Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2012

Wordle - Simple, Easy, Useful

There are many great web 2.0 tools that can be used in variety of ways. During my first year at teacher training, we had a few courses dedicated to web 2.0 tools. We went through almost all of the tools that are available free and accessible online.
And one of those was Wordle.
It basically creates word-clouds form all kinds of sources.
For a examples, you can check out the different things I used it for:
Cover Picture for this Post - that’s actually one I used in class as a lesson starter. Even though I printed it out in Black and White (coloration just adds a little more flair), the kids liked it, because it was something they’ve never seen before and it looked interesting. I used it for them to try to guess the topic of the lesson, and also trying to memorize a few key words, since they would come up later in a different exercise.
The great thing is, it is good to look at. It looks fun and interesting and it can be glued in their workbooks and it’ll be one of the things they like to look at later on.
As you can see with these two links (here and here) you can use it as a summary too.
It was at one of my Mahara workshops, and we did a little brainstorming exercise at the beginning about those two topics. Since there was a lot of input, you can use it to get a better overview of things. In this case, it was even more helpful, because it highlights the terms that came up more often and you get an immediate sense of the topic and it’s focal points.
Another great advantage of using Wordle, is that you can use it in class directly as a live-feed if you have a computer, it can help with discussions or if you’re reviewing something.

They key part is, if you put it in like this, or maybe a link, or a text, it filters out the most common words, and it highlights them automatically. The rest of it is just for fun and for the more visual types, as you can choose the font, the color, the alignment and so on.

So if you are looking for an easy-to use visualisation tool, go ahead and try Worlde, I'm sure you will come back to it over and over again.

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