Tuesday, March 10, 2009


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.


Cheryl Morin said...

Wordle is a great tool that helps students make inferences about the selection of words that they read. It helps them to represent their thoughts and characteristics about themselves and it encourages dialogue between students when they compare and contrast wordles.
My students love it!

Your blogging skills are impressive...

Anonymous said...

Wow Stephen, WHERE do you get these tools and websites??? I really like viewing your blog because it is always informative and has something I can use or want ot look up myself as well. Again, thank for your thoughts and ideas,

Leanne Merkowsky said...

Wordle is wonderful - my students love it! I am having problems however, printing it. Have you come up with a way to save it into a document?

I love reading your blog - you have sooo many great ideas and resources - keep up the awesome work. I also appreciate all the support and encouragement I've received from you - thank you!!!

Now get back to work and do some more researching on-line!! I am relying on you to teach me something new every time I sign in to read your blog!! (heh heh)

The important thing is not to stop questioning said...

Your blog is both informative and creative...love it. I will try Jing to upload my wordle to a wiki I've created. I've been having problems with taking a screen shot so hopefully this works, thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Stephen
I played with wordle for a few minutes, thanks for sharing. It could easily get addictive, but I need to shower & get to school! How do you save it or inset it into your blog? Can you save it as a jpeg or something to insert into a document? I am enjoying Val's class and learning a lot, but am a little envious of all the cool stuff you guys are learning. I'd like to use this with my stuff from Val's class.