Saturday, 28 March 2009

Using Wordle

Hi all,

I've taken up John and Anne's call to contribute and help make this a teacher's site by teachers for teachers. This is my first ever entry to a blog so please go easy on me if it doesn't work out quite as planned. Hopefully the ease I have with making this entry will encourage more of you to do the same.
http://www.wordle.net/ is a great online application for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.
You can use them to highlight key points from a given topic, such as this one on Presentations:



You can also create "wordles" of phrases by adding " ~ " between each word you input, such as this one for telephoning phrases:

I recently got my students to create their own word clouds on telephoning phrases for homework. Not surprisingly, they all did it!

You can also create a word cloud of an entire website. The higher the frequency of words on the site the larger they will appear in the word cloud. Here's one I just made by inputting the url of this blog:

Once you've created your word cloud, choose the print option and then save it to your computer as a pdf file before printing. This way you'll have the file saved locally and can then email it to your students, print it out or bring it to class on a laptop / USB stick (if you have such facilities to teach with). They're really great fun and really easy to make.
Have fun!


3 comments:

ev said...

What a great site and I really liked what you did with the telephone phrases. Thanks for the tip and congratulations on your first blog!

Mike Hogan said...

Thanks ev. I'm glad you like it. Try getting your students to create one for homework.
I feel like I'm almost ready for another blog entry :-)

Anne Hodgson said...

See Maria Victoria Saumell's article on her 7 top uses for Wordle here:
http://educationaltechnologyinelt.blogspot.com/2009/07/wordle-my-top-7-uses.html