Last summer, I blogged about Wordle. I have used this tool quite often in the last year and wanted to post about it again due to a recent article I read by Terry Freedman – Five Reasons to Use Wordle in the Classroom at http://techlearning.com/article/Blogs/20322. Please take time to read the article.
What is Wordle?
Wordle is a tool that looks at the text you provide (students can type in words that describe themselves; words that describe their choice for presidential candidate; words that describe what they want to learn about this school year; words that describe a time in history they are learning about; their vocabulary words they are having a difficult time with; words that describe a country they are learning about, and on and on) and generates a “word cloud” summary from those words. The word cloud gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can change the font, change the layout, and change the color scheme. Once you have created your “word cloud” the students can take a screenshot to save and paste into an application or save to Paint/Photoshop to then save as a jpg image to use in a project — PowerPoint, Slideshare, PhotoStory, Blog, Wiki, etc. Or, they can choose to print it out and make a bulletin board in the classroom of the words. So many uses for this very easy tool. Caution: The Wordle Gallery — if they browse through the Wordle Gallery, could be inappropriate content; but they don’t have to browse to create.
Summarizing Mr. Freedman’s article on the 5 ways:
- Summarizing the content of an essay or any piece of work. Useful way of telling people what the essay is about.
- Wordle can be used by the teacher as a means of assessment. Student creates a Wordle of their presentation and uses that as the basis for a discussion.
- Self Reflection.
- Summarizing survey results from text fields.
- Illustrate a student’s writing with a picture.
How Do I Use Wordle?
- Write your text – article, essay, text fields, or just words.
- Select the text and then copy it to the clipboard – Edit/Copy or CTRL/C.
- Wordle Web Site: http://wordle.net.
- Click on Create your own.
- Paste the text – Edit/Paste or CTRL/V.
- You can click on Randomize to generate a different “look” to your Wordle.
You can print out your Wordle. If you want to save, you can use your computer’s screen capture (Print Screen) to copy into a Word document or PowerPoint. To save as an image, copy the screen capture to software program such as Paint or Photoshop to save as a graphic.
Another option is to save the Wordle in the public gallery and use the embed code to show in your blog, wiki, or web page.
For frequently asked questions: http://wordle.net/faq
Lastly, Mr. Freedman created a Wordle from his writing; so, copying his idea, I did the same.