I Can Back Off My Blogging, Turn Down My Tweeting, And Even Wrap Up My Wiki, But I Can’t Wane My Wordling

Thanks for the great feedback on the last post; Welcoming Back Wordle. It inspired me to bring back the second post I ever wrote. I hope you enjoy it and possibly discover something new about Word Clouds and Wordle. Pass it on to someone not as familiar with technology and Web 2.o. Wordle is a great starting place for teachers just testing the waters. I have added a new section in the end of the post that highlights some great new links and along with other things I have learned about Wordle. As always you can follow me on twitter (@mjgormans) and please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. I also invite you to join me as I discuss 21st Century Learning on Thursday night March 4 at 7:30 EST. The podcast will be  hosted by some awesome people at the Seedlings Web Site, a place I am sure you will want to visit again, and again!  Have a great week! – Mike

I have long heard of Word Webbing, Words Diagrams, Word Art, but how about a Word Cloud? By now you may be either familiar with a Word Cloud, have googled the Weather Channel to get a better idea, or maybe have taken a look out your window to see if there really is such a thing. The concept of a Word Cloud maintains that  “If a picture paints a thousand words, then what can a thousand words paint?”  The answer of course is a Wordle. Yes, Wordles are amazing Word Clouds that can be created by all.  On a recent  internet surf I found that this Word Cloud holds the sky as the limit while providing an abundance of  sunshine for the educational setting.

So, Wordle is an application that creates Word Clouds (pictures made of words) based on the frequency of the words that are entered in the Wordle Site. A great explanation can be found at Wikipedia. The University of Oxford even defines a word cloud as “Graphical representation or word frequency that presents a picture of the most common words used with those used more often displayed larger”. As I reflected on Wordle Word Clouds it occurred to me that they were a reflection in themselves. They display our very words and in a sense give an analytical look at who we are, and what we write. This is where my Wordle Addiction first began. I immediately needed to find my biography on a website and “Wordle It”. Wow, what an awesome idea, kids write a biography and Wordle their biography! My addiction did not end there. How about writing a paragraph about my favorite college football team and another on  one I despise the most. Wordle them both separately and compare, then contrast! Michigan and Ohio State provided a great lesson and it is hard to walk away without understanding the standard of compare and contrast. Imagine the possible contrasts between the Red Sox and the Yankees! My need to Wordle grew as I discovered summaries of author’s books, main ideas of textbook paragraphs, collaborative thinking of groups of people, menus from restaurants,  favorite lyrics from songs, an entire poem or ballad, descriptions of characters from books, movie summaries, and  weather reports from across the nation. I found that editorials that I agreed with made great Wordles!

While I never ran out of my own ideas I had the need to surf the internet to find how others were creating their own Wordles. I found a collection of famous and current presidential speeches . In fact, the Boston Globe published an analysis of McCain’s and Obama’s  presidential speeches.  How about a website that  provides a Wordle Quiz to guess song titles.  Take a look at these famous speeches through history as viewed through a Wordle.  You can even Wordle your Twitter as displayed at this site.  A country’s constitution may be an insightful Wordle, perhaps even two contrasting constitutions as displayed in the USA/India Wordle.  I looked hard and could not find Wordles to match ingredients found in food. Being a past science teacher I desired a Wordle  displaying the make up of a compound using the chemical equation and element word frequency. Unfortunately no such Wordle!

Which leads to using Wordle in the classroom, if you hadn’t already noticed I had started this topic. Your  imagination and creativity is the best approach, but if you need a jump start some of these websites may help. You may want to check out 20 ideas at the Clever Sheep. How about this slide presentation created by Todd Barret that discusses Thirty-eight Ways To Use Wordle.  The Wordle Users Group also has a wealth of ideas and information if you are willing to dig through the forum.  I am excited about extending my new addiction with other past addictions. By multitasking these addictions I could super impose a Wordle over an existing graphic or picture. Think of the implications in animating your Wordle. Both of these are ideas that I will be exploring in the future on my 21centuryedtech wiki that is hosted separate from this blog. Check it out!

Take a look at the video at the bottom of this posting from Teacher Tube. It is truly amazing and rewarding to come up with ideas for your own personal Wordles while you explore the many classroom applications. I have yet to see a Wordle of curriculum standards but I am sure it exists! Of course, I couldn’t resist doing a Wordle of this Blog which I shared at the top of this post. I hope you enjoyed it, and yes I will be sure to report my newly made  Wordle of this blog post to my wiki and even send out a short tweet! But first I have a new Wordle to make.

Happy Wordling!

My Wordle Update – I have found some exciting new links that will help you make Wordle even more valuable for teachers and students. Before giving out the links, two neat things I have learned. When putting a link to Wordle use the address (http://www.wordle.net/create). This by-passes some of the possible unwanted Wordles in the gallery and forum.  Also, the most clever idea I have learned lately was shared for use in Home Economics and Physical Education. Have students keep a month diary of the food they eat and enter it in Wordle. Should be a very interesting Wordle! Now to the newest links! Don’t forget the links already provided above!

Twenty Five Interesting Ways To Use Wordle In The Classroom – Great Slides Share with ideas and tips

Top Ten Ways to use Wordle Word Clouds For Classroom Lessons – Jonathon Wylie shares ideas from the Bright Hub Blog

Ultimate Guide To Wordle For Educators – Kevin Cummins shares his Wordle Ideas from the Edgalaxy, a place he calls  “A cool site for nerdy teachers”

Ways To Use Wordle In The Classroom – Jen Wagner has put together this wonderful Wordle presentation power point and has shared it at Slide Share

Ways To Use Wordle – From the Blog SoulCradler Nirvana  Rose Watkins shares some great ideas in using Wordle

How to make Wordle Safe For Classroom Use – Great ideas that may convince a district to open the internet doors to this wonderful Web 2.0 application

23 Ways To Use Wordle In The MFL Classroom – Wonderful ideas from Samantha Lunn at  the The Language Resources Blog

Guess The Wordle –  Hosted at PB Works; Every day (Monday – Friday) a new wordle will be posted for you and your students to view. Each wordle will have a TOPIC and you will need to use your diciphering skills to figure out exactly what that topic is.(feel free to use the tools of the internet to figure out the topics) Monday’s Wordle will be easy.  All the words will have ONE thing in common. Wednesday’s Wordle will be a bit more complex.  All the words will have TWO things in common. Tuesday’s Wordle will be the date of a famous event in world history. Thursday’s Wordle will be the title of a book, poem, song, fable, etc. Friday’s Wordle will be a famous location.

Guess The Wordle: A Vocab Game –  Several Wordle games, be sure to check out the links.

Wordle: Using Word Clouds In A Lesson – A great example of a lesson built on using Wordle from the Website Technology and Education: Box Of Tricks

Fourty-Three Ways To Use Wordle –  Tom Barret started this with about 20 ideas and is now up to 43

Wordle Tutorial – A great video tutorial that helps the beginner get started

Thanks for another visit and please share with others. Also any replies are always appreciated!  – Mike


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13 responses to “I Can Back Off My Blogging, Turn Down My Tweeting, And Even Wrap Up My Wiki, But I Can’t Wane My Wordling

  1. Cara R

    After reading your blog, I am very interested in reading and learning more about these Wordles. The websites you have posted will definitely be helpful and I will letting you know my experience of these “Wordles.”

  2. Michelle Howell-Martin

    Great post! I haven’t done very much with Wordle, but am inspired to do more. Thanks!

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