Words With Friends, the popular Scrabble-like word game app, has been a fixture among smartphone users for years, but it's no longer just for flaunting your impressive lexicon. As VentureBeat reports, the company behind the game (Zynga) is now introducing a brand new educational edition for elementary and middle school classrooms.

Zynga released Words With Friends EDU today for free on the App Store, Google Play, and on the web. The educational version is designed for students in grades four through eight, and aims to teach vocabulary. It incorporates a range of new features, including bonuses for “Power Words” (or advanced academic vocabulary), and “Definition Hints,” which help students come up with more complicated words.

In addition to its updated gameplay, Words With Friends EDU also offers a range of resources for educators, including lesson plans designed to help teachers align the game with their curriculum. Teachers and parents can also track a child’s progress in the game, which in turn could help them identify educational areas where the child needs more help.

Zynga developed Words With Friends EDU in collaboration with teachers and education experts, and designed the app to align with Common Core Standards. It was also beta tested in 20 classrooms before its release.

"Words With Friends EDU reimagines the Words With Friends experience for a game that's as entertaining as it's effective for students, whether they have an advanced vocabulary or are learning English as their second language," Vaibhav Sahgal of Words With Friends explained in a statement. "Working collaboratively with teachers and education experts enabled us to create a fun and engaging experience that also increases students' vocabulary and educational outcomes."

For more, check out the video from Zynga above.

[h/t Venture Beat]

Banner Image Credit: Zynga.org, Vimeo

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.