I recently saw a “word cloud” poster on the wall of a classroom. I asked the teacher I was observing about the poster and she said she had made it using Wordle. With Wordle, you can create an image, made of words, where certain words are more prominent than others. You can also choose different fonts, colors, and layouts to further customize your image.
As a pre-service high school English teacher, I LOVE words, and Wordle is a great learning tool because with it, I can so easily create a visual representation of the connections made between concepts and ideas and details and words. Wordle could also be used as a creative and collaborative visual element of a lesson—students could add words and thoughts during the course of a discussion—a dynamic and organic reflection of the day’s learning.
Wordle is super easy to use. I went to http://www.wordle.net and selected “Create your own” on the Home page. I inserted the text from this description to create a word cloud of my Learning Tool Exploration. After pushing “Go,” I edited the font and layout of my word cloud and this is what I created:
It is important to note that before using Wordle, you may need to download or update Java before you are able to begin making your word cloud. Also, the site suggests using the web browsers Firefox or Safari.