Wordle

I’ve known about Wordle for a quite a while now, but over recent months I’ve learned to respect its power and versatility more and more. For those of you who have not seen it yet, Wordle allows you to create pictures out of words. http://www.wordle.net

I began to recognise Wordle’s real potential during the work I carried out at Blackburn College in March. I had shown the site as part of my Mobile Learning and Web 2.0 presentations there. During these I showed the Learning Apps http://www.textwall.co.uk (ex-Xlearn) Text Wall, which features a Wordle link that presents a picture of any words sent to the Text Wall.

One teacher in the room immediately voiced the potential for Wordle as she saw it. She taught law and suggested that she could first ask learners to text their understanding of a particular act to the wall and she would then create a Wordle image of those texts to begin discussion of that act at the beginning of her next class.

Later, in Cheltenham, teachers became enthused once more with the power of Wordle. Assignment briefs would be headed by a Wordle image; lessons would be introduced via a Wordle image highlighting essential aspects of the forthcoming lesson. Today in Newcastle under Lyme, other ideas included reminders of induction sessions (equality and diversity?) via Wordle images; students creating their own images from their understanding of such (or other) sessions and most interestingly, the review of personal statements for UCAS via Wordle image. An English teacher considered taking a poem, reducing the word-count in Wordle (easy enough to do) and then asking the class to consider THE most prominent words and to create a new poem using those.


(original movie via Screenr at: http://www.screenr.com/Iq2s]

In each place it was Wordle that the majority of teachers took away with them to create change. This always signals success for me and the work I do, as this is always intertwined with reminders of and closer looks at Bloom’s Taxonomy. By using Wordle effectively, learners can be encouraged to analyse, synthesise and evaluate pieces of work whilst ‘creating’ (HOTS in original and revised taxonomies).

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Tags and Tagging

I’ve just finished talking to Kevin Hickey [http://newlearning.wordpress.com/] and James Clay [http://elearningstuff.wordpress.com/] on Skype – as part of what should become ‘elearning stuff #23’. Part of the discussion made me think of something – which I will relate here:

Tags – how important are they?

My Flickr site (see alongside) contains many of the photos I wish to share with others, whether the reason is for fun (e.g. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3180/3032786376_610d4beb38.jpg?v=0) or because I think the image might be useful to someone (most of them).

The image shown here was taken by me at the National Science Learning Centre (NSLC) last year and I posted it because it might be useful to some. It must be useful to many because it is the second most visited image on my site. I tried to think why this image is so popular and can only come up with the idea that it is the tags I used (quite unthinkingly).

Human

Body

Parts

NSLC

Internal

Organs

I suspect therefore that there are many people out there searching for Human, Body, Parts. Weirdo’s!

The first in the list of most popular images on my site by the way is: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1384/1463841108_1c8609d7dc.jpg?v=0 has been on Flickr much longer and is part of a specialist ‘Flickr Group’ – which attracts wider interest.