Friday, January 9, 2009

Wordle provides education and fun!

I discovered quite some time ago, but hadn't really considered some of the things that one could do with it. For those that may just be discovering wordle, once you visit the website, it asks you to paste text into a text box and then it creates a word cloud of that text. If you used one word over and over again, that word will be larger than words you only used a time or two. Today, while counting down the minutes during lunch duty, I had an opportunity to explain it to a colleague. Through the course of that conversation, we came up with many great ideas of how to use it.
1. Have a student put their research paper into wordle to see what words stick out the most. This could serve as sort of an evaluation tool as well. Are you emphasizing your topic with appropriate terminology? Could you focus more on a topic than the wordle is showing? There are many questions one could ask themselves about a paper after viewing their wordle.
2. What if you recorded yourself into speech recognition software while giving a speech and put your speech into wordle? We discussed the possibility of "uh" showing up as the main, bold word. It would be even more interesting to compare the speech text to the written speech a student made before hand.
3. The final idea, before the lunch bell rang, was to put a resume into wordle. The wordle you see above is created from copying and pasting my resume into the wordle website. It's interesting for me to see that technology and school show up as the two main words. I think this will be something neat and interesting to paste into my online resume so employers can see my main focus before even looking at my qualifications.
Wordle is so much fun. I've been playing with wordle now to show everything that makes up my personal learning network. I think it will be a fun way to show people what my network looks like. I would like to use it as an introduction to explaining personal learning networks to teachers in my school.

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