Had “they” decided to do that, there would no doubt have had so many people panicking about it all. So, it’s a compelling suggestion. It just happens to be wrong.
Word puzzles have a place in the ICT teacher's armoury. On the face of it, that sounds like a ridiculous statement: how can a word search, say, or a crossword, be of any use to pupils?
It seems to me that word puzzles represent a very good way of engaging learners. I think this applies especially to certain types of children, the ones for whom concentrating for longer than ten minutes is a challenge, and paragraphs of text a barrier.
A word puzzle may be used as a way of reinforcing the terminology associated with a particular topic, or of gently testing the pupils on their grasp of the relevant vocabulary.
You can also go further in respect of the latter by asking pairs of pupils to create their own word puzzles on a particular topic.
Thanks to technology, creating puzzles is no longer the labour-intensive and time-consuming activity it once was. I like the menu of options available on the Discovery Education Puzzlemaker site, for example, and it must have taken me all of three minutes to create the wordsearch puzzle below, on the subject of digital safety.
R E P O R T F G K Y M A C Y T
U C K G N X L P F Q Q Y F T H
H P A R G O T O H P B E Y I E
U N R P H R I L X E R C W T F
E A R C Z L I T R R A Y O N T
A P D D D H O B C V A N H E K
G Q O V I R U X I E P Q A D M
J G Y C T L S R Y O T P A I P
D U E D L L P H O M A O Z K J
E O G Y M Q B A T A D H R P T
P J I U G S C Y Y Z H C U P B
B N W P M L C F R I M P U L U
G P V Y P N H A N O W J L H S
P Q U F M U A T H P N E O H P
M C K A A V I F K P O Z X A U
You can have it generated as text or HTML, and obtain the solution as well. Other types of word puzzle are also available. I'd recommend supplementing the puzzle by asking the pupils to do something extra, such as write meaningful sentences which incorporate the words used.
Used sensibly, creatively and as part of an array of resources, word puzzles can supplement your teaching very well.
See also The Power of Words.