Over the years, one of my favourite tools has been wordle. It is free, easy to use and creates wonderful visual data of text.
However, it will not work in Google Chrome due to its reliance on Java Script. Internet Explorer is therefore used and depending on the version of Windows used, you may have to allow Java to run. (These come up as popup windows at the bottom of the screen.) I do not update, just simply choose “run this time”.
How is it used in class?
- Students in years 7 and 8 ICT create a word cloud listing the first names of students in their class. It is saved as a png, then uploaded as a post onto their blogs. See Layla’s post, Xif’s post, Jordan’s post
- Year 7 and 8 students key in their subjects to Wordle and create a Word Cloud
- Senior students highlight the text from their Subject Study Design and paste it into wordle. This makes a neat visual summary of the important key points that they will be learning. See the Accounting Study Design summary below.
- For those students who find it difficult to read large chunks of text a visual summary in wordle would help them discover the key aspects.
- Use Internet Explorer
- To join words together use a tilda ie ~ between each of the words eg school subject would need to be keyed in as school~subject so that they stay together in the word cloud.
- If you key in the same word several times, it becomes bigger and more pronounced. (Some students want their best friends to appear bigger than the rest of their class members so they type them in several times, or do this for headings.)
Alternatives to wordle – we also use abcya word cloud generator, which is not as effective but although directed at primary students, is still easy to use and provides colourful visual data.
How do you use wordle in the classroom? What alternatives to wordle do you use?