Ed Tech Tuesday: Wordle Review

Today’s Ed Tech Tuesday feature is a Wordle review. Wordle creates word clouds from text or a web address. The word clouds generate based on word frequency. The more frequently used words will be larger, and less frequently used words will be smaller. The Wordle above is for my website, Elementary Librarian.

Using Wordle is pretty simple. Just click Create at the top of the page, and enter your text (or copy and paste it in). If there are words that you don’t want separated, such as United States, just put a tilde in between them in the text box (like this: United~States.) The tilde key is right below the Escape key on my keyboard. You can also type in a web address if you want to make a Wordle for the entire site.

The cool thing about Wordle is that you can do a ton of customization. You can use what is generated, or you can click Randomize at the bottom to change it. You can also manually change the font, colors, alignment (vertical or horizontal, or both), and word placement. Those options are right above the Wordle graphic. Once you’re happy with the result, you can save it for the entire world to see, or you can do what I do – take a screen capture (how to: PC or Mac) and crop out the Wordle so you can use it as an image file. This is actually suggested by the site’s author, so no worries about copyright.

Another thing I really like about Wordle is that once you create one, it’s yours to do whatever you want to do with it, according to the FAQs. Put it on your school’s website, a t-shirt, or paint it on your classroom wall like Tiffany did!

So how can you use Wordle in the library? I can think of a ton of possibilities to use in your library lesson plans. Let your students type in book reviews and make a Wordle once they’re finished. Use Wordle to analyze your collection policy. See which words you use the most in that and other library documents. Ask each student to name one or more words to describe the library or school. Make a Wordle using the results. Compare two children’s books by the same (or different) authors to see what types of words they use the most. The possibilities are endless!

How are you using Wordle? If you haven’t used it yet, what cool ideas can you think of to use it for? Leave some suggestions in the comments!

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