I was doing a little research on an entirely unrelated topic this afternoon and came across a recommendation for a service called Wordle at The Edublogger’s blog. Turns out this is one way fun little application that will take a block of text that you copy and paste into a text field, OR, as in the example below, even an RSS feed from a blog like this one.

And what exactly is a Word Cloud anyway? The idea is that the more a word appears in a block of text (or in data that a service is providing) the bigger and more prominently it is displayed in the cloud. In this example you can see that the word most often featured in articles at this blog happens to be teachers. No big surprise there!

You can use the Wordle service to create your own text-based works of art for free! Then save the image, or share it via the Web. Either way, it’s a pretty interesting way to visualize information.


Thinking about this some more, wouldn’t this be a great activity to do with student essays? Imagine using this tool to demonstrate the concept of the main idea, or to visually study your students use of language and their vocabulary?  And of course, I think students and parents might like to see the resuls of having their essays Wordled. Here’s an example from an essay I grabbed from the Student Models at the WriteSource website. I think this particular Mom likes to laugh. :-)

Mom Essay after being Wordled