Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top 20 Uses for Wordle


Wordle Wordle is a free 'word art' tool that crunches any chunk of text in the production of a visual representation of the content. The resulting graphic emphasizes the most common words by amplifying their size based on frequency. Originally designed to give pleasure, Wordle is being used in interesting ways to provide compelling summaries of political speeches, blog posts, twitter feeds, news articles and more, but there are additional educational uses worth considering.

A few ideas:

1] Convert a sonnet or Shakespearean play; or children's book (Dr. Seuss anyone?);

2] Paste the contents of an online discussion to coalesce the main ideas;

3] Combine student 'Who Are You?' introductions, or 'Superhero
Traits
' to develop a class composite;

4] Condense survey data by dumping content of questionnaire responses into the Wordle engine;

5] Combine news articles or RSS feeds on a given topic;

6] Turn an essay into a poster;

7] Combine blog posts over time into a simplified represetation or use it to compare the ideas of competing ideas;

8] Use font, colour and arrangement strategies to appropriately represent content;

9] Automate the creation of word poetry;

10] As an introduction to a unit or course, combine key words; themes; curriculum expectations to provide learners with a visual overview of content;

11] Convert nutritional content of one's weekly diet or of a group's menu preferences;

12] Condense a Wikipedia article into it's essence;

13] Paste the results of a Google search (Can you guess the keywords I used?);

14] Convert social bookmark tags;

15] Enter keywords from weekly weather reports to obtain a seasonal picture;

16] Distill song lyrics like "Stairway to Heaven";

17] Find out what you've been up to by summarizing To-Do lists;

18] Represent the results of a brainstorming session or the minutes of a meeting visually;

19] Show "Today in History" stories in a new way;

20] Convert past or current email messages into a composite of your correspondence;


Do you use Wordle? Have you considered using Wordle with students? If so, what other strategies would you recommend?

33 comments:

learnercentered said...

Love these ideas! I'll use create a class composite of positive @ not-so-positive character traits today in class.

Barbara

Dr. Delaney Kirk said...

I had my MBA students use Wordle as an ice breaker last week for the first day of class. They had had me for another class eight months previously. My question to them, was "What have you been doing since then?" Each student had to do a one minute presentation using Wordle as a visual aid with key words. They enjoyed and so did I!

Rodd Lucier said...

Hi Barbara and Delaney!

While I've been thinking about group responses, I'm starting to see greater value in the use of this tool for individual responses to just about any question...

Thanks for sharing!

Katie Piatt said...

I make birthday (e) cards for people - google them, copy and paste the results into Word (strip some of the google stuff) and Wordle the results. Makes a really interesting personal image for someone and they spend ages figuring out how certain words appeared on their pics!

Michelle Rafter said...

Great ideas, especially from the other commenter who uses Wordle to make personalized birthday cards. I just may have to try that one. And thanks to linking to my freelance writing blog.

Michelle Rafter
WordCount
http://michellerafter.wordpress.com

Sarah Stewart said...

Loved the idea about the online discussions-will use that with my post grad class who are looking at reflection and philosophy of practice. Thanks

Rob said...

Great ideas Rodd! I will have to share this with our literacy consultants. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great ideas and the comments. I especially like the idea of pasting in a whole text and the greeting cards idea for use in the classroom. I've added this link to a webslides called "Ideas for using Wordle" I made on Diigo. http://slides.diigo.com/list/malloryburton/ideas-for-using-wordle
Thanks again,
Mallory

GeoBlogs said...

Nice post...

samccoy said...

Excellent ideas and examples. I am adding this to our Diigo Wordle Bookmark Group. Thanks for sharing.

Sherene Schmidtler said...

I created a Wordle of key people and events we have been learning about in Canadian history. Students then had to support their opinion as to if they agreed with the Wordle or not. Did they agree with the names/events that were smaller or larger? Once they stated their opinion they needed to support it with details and facts to demonstrate their understanding of the material. The assessment needed a little bit of explaining up front but WOW what an excellent look at their learning.

Rodd Lucier said...

Sherene,
That's a model task you've outlined!

