Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wordle: Web 2.0 Tool for Vocabulary and Word Images

Have you discovered Wordle yet? This neat Web 2.0 tool allows a user to create a word graphic, such as the one below, from words, blog posts, or other electronic writings. (Click here for a larger image with similar wording.)

Wordle is a great way for students to take a group of related words and study how they are connected. This would be an interesting way to start a unit of study with students. You could show them the Wordle graphic and ask what they already know about how these words are related. You could also use it as a way to encourage reflection of what they learned in a unit of study.

Wordle allows you to make choices as to which words are larger. Perhaps students could decide how all the words are connected and select the three words that they feel have the most importance on the topic.

Just a word of caution about clicking on the random images. There is no filtering of content. While most of the Wordle images are appropriate, there were a few that I came across that were not appropriate for elementary school and only one that I found that was not appropriate even for high school. I would suggest that students use this tool with guidance, especially for elementary age students.

One teacher uses Wordle as an assessment tool. What other ways could you see to use this neat Web 2.0 tool?