Reflecting with Wordle

This week’s Tech Tip is Wordle (found at http://www.wordle.net).  Wordle is an online tool for generating “word clouds” based on submitted text.  By varying the size of the words in the word cloud, Wordle shows which words are used most frequently within the text.  The really large words are used very frequently and really small words are used less frequently.  If this sounds really simple, it is.  It is also very easy to use.  If you can copy and paste, you can use Wordle.  But despite its simplicity and ease of use, Wordle can be a powerful reflective tool not only for our students but also for our roles as educators as well.  In fact, the idea for this week’s Tech Tip came from a colleague who suggested that we submit our syllabi into Wordle to see what we emphasized in our classes. With our students, imagine giving a reflective essay and having your students paste the text into Wordle.  The generated word cloud would highlight the terms that were used most frequently and give the student a visual representation of what they have emphasized grammatically in their essay.

Here is a Wordle of the Declaration of Independence that I created

Word cloud of Declaration of Independence

It can also be found on the Wordle website at: http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/1529840/Declaration_of_Independence

If you need a hand, be sure to check out the tutorial below to learn how to use Wordle.

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One thought on “Reflecting with Wordle

  1. Thanks Ollie for sharing another fun tech tip! I really like Wordle – my 8 year old daughter showed it to me after they used it in her second grade class. She has done a Wordle on just about everyone – including our dog. I like Barb’s suggestion for doing the syllabus – I tried it and it’s very cool.

    Word Sift basically does the same thing, but it only uses the 50 most commonly used words in your document. The creators of this website did it for their doctoral program at Stanford. I like the video demos here. If link doesn’t work, type Word Sift into your browser.
    http://www.wordsift.com/

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