Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wordle Review

Alright guys, sorry I didn't post my Web 2.0 review yesterday, I moved back home for a few weeks from college, and it was a little chaotic. Anyway, today I'm reviewing a program called Wordle. Wordle is a wonderful program where you can make word clouds. Below, you can see the word cloud I created using my research paper on Henry VIII. The more often the word is used, the bigger it is. As expected, "Henry" is huge because it is used so often in my paper. The words "Anne" (as in Anne Boleyn), "England," "Wolsey" (as in Cardinal Thomas Wolsey), "religious", "Bible" and "Cromwell" are fairly big as well since they were key parts of my thesis.
Wordle is nice to give students if you plug in your lecture notes, which is exactly what I did with the word cloud below. This one is based on a lecture I wrote about the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War. Perhaps you could put one of these in the beginning of a PowerPoint presentation and encourage students to predict what exactly they'll be learning about based on the words used and how important they appear based on size.
Wordle is very easy to use, although there's no way to create and save your work specifically under your username, which can be a huge drawback. I just created mine, took a screen shot and photo shopped it in Paint. It wasn't hard, but it would be nice to be able to save them online. Also, a word cloud may not always be helpful in the classroom. As a teacher, I recommend just using your discretion to decide if it is helpful for your students or not.

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