Wordle.net is an very new (less than four months old) and interesting site, that creates these colourful ‘Word Clouds’ from text pasted into the site. 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.
At first glance, not unlike the creator Jonathan Feinberg, I thought wordle.net was merely an entertaining way to display what ever you had on your mind. However, upon closer investigation, the potential for enhancing learning quickly became apparent. According to his FAQ section, Jonathan has received other 100 requests from teachers since Wordles conception.
Let’s have a look at an example of powerful words:
Some enterprising person has inserted Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech on human rights into Wordle.net. You can clearly see the 150 most used words (small connective words are automatically removed). As you can see in Eleanor’s speech, the themes of Freedom, Human Rights and People have a strong presence. Lets compare Eleanor’s speech, with George Bush’s speech on Sept 11, 2001.
Hmmmmm . . . Anyway, give a Wordle a go, it is a great way to analyse documents quickly and painlessly. Just look at this next Wordle, it could save us all some time.