Recently got my wife a Kindle Fire which she loves and sometimes lets me use. Currently reading "Around the World in 80 days." It's a free e-book from Amazon. Also, I downloaded other free books, as well as free apps for chess, mahjongg, and sudoku. However, I had heard of "Words for Friends" and knew that my oldest daughter was playing it from her android smart phone.
I'm playing it - not bad, a bit like Scrabble (tm). But I think it would be good if one could look up the meaning of a word within the program - or if it popped up a definition as a word is played.
Also, I'm thinking back to school when sometimes the teachers would give us games to play - like find how many words you can make from the letters of some word without using any letter more times than it appears in the start word. For example, if the start word is "WORDSMITH" we can find
WORDS, SMITH, HIT, THIS, SWORD, WORTS, ORTS, ROTS, WORMS, WORTH, OMITS, TROD, RODS, SHOT, HOTS, WHIT, WHID, WRIT, WITH, MOTHS, THROWS, etc.
It doesn't seem unreasonable to allow students to play words with friends during study halls or even during class in some cases. 1) all assignments finished, 2) special assignment (say, getting extra points for playing relevant words), 3) general vocab building.
It seems like this tech could be handy - for some students, allowing teachers to focus on the kids who really need it, IF they put some thought in up front to how it would be integrated into an activity. (That was one of the problems when computers were first put into the classroom - it was great for people were really into it, but it wasn't very helpful for the non-math students.)
I wonder how open zynga would be to making mods to help it be more useful to teachers. (Or if teachers would think the idea worth pursuing.)