Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 25 - Wordle

Wordle is a simple word cloud generator that can turn any text into a word cloud. Word cloud generators use the words from any text and sort them from most commonly used terms to the least commonly used terms. Then the words are mixed up with the most common words appearing larger that the rest. The result is a word cloud such as the one below, which is a Wordle of the NETS for Teachers.


Wordle of the NETS for Students:


Here is a blog that lists other word cloud generators such as Tagxedo, ABCya, and Tagul. Take a look at the following screencast on how to make a simple wordle to use in your classroom.




Note: Wordle uses a Java Applet to run. Wordle creator Jonathan Feinberg recommends using Mozilla or Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer as your browser when utilizing Wordle.

Your Assignment:
The usefulness of word clouds are, like any tool, based on how you use them. Please share how you might use this tool in your classroom.


31 comments:

  1. I like Wordle. I like to take the notes from a particular day and place it in a wordle. This shows the students what the most important or most used word of the day was. This helps visualize what they should focus on and the parts that might not be as important. This is great for math, because we repeat the most important words/topics over and over throughout the period. Students could use this as well to help them with other subjects. I know when I was writing a paper for my Master's class, I would post my paper in a wordle to make sure that the most used word was not 'the', but the topic of the paper itself!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do something similar to Susan's use. When I ask for summaries from kids on notes or videos, I use a Google Form and then place the submissions in a Wordle to visualize what they're writing about.

    It's also simple to put the text into a word processor (GDocs, Open Office, Word, etc) to remove common terms like "the" or "and."

    Use the "command/control + F" function to search for terms.

    You can use "replace all with..." and replace them with a space.

    Then, you've got mostly main ideas and the cloud looks better when you're finished. It's a great discussion starter because kids can easily pick out the bigger words and go from there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tough. Are you trying to make it more difficult as we get to the end?

    The think I like about Wordle is that the kids already love them. I have them all the time want to do them for different projects. This is how I have used it before and would offer it to my students.

    My students are to read a book independently through the quarter while we work on the research paper. At the end, I have them complete a project of their choosing to show me what they got out of the book. Wordle will be one.

    The students will take a number of concepts, character names, events, places and plot elements and create a Wordle about their book. The Wordle has to be more than just a random list of words, like key points and main characters. By looking at the Wordle, I will be able to evaluate that they read the book, understood the plot and grasped the key elements.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I use the Wordle when training. I have done it two ways. After small groups have done their work and report out, I type in the words they used and create a wordle. Another way is using exit cards and then type in those and show the Wordle the next session. I have them take time to reflect then share out what they thought and why.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love Wordle! This is a little off task, but I took my sister's entire dissertation draft and put it in Wordle last year (she still has it on her wall!), it turned out so cool, but what a great way to really get a visual for what the key terms and priority topics in your paper are. And even knowing her topic, I could really see it well that way. In the classroom, same rules can apply. if you are talking to kids about the main idea of a topic, what better way to see if you are really covering the items that relate to your main idea than to see it in Wordle! It can also be used as a way to bridge art with creative writing or poetry, On the flipside, a teacher can START WITH a cool Wordle, and have the kids do a creative write or free write based on the words in the Wordle cloud.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love to use Wordle! I have taken surveys and put all of the responses into Wordle. The result is so intriguing, as it shows the words that are used most often. Word of caution on student use: When the students spell words incorrectly, they show up as different words. Also, if you want a group of words to show up together, then you can't have a space. For example, when I wanted "Fair Use" to show up as a word, I had to write it as "FairUse." I think that it would be great for students to put their essays or papers into Wordle to see if they are over-using a word. I also think it would be a great way to get students to focus on what seems to be important in an article, maybe as a way of previewing the text.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the idea of using a Wordle before and after a lesson. Most students are familiar with Wordle by now, so they understand the biggest words are the words used most often. When I show a Wordle before class, they know what words to listen for during the lesson. I bring up the Wordle again at the end and make sure that they understand all the big words. Every once in awhile, I need to recover a topic because they don't get the "big word" idea or topic. Ditto to the users above me, I love using Wordle!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love Wordle and have already used it in the classroom. I had my 5th & 6th grade students create a Wordle following a lesson on digital citizenship earlier this year. It was interesting to see the student's opinions on the most important words and subjects. Another good way to use Wordle is to first use a collaboration program such as Titan Pad where users can go in and share their thoughts in real time. From this site, responses can be copied and pasted into Wordle so it ends up being a really engaging, interactive lesson.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wordle is kind of fun to use. In chemistry, I could have my students find an internet resource page on covalent bonding, and then use the web address to create a wordle. From this, we could then have a discussion about what vocab words we will need to learn in that unit.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love Wordle. I have been using it since college. I often used it for a visual for presentations.
    My students could use it much the same way. Many of my students choose to type their notes for class on their netbook. With these typed notes, they could make a Wordle Study Guide. Words that appear larger would be of more importance to them when they study. I also think this is a great way for students to see what language they use most often in writing assignments. If they tend to use one common word over and over, the wordle would show this. Their goal could then be to find synonyms for that word to spice up their writing. Wordle is simply a great visual tool to help show the main ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really like the idea of Wordle. However, as with many tools, Japanese language input is not supported. I think it would be a great tool to use in learning our new vocabulary each week or chapter. The more often students see and use the words the more likely it is to stick in their brains. I also think that it would be great to use as a vocabulary grouping tool. Students could create a Wordle of all words that go with a unit. Example: family members.

