Monday, August 20, 2012

Word Clouds

I started taking word clouds out of my Web 2.0 bag of tricks.  They just weren't very educational. Sure they were fun, but what do we actually learn from a word cloud? They are almost too easy. So I started coming across some really great ways to use word clouds in education.

Apparently I have underestimated the humble Word cloud.

So this semester I am using Word Clouds as a way to introduce ourselves in my online class. Trying to come up with key words that sum up your personality may be one of my favorite ways of using word clouds, plus it is much more interesting to read as a participant.  Every student is asked to create a word cloud and post to the discussion board (see previous post on my love/hate relationship with discussion boards).

Here is my Tagxedo Introduction Word Cloud

This allows me to introduce Word Clouds in a fun way, but also hint at some of the potential later on, without spending a good deal of time on them.

Sometimes just because it's simple, doesn't mean it's easy.

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