Many of us have likely seen Wordle in action on a number of different technology education blogs. I know for a fact that my Expanding Boundaries member Diane Davis, and former member Steve Olivo have used them in their own classrooms. Wordle is self described as a “toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”
I find Wordles have a functional use in analyzing a document for trending ideas or to help identify what a blogger focuses their content on (you can paste an RSS into wordle and it will analyze the writers blog posts.) To create this Wordle I copy/pasted all of the original text (no quotations) from our six presentations to help me identify some common themes.
Most of my predictions were on target. Words such as technology, 21st century skills, teachers, and professional development were large and therefore more frequently stated in our presentations. The term ‘students’ was not as prominent as I had expected, but still one of the top 10 terms used.
What does this wordle tell you about our presentations and ideas? Are they out-of-the-box enough or are we still seeing the same education trends we’ve been charged to break?