My head is in the clouds with Wordle!

Words I Live By

One of a long, long list of positives that came out of the 2008 Knowledge Bank Online Conference was that I was introduced to Wordle. The Wordle site describes it as “a tool for generating word clouds from text that you provide”. For those who may not be familiar with the term “word cloud”, greater prominence is given to words that appear more frequently in the source text. The Wordle site allows you to enter your own text, a URL or even a delicious username to generate your word cloud. Word clouds can then easily be added to the Gallery, generating its own URL. It is one of the few sites that doesn’t require you to sign up for an account! You can also easily print your Wordle or use a screen grab tool to save your word cloud to import to another application.

Initially, I was attracted to Wordle because of the tools available to customize your word cloud. The site gives you the ability to alter the font, colour and even direction of the words. It wasn’t until after I created my first Wordle that I realised that there was much more to this tool!

After posting a link to the site on our school’s twitter page, I started to receive some wonderful ideas, especially from the Director of Early Learning Centre, the wonderful Lisa!

I thought the use of VoiceThread might be a nice way to not only share a few simple Wordles with my colleagues but, more importantly, to get them to share the way they are using Wordle. I would love to hear about your ideas, so please feel free to add to our VoiceThread below or click here.  If you do not have a VoiceThread account, please post a comment. 🙂

For me in my role as Staff ICT Trainer, I enjoy using Wordle to enhance presentations and give staff a “snap shot” of a particular topic. Wordle is yet another example of a simple yet highly effective tool that is only limited by our imaginations!


3 thoughts on “My head is in the clouds with Wordle!

  1. Hi Lucy,

    I only have one complaint about wordle… I could lose hours at a time playing around with it! I introduced wordle to my daughters, who are 6 and 8, and they fell in love with it too. I helped them each make a wordle about themselves… they put in all of the things that were important to them, discussing which things were most valued and how we could emphasize these. Fortuately I came up just above the cat in priority. Needless to say experimenting with fonts, colours and layout amused us for ages! We then saved the wordle into a word doc and added relevant images from clip art. The girls have their personal wordle compilations above their beds. Now that the girls know how wordles work I think they will make wonderful personalised birthday cards for their friends.

    I have used wordle as a instant, visual curriculum reflection for parents. I added words to describe the learning that had occurred in the day and the printed it out for the parents to see.

    Tell you what I would love a class of older children to experiment with… class collaboration to produce a wordle for each child. “The things we appreciate about…(each child). The logistics I’m not sure of… maybe give each child a class list and they write one word beside each name. Perhaps a lot of typing in for the teacher (or delegated back to the students?) but imagaine the delight and pride as each child sees the wordle their friends have complied about them. An exercise in boosting ICT skills, communication, planning and (very importantly) self esteem!

  2. Lucy and Lisa,

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m hooked and love Wordle. Can’t wait for the holidays to spend more time playing. I have used it in my Year 4 class and the children relate well to the colour. I suspect Wordle could have some benefits similar to mind mapping, ie: colour choice, word placement, horizontal over vertical, etc.

    I have also enjoyed reading your blog Lucy and look forward to hearing about other nifty ideas you pick up. Thanks for your support!


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