I’m a very visual person and love shapes. (Yes, I am a math person!!!) By putting words in shapes or visually displaying in a different way, they become more interesting to me. Sometimes, it becomes a puzzle to figure out why they are connected in the shape or ask why they are important or why some words are bigger than others. I also like the fact that visually I can observe the statistics of how often a word occurs in a document or on a website. So, I love the ideas of visualizing words in shapes or in different ways – in a word cloud.
Word/Data Clouds in the Classroom
Use word clouds in the classroom for
- Brainstorming and reflecting
- Studying for an exam
- Adding a visual to a SMART Notebook Lesson, blog, or website
- Reviewing vocabulary
- Displaying some creativity with content
- Exploring design elements, color palettes, and fonts
- Creating cards or newsletters for school, family, and/or friends
- Summarizing a meeting, chat, discussion, objectives
- Adding and sharing thoughts, ideas, or notes on a topic
- Designing a t-shirt for a club, class, or unit
- Take all of the information from a short answer quiz and make a word cloud
- Use locations to create a “map” cloud.
Make a Word/Data Cloud
Make a word cloud at any of the following sites. These sites turn words — famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -to a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like.
- Generally, if a word is larger than another in the word cloud, it usually means that it appears more often in the list of words.
- To keep several words together, don’t include spaces between words but instead, use a capital letter at the beginning of each word. (i.e. SmartBoard vs. Smart Board)
- Many sites all you to input text from a website or a file.
- Most sites will ignore common words like “a” or “the” and if they don’t, you can often change the settings so that words like this don’t show up in the word cloud.
Seven Word/Data Cloud Web Sites
- WORDLE – http://www.wordle.net/
- Typing the same word or phrase more than once makes it larger – it does not include it more than once in the Wordle!
- Wordle’s default setting removes numbers. If you want to include numbers, go to Language and uncheck “Remove Numbers”.
- To grab a picture of your Wordle,
- use your camera tool to do a screen capture in order to use the graphic in your SMARTTM Notebook or ActivInspire file/document or
- Print the computer screen and paste it into your document.
- Tagxedo.com – http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html – Choose a ready-made shape or load your own for your words. You can save your creation in many different ways. Read this document – 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo – http://blog.tagxedo.com/101-ways-to-use-tagxedo-completed
- Tagul – http://tagul.com – This site allows some fancy rollover effects, that others don’t have, save your creation as a .png file, support for ipads and iphones (non-flash devices), custom shapes, and more.
- ABCYA – http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm (for kids) – this is very easy to use and would be appropriate for younger students. It is, however, the least flexible. There are 13 fonts, 14 color combinations, and 8 different layouts available.
- Tagcrowd – http://tagcrowd.com – Tagcrowd allows you to control the language of the text – somewhat unique to this site, maximum number of words to show, minimum frequency, option to group similar words, and not to show certain words. However, there are no options for layouts or colors that are obvious!
- WordItOut – http://worditout.com/ – Free to use and no sign up required! Customize many settings and create word clouds from sentences, whole documents, web addresses or tables. Choose your own colors, fonts and sizes (and how to mix them), or let WordItOut find a random look for you.
Here is the text that was used to create all of the Word Clouds above: Technology Technology Technology Technology Technology Technology SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART INTERACTIVE INTERACTIVE INTERACTIVE INTERACTIVE INTERACTIVE CreativePens CreativePens MagicPen MagicPen MagicPen shapes shapes THEMES THEMES Video Video Video Sound Sound Sound Music Music DualPage DualPage PageRecorder PageRecorder PageRecorder table table Camera Camera Camera Camera TEXT TEXT ShapeDivision MathTools MathTools FloatingTools FloatingTools FloatingTools GALLERY GALLERY Attachments SmartResponse SmartResponse ScreenShade ShapeDivision Polygons EquationEditor
- BatchGeo –http://batchgeo.com/ – Free to use and no sign up is required! If you collect data that includes locations (i.e. City and States), and that data is or can be put into a spreadsheet format, that’s all it takes. Copy and paste your data, click “Map Now” and the map is generated. Once the map is generated, you can click on a location bubble, and you can find the associated data that goes with that piece of data. Students can enter information on a location and/or a historical person with important information for students to report on., birthplaces of US presidents or world leaders, locations of important scientific discoveries with important information, locations of the tallest buildings in the world with their stats, etc.
The data below is fictitious and was generated as an example. Note: the program will generate an international map if there are international locations in the data.