Rarely does a product alone demonstrate one's depth of knowledge and understanding; the performance you've required of your students is, I think, exemplary!

K-3 Teacher Resources said...

Thanks for these great ideas - I love wordle. Another great idea is to use it as a class poll. Simple example - each child types in their favourite colour into the text box - produces a wordle where the most popular 'colour' stands out - great for 'how do you feel today', 'favourite animal' 'what month is your birthday' etc. Cheers and thanks...
Donna

Mariel said...

Great ideas!

What I have done in a Literature class is create a Wordle for a short story (Conrad)

http://www.wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/539804/The_Lagoon

and hold a forum on predictions (linking it to theoretical material on Colonial literature) before actually reading the story. It really worked!

rebecca said...

My year two's have just used wordle to sort out all the time connectives they've found in three simple fairy tale books - and were surprised to find out that "and then" is not a common time phrase!

Variable Annuity said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
structured settlement lump sum said...

Dr. Delaney that is classic. I had to tell you that I was laughing after reading your comment.

Katie, great idea with the Birthday Cards. I'm going to go check them out.

Great article

Rodd Lucier said...

Even more uses by WordleUsers:

http://groups.google.com/group/wordleusers/browse_thread/thread/c87eb88e04996dbc?pli=1

Christopher Nystrom said...

I work for an organization called Stand that used Wordle to visualize the written responses of youth at a forum we held, about the four questions in our survey.

With a team of five people, we typed all the answers into a google form and then created a word cloud for each question. The kids were really excited to see their own words, thoughts, and ideas up on a big projector screen. It also brought together two diverse groups of kids when they saw their common ideas, thoughts, etc.

jacqskye said...

I absolutely love this... just found it today and have used it for my class. I have taken a paragraph from a certain page in their novel ie P63 and they have to find which page it is taken from using the context clues. They loved it and really enjoyed the activity. This is a real test of how well they know and comprehend the text. Thanks!!

Jacqskye said...

Sorry that should have read P63 of The BFG

Honor Moorman said...

I had students engage in a text rendering--selecting what they each considered to be the most important word, phrase, and sentence from an article--then I scribed their selections and Wordled the results. The next day, we were watching a TED talk, so I asked the students to listen for key words and phrases, jot those down using Etherpad, and then we were able to create an instant Wordle! It's really helped them think about the power of language (and image) in new ways.

Rodd Lucier said...

The ideas keep coming... Great stuff!

In addition, there are a number of other posts linked to this one that may contain other ways to engage Wordle.

Rodd Lucier said...

Thinking of creating an 'embossed' Wordle? Check out Doug Peterson's post: http://dougpete.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/an-embossed-wordle/

Jennifer said...

You might wish to check out http://www.jenuinetech.com/guessthewordle and also
http://jlwagner.pbworks.com/MoreThanWordles

I might have gone a bit overload on Wordles but see them as a great conversation starter.

Jen

Anonymous said...

At our school in service this August we discussed our current successes with our writing initiative. I took this list and created a wordle then had it made into posters for each classroom teacher. They love it and it's a constant reminder of what we're doing right!

Mac Grey said...

Thanks Rob i will surely have to do the same tactic when i am doing this.
cheers!

Structured Settlement said...

Rob, you are real genius!

disability insurance said...

What a neat tool. Thanks for the share Rodd. I know my son will get a kick out of this.

TechieTeach said...

Love these ideas. We are using it in our tech masters cohort. We wanted to also suggest: antonyms and synonyms for words, teambuilding for team sports or classroom environment, or use it towards the beginning of the year when you are presenting your classroom expectations/rules.

tchrmalizia said...

I absolutely love your Shakespeare idea. It converts the language to a visual that students can understand. Some students do not enjoy Shakespeare, but this activity can get all students involved. Another suggestion can be that students enter the introductions of a paper and look at the frequency of words used.

Naomi Miles Barbagallo said...

I've had students use wordle as an exit card to demonstrate the main ideas that they have taken away with them at the end of a unit.

pcancrocw said...

@Naomi -
What a great idea! That would really show me something as an instructor. Are my students getting the points I am trying to get across.