This has been a hard blog to write because I really did not know what to say about "Wordle" other than, "Cool!" I actually began thinking about blogging on this topic back in mid-February when I was experimenting with JING to capture an image, but...it just didn't feel right to use the program, but not reflect on its value. Sure I was impressed by the colour and composition, but I did not really see a purpose behind the application. Therefore, I hesitated knowing that one day I would return to the topic.
As things go, I began to share the program with teachers in my school and it was not long before others were using "Wordle." I guess I didn't consider the impact on students; students enjoy being creative and Wordle allows for creative use of the written word. It is also popular with second language students because the order of the words is suddenly not important (they cannot be wrong). It is a program that isolates significant concepts in larger print allowing viewers to identify major ideas being presented by the text that created the Wordle. Finally, students like it because it creates a polished piece for publication.
Teachers are also impressed with Wordle for many of the same reasons as students. However, they would add that it is a program that they can turn to for an assignment in an effort to engage students more. Just today, an Alternate High School teacher I shared the program with immediately saw uses for her students who are struggling with English and she left with the program address in hand. So if there is no other value to the program than it engages students in an activity that is focused on print, then it belongs in the tool box for the 21st Century teacher.
For me as a student, it allows me to look at text differently (for example the Wordle above was created from one of my blogs). Major concepts become clearer which helps me understand what the focus of the print is about. I am now looking at using Wordle to put together some major concepts that emerged from my journal over the last two years in an effort to help me focus on the lessons I learned while working on my Master's project.