, for vocabulary instruction. This week’s technology tool also focuses on vocabulary. Fluany, a Chrome extension, provides a way for students to practice learning different vocabulary words while browsing online. Fluany takes user-created lists of vocabulary terms and, as people are working on their Internet browser, creates a pop-up that asks them to correctly identify the term. While not forcing the idea of repetition to memorize, the extension allows for frequent exposure to vocabulary words to increase usage in the student’s life.
Once Fluany has been downloaded from the Chrome Web Store, it can be seen in the Chrome browser toolbar. Its icon is a pink octopus.
Clicking on the octopus icon will bring you to a pop-up window. Initially, there will be sample vocabulary decks already included. You can delete them to make room for your own sets. In a purple framed box, there will be an option for you to create your first list. You would type the name into the box and then select “Create List.”
Now, whenever you click on Fluany’s icon, your newly created list will appear. From there, you have several options on how to proceed. The first option is to begin adding the terms to the list. You would click on the list you just created to open the editing window.
You can add as many terms as you would like. They can be Tier 3 or domain specific vocabulary words associated with different texts being read or other vocabulary words you want to recall easily to apply in writing. You would add the term as the question and the definition as the answer.
Vocabulary words can also be removed at any time by hovering over the word and selecting the trash can. So, once a word is mastered, that single term can be deleted without removing an entire study set.
Once all of the vocabulary terms have been added, you are able to select how often you would like the terms to appear for practice. The time frame is customizable. It ranges from one term appearing per minute to one every hour. This setting determines how frequently the extension will ask questions about the vocabulary terms.
In order to activate the extension to ask vocabulary questions, you need to open the extension and hover over the vocabulary set you would like to use. Then select “Play.”
Based on whatever time interval was selected, Fluany will have vocabulary question pop-ups appear on your current page to help refresh your memory of different terms. As long as you are using the Chrome browser, it does not matter what page you are using.
Fluany will provide immediate feedback on your response and tell you the correct definition if you are wrong. To stop the extension from asking questions, just click on the Fluany logo, hover over the set you are currently using, and press “Stop.”
For students working with difficult terminology in their whole class novels, learning domain-specific vocabulary words, or just looking to enrich their writing with higher level vocabulary, Fluany would be a great tool for them to use. Since it appears on any screen currently in-use in the Chrome browser, students could receive vocabulary questions while they are on social media or streaming television shows. It embeds the practice into their daily life and is customizable to their timeframe and their needs.
New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English