Toby’s word cloud
The notion of Valentine’s Day is always of interest to students. One of my colleagues, Amanda Ritter, from Toorak College created a discussion starter in a collaborative chat room stating:-
Morning everyone – quick poll to get us talking – yesterday all Valentines Day flower deliveries were banned at my school – do you think that’s fair!
Amanda teaches in a private girls’ school where in the past the school has been a ‘sea’ of flowers as deliveries came in from Valentines!
Here are the other activities that my classes were involved in:-
- Students brainstormed what words come to mind when they hear of Valentine’s Day on a google document. This was spell checked. created a lot of public discussion on netiquette as inevitably first timers typed on top of others words and deleted others. In appropriate language was not a problem in this instance. See the resultant document which now displays year 7 and 8’s brain storms.
- The words were highlighted, copied and pasted in wordle to create a word cloud.
- Students tweaked their word cloud manually, customizing it to their taste, cropped the wordle with the MS snipping tool (a firm favourite software tool) and added this image to a blog post.
- They had to find an online site that explained more about Valentine’s Day and hyperlink text to take readers to this site and write a brief post.
- Students could use the same word if it is one that they thought of. This means it becomes larger text in the wordle.
- watching students collaboratively adding to one document
- high engagement of students when they can all contribute simultaneously – every student can contribute
- the amazing collection of words that years 7 and 8 students ‘stormed’ together. See their document, which I have now locked from being edited.
- An engaging activity that takes little time to set up – register for a gmail account>google drive>create new document>change sharing priveleges to public on web, anyone can edit. Share link to document with students on class blog, wiki or a share network drive.
- not one word cloud looked the same, even though the content was the same. Each student used different colours etc.
- It encourages them to read words from students as they type them up.
Tate’s word cloud
- Students need to find a spot on the google document where someone else is not typing.
- First timers typed on top of others words accidentally, others deleted words. This created teachable moments with discussion on netiquette and appropriate behaviour online. Some also used inappropriate words but as this was all public, discussion soon saw them edited out.
- Students tended to write their words in a vertical list. It is better that they type the words across.
- Editing the document quickly enough for high quality. eg remembering to add a tilde to keep two words together (~)
- Some students could not copy the words from the google document, so it also had to be exported as a Word document and saved in their public student drive for access. (I am still not sure what caused this problem)
- Finding the customization colour palette in wordle.
Further resources for Valentine’s Day
And an interesting read Lens of the Day: Valentine’s Day Through History on Squidoo.
What did you do on Valentine’s Day? Did you complete any related activities with students? Interestingly, Valentine’s Day is our wedding anniversary so my husband has no excuses for forgetting. However when we were married, it was not celebrated to the extent it is today and it was an accidental selection of date and not deliberate!
This was an informal session where participants determined the direction of the session. Participants came from a variety of educational sectors, from Australia and from Russia. Participants were asked the following:-
- What they would like discussed in this session.
- Tools or technology that they could share.
High interest was expressed in the recent release of google+ and twitter. Application sharing was used to demonstrate some of the tools shared.
From the chat came the following:-
Some staff will be working on web2.0 tools at school today. This post will help them to make a word cloud with students.
Australia is watching cyclone Yasi as it approaches the northern coastline of Queensland. Below is a wordle created by highlighting and copying an ABC online news bulletin.
Wordle easy to use and produces effective results quickly. Follow the steps below to make attractive word clouds for use online or off line.
To make the word cloud
- Goto wordle
- Look for “create your own” and click on the link
- Key in the words to be used in the cloud, in the resultant window. (Tip: Key in the words in MS Word, copy and paste into the window. This will prevent any potential losses once online.)
- Click Go when finished
- A word cloud will be created. Choose randomize until you get your preferred cloud. (When feeling confident, you can use the links ef font, layout etc at the top, to manually manipulate the cloud.
- Wordle will give html code if you save to their gallery. However, this is always quite small, so another option is to make a screen dump.
- If you use a PC, click on the PrtSc (Print Screen) key above the function keys. This will take a screenshot.
To create an image with your word cloud
- Open MS Paint, goto edit and paste
- Use the cropping tool to remove the sections not required
- Goto edit>copy
- Open a new MS Paint screen, do not save the old one.
- Goto edit and paste
- Save as a jpg or png and the image is now ready to be used online or elsewhere.
- Always acknowledge that you have used wordle.
Uses for Wordle
How do you use wordle in the classroom? What alternatives to wordle do you use?
Hi students and it is a pleasure to meet you and work with you! When working with the internet there are three important lessons to be learnt:-
- maintaining a good’ digital footprint’
Group 1 this wallwisher and tell me your ideas on being cyber safe.
Group 2 First goto say hello from Ipoh (wallwisher)
I would like to introduce you to some tools that will help you with your school work and some that will help you with cybersafety. These are:-
- creating an avatar – choose from a lego avatar or a portrait avatar.
- creating a voki - an animated, talking avatar
- mind mapping using bubbl.us and
- creating word clouds using wordle.
Instructions for making your wordle:-
- Click on the “create” link
- Type Ipoh three times with a space between each word
- Type in at least 10 words about Ipoh (If you use two words, eg white coffee, you need to put a tilda between them ie white~coffee so that they stay together.
- Click ” go”. A word cloud will be created.
- Click randomize (down the bottom of your words) until you find a cloud that you like or manually change it.
- Press PrtScr (a key at the top of your keyboard) to take a photo of your computer screen.
- Goto MS Paint, goto edit and Paste. Your screen photo appears. Find the dotted rectangle on the tool bar and draw a rectangle around the word cloud.
- Goto edit, choose copy
- Now get a new MS Paint File, do not save changes and goto edit>paste You should just have your words.
- Save as a jpg image or choose copy and goto MS Word or MS Powerpoint and paste for use
For quite some time I have been searching for an online word cloud creator. One of Kevin’s posts relating to his day in a sentence, alerted me to wordle. As I wanted my students to teach me some of their txt talk, so that I can see how they communicate, I decided to try it out. These were the steps that I took:-
- Choose “create your own” (I typed up my collection in MS Word first of all getting my students to add as many words as they could), then copied and pasted it into the wordle window.
- Click on GO button
- If save to gallery, can choose many different layouts, then grab code for embedding in your blog
- or, as I do, print screen the result>paste into MS Paint>crop>save as jpg image
- Upload this image into your blog as it gives a much larger image
At this stage wordle appears to allow you to use the results as you will. It will have a broad range of educational applications as continued use and trialling continues.