    Another way that this would be great to use for me is as a flyswatter type game. It makes it so much simplier than me actually pasting words to a paper in a randomized fashion.

    Seems a lot of us like this one! It is a great presentational tool.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This would be cool to do with song lyrics. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in learning the notes that we forget what we are singing about! Putting the lyrics of the song into a Wordle might help the students realize what the song is actually about. I think it would also be beneficial to the cast of our musical to create a Wordle to describe what is going on in certain scenes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've always wondered how these were made! Very cool tool, and easy to use! I made one with the lyrics of a song my 5th grade is working on, and put it on my desktop. I also made one with a third grade music class today, just with their names, and it was neat to see the two with the same name were the biggest.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like this tool! I can use this with my vocabulary that I do every week. I can enter in all the words we have talked about up to this point and talk about what we see. Every week I can add the new words and talk briefly as to what we notice and how that applies to math.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wordles could be used with young students as a phonics activity. Word families(at, bat, cat, hat, etc) could be listed by the teacher on the big screen and then put into a wordle. A wordle would add visual interest to word family practice. Students could also create their own wordles based on math terms (what are different ways that math word problems indicate one needs to add to find the answer) language terms (make a wordle with synonyms for a vocabulary word, etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Finally, another tool I've heard of and even used already! My son did a project on North Carolina, and we used Tagxedo. I liked it better b/c when you move your cursor over the word, it actually pops out. Also, he was able to make his word cloud in the shape of North Carolina. They have really cool examples in their gallery. I love Kara's idea for song lyrics. I don't teach music, but I'm intrigued by the idea. I think this would be a great tool for professional development in regards to reflection on all we've done in the past at Delaware. At our last DataWise meetings, we talked about having groups brainstorm the things we've done over the past 2-3 years and then enter everyone's responses into a Wordle. We could save it and then do it again in a year or two and see how it has changed. Now that I've typed this, we have to make sure we do it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love Wordle. I use to review our vocabulary terms, review our Word Wisdom words on a review unit. I have also created one with words to introduce a concept or topic and see if the kids can guess what we will be studying. I am doing my masters now and great idea to put my paper in it to check for over use of a word or words. I will have to apply this and soon! I had not thought to use it to have the students put a paper they had written for overuse of a word or we have them make sure they have so many POP/interesting words in a story or sentence. This will be a great way for them to see it visually. I love the state project idea i will have to see how I can apply that to the many projects I assign during the year.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would use Wordle to put the students' names at the beginning of a new quarter. I would also put up the day's objectives so that they would really look at them instead of just "glossing" over them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another idea that I have that I don't believe has been mentioned yet is to copy and paste the words from your test the day before so the students can see, visually, what topics or words appear most often in the test.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love Wordle. I have used it for presentations and other things since college. It not only make a great visual, but it can be turned into art. I could see my students using this to turn their notes into a study guide to help them find the main ideas of chapters from the textbook.
