Using Word Clouds in the Classroom
Word Clouds are visual representations for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites or other digital documents. What counts with word clouds are the frequency with which a word is used. Word clouds are also known as Tag Clouds.
My new favorite way to use Word Clouds is to help graduate students in their job searches. I copy the text of a resume and paste it into a Word Cloud Generator. When I copy the text into a word cloud generator, common themes and experiences immediately appear.
- Put your lesson plan into a word cloud to create a word cloud of what you will be learning about. This could also be part of your entire course outline used at the beginning of a course.
- Paste a reading from your text into a word cloud. You may wish to turn off common words.
- Copy and paste a reading from the web into a word cloud. You may wish to turn off common words.
- Put vocabulary words into a word cloud.
- Use a word cloud to create a discussion either in class or posted on the web for a discussion forum. Try to create it so that a question of inquiry can be used.
- Create a group word cloud of the entire class or sub groups in the class. This could be in reaction to a discussion, an idea, a reading, or video. Students work in groups to come up with 20-30 descriptive words and then make a word cloud. Using advanced tools they could rank them or color code them.
- Each student creates a word cloud in reflection from a discussion, an idea, a reading, or video. Individual comes up with 20-30 descriptive words and then makes a word cloud. Using advanced tools they could rank them or color code them.
- Entire class creates a word cloud in reaction to a topic. In order to capture student word have them digitally input them using the Web 2.0 tools Write with Me or Google Forms.
- Have students create word clouds that generate understanding of a concept, standards or vocabulary word.
- Illustrate classroom thoughts or views using a word cloud to survey students. Favorite university, pro team, singer, etc.
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