Merriam-Webster, America’s most-trusted dictionary, is excited to announce the launch of Puku, a fun and motivating vocabulary-building app for kids. The app features Puku, a virtual pet that grows and evolves as players master new words, in an engaging display that rewards progress. Designed for children ages 8-12, the app’s unique format offers ongoing, leveled vocabulary play and gives users the ability to quickly create and share their own word lists, populated with Merriam-Webster definitions.
Every player has a personalized learning experience guided by adaptive learning technology. The app responds directly to the users’ performance ensuring that learning is efficient and motivating: kids spend their time on new and challenging vocabulary and get immediate corrective feedback when a word’s meaning eludes them.
“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Puku,” says Lisa Schneider, Chief Digital Officer & Publisher for Merriam-Webster. “We wanted to create a tool for kids who have outgrown entry-level vocabulary apps, and also for parents who are frustrated with the limited resources available to help their older children study words they are learning in school. Puku is delightful to play, and empowers users to easily create and share custom word lists, with age-appropriate definitions, to align with classwork.”
Puku features a virtual pet that grows as players master new words and evolves at milestone accomplishments, rewarding kids for their progress and keeping them engaged and motivated to learn. There are three ways to play Puku: ongoing, leveled vocabulary lists; custom categories, such as words about Food or Mythology; or users can create and share their own lists to match areas of interest or curriculum. Teachers can also take advantage of Puku to quickly create and share word lists with their students, all automatically populated with trusted, authoritative Merriam-Webster definitions.
“The Puku app provides an engaging and rewarding learning experience that is tailored to kids’ needs and interests,” explains Damien Yambo, Director of Educational Products for Merriam-Webster. “Puku can help children practice the vocabulary they’re learning in class, but kids can also play Puku to better understand the books they’re reading for fun.”
Puku builds on Merriam-Webster’s commitment to help people of all ages understand language better, so they can better understand and communicate with the world around them.
“Games are one of the ways that technology, used effectively, can help enhance learning inside and outside classrooms.” said Karthik Krishnan, global CEO of the Britannica Group. “The launch of Puku following the recent launch of Guardians of History, our interactive voice experience, showcases Britannica’s quest to blend modern-day technology, science fiction, and gamification concepts to continue to inspire curiosity and the joy of learning in new and engaging formats. With Puku and Guardians of History, Britannica adds another dimension—‘Be entertained’—to its brand promise ‘Save time. Learn more. Be sure.’”
Puku is available for iOS users now. If you would like to review the app, please contact us for a promo code.
The Puku app was developed in partnership with PRELOADED, a BAFTA-winning games studio. The Android version of Puku will be available shortly.
About Merriam-Webster Inc.
For over 180 years, Merriam-Webster has been America’s leading and most-trusted provider of language information. Each month, our award-winning websites, apps, and popular social media channels offer guidance to tens of millions of visitors. In print, our publications include Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary (among the best-selling books in American history) and dictionaries for English-language learners. All Merriam-Webster products and services are backed by the largest team of professional dictionary editors and writers in America, and one of the largest in the world.
For more information, visit Merriam-Webster.com, an official Webby Award Winner for 2017 & 2018, and follow @MerriamWebster on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About Britannica Group
A global leader in education whose flagship products serve the needs of students and consumers on multiple platforms and devices, Britannica has been a pioneer in digital learning since the 1980s. The company today serves the needs of students, lifelong learners, and professionals by providing curriculum products, language-study courses, digital encyclopedias, and professional readiness training through Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica Digital Learning, Britannica Knowledge Systems, Merriam-Webster, and Melingo. The company is headquartered in Chicago.
PRELOADED makes award-winning games and immersive experiences with purpose for clients and partners including LEGO, BBC and Google. We use an audience-led approach to create learning experiences that are as efficacious as they are entertaining. Our work has been recognised internationally by awards bodies, including BAFTA & Serious Play. For more information, visit PRELOADED.com