    It would also be an interesting classroom management tool. I use class dojo and it tallies the violations/rewards that students get during class. For example, not raising their hand, coming to class late, or turning in their homework on time. The data from a site like Clas Dojo could be placed in Wordle to give the students an idea of their behavior and their eyes would be drawn to a behavior that needs to be worked on.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Andrea, I love the Pre-test Wordle idea! What a creative use of the tool!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I really cannot come up with any different ways to use Wordle in the classroom. I know when I was in my Master's program, I used it in my presentations of different research, which my students could also do. They are definitely fun and a very neat way to see main topics of articles, papers,etc. Taking from the idea of NETS for students Wordle, it might be nice to show students a wordle of their standards, so they can get an idea of expectations.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I saw the most interesting use of wordle yesterday....in our cadre meeting we took the descriptions of schools we had visited and threw it into a wordle to see where the focus of the school really was. The differences in schools were visually apparent. In an English class, I have seen wordle used with final essays to show how often words were overused.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have tried Wordle before and found it to be average. However, I was thinking about the post previous to this one and am wondering how this would work with a novel. My students are currently reading Hunger Games and it might be a great way to focus on a particular area of the story. For example, when we are discussing theme the kids could post words they feel represent the theme. They could also use words to describe a character. I am going to try this tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Students could type the introduction of a unit. The larger words would be the key words that the students can focus on. They could put this in a binder or I'm sure we could set this as the netbook wallpaper for the duration of the unit. Also, you could have an in-class thought question that students can put into Wordle. We could discuss as a class about the most used/common words across the board.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I like A. Esparza's comment about the test. Kids would really like that! I would use it for all science vocabulary from a FOSS Kit and put it up when introducing a new kit and leave it up all year. Saving it as a picture is easy and fun to share this way. It can be put on a newsletter as well. This tool has unlimited possibilities. I will use it to "roll out" common core vocabulary in math.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jerad, get out of my head! Your thoughts are my thoughts exactly! :) I think I would have the kids enter the words. Maybe one kid could come to my computer at a time to enter one word-behavior motivation!!! :) My computer so that it can be a whole class activity with the active board.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have used wordle in my math classroom a few different ways.
    First, when I teach all the vocabulary words that mean different operations I have had them make a wordle to display in their binders (they send it to me as print screen). They make them for add, subtract, multiply, divide, and equal.
    In a unit for business math I have had the students do a career/job display for their chosen field in a wordle to present as a collage.
    I have also used wordle as a review tool at the end of the semester for a collage of everything we have done this year type thing.

    Students love wordle!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like the idea about using this as a pretest visual guide. I think this would be a beneficial tool to use as a teacher to see what content you focused on on the test. Sometimes I don't realize how much I focus on each topic area.
    I could also use this as a visual question to help introduce new topics.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I already have this in my plans for this coming week to use as I found it while in my Master's program. I am having my students write a piece about what Christmas means to them, what traditions they have, and any other ideas they want to share about Christmas. I am then going to have them type it into a word document, cut and paste it into a Wordle, and I will print it out to send home to present to their parents. It could make for a cheap and easy gift for mom and dad!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wordle is a tool that is a little more difficult to find a use for in my field, but here goes. I think you could take a journal, entry made by a student or several entries or writings and enter it in to find out what the most common words are then discuss it. Find out if that is what they really intended to say.

    On a different note is just looks cool and you could use it as a creative tools for kids to plug information into and create something they can put in their notebook or on their wall at home.

    ReplyDelete