Walking on a Word Cloud

My first introduction to the creation of  "word clouds" or word art  using Wordle was about a year ago.  At that time, I would have to say that I was pretty impressed with the potential  of this Java based app as a tool for visual learners.  And if a picture tells a million words, a Wordle tells ten times that number.  How does it work? Wordle gives the user the ability to organize and emphasize words on a given subject vertically, horizontally or randomly using different font colours, styles etc.  Of course, the quality of your work is not a result of the tools you have, but what you create with them.  So, some suggested applications might include doing things like creating book reviews, movie reviews and poetry, analyzing character traits,  examining an historical event etc.

Wordles in the Classroom

20 uses for Wordle
Top 10 uses for Wordle

Here's a brief tutorial on using Wordle from YouTube:

The Last Word

As good as Wordle is, it has considerable limitations.   The most significant of these, is what to do with your Wordle when you have completed it.  The only on-screen options the user has is to either 'save to public gallery' or print.   There is no on-screen save option .  Of course there are ways around this inconvenience, but it requires additional steps, time and/or expertise, which you may or may not have. Be that as it may, I would still recommend Wordle as an appropriate introduction to the world of word clouds. After all, you gotta walk, before you can run.  

Next blog post: Running on air through the world of word clouds.  

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