wordle – Beautiful Words

My Del.icio.us Site
My Del.icio.us Site

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:

“The Struggle for Human Rights” a speech by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

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.

Statement by President, George Bush, Sept. 11, 2001
Statement by President, George Bush, 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.

The New Zealand Curriculum
The New Zealand Curriculum

“Just remember all…that words are powerful, so very powerful, that it can change attitudes (for the better or for the worse), with or without provocation. They can be triggers, reminders, movers, and emotive…Be kind with your words and listen too” ANON

Pixton – Martha 1.0

Just a bit of fun in Pixton 😀

Pixton is a great little site that allows you to make online comic strips quick and easily. You can upload these comics to the site and others can make comment about them (I am very excited because I got my first ‘LOL’ last night) and you can comment on other strips. Pixton was recently reviewed on TeachersFirst.com and you can check out their thoughts at this link:


In terms of use in my classroom, I can see it as a great way of creating situations and scenarios for the Dare programme we are doing next term.

Of course the old debate of clip art, to use or not to use, comes to mind. Are we stifling creativity and making it too easy by using pre-made figures and scenes? Are we encouraging kids to use other peoples creativity?

Personally, and feel free to disagree, I believe that in this case we must look at the purpose of using this platform. That is of course is feedback from an authentic audience. The power of Pixton is not the ease and speed of use, it is the social networking aspect. Students are able to express themselves in a relatively creative way and find out what Jim-Bob in the big old USA thinks about it. And I can tell you it feels pretty cool when a stranger gives you a LOL!