The use of word clouds in the classroom is a powerful way to really get through to visual learners. The details about the following nine word cloud generators will give you a fair idea how, as an educator, you can get the best out of them.
A quick note: Wordle is quite easily the most popular word cloud generator out there. It’s free and easy to use. It does require Java though so Chrome users might have some trouble. In any case, this article focuses on non-Wordle options you should know about.
Several features that do not figure in Wordle are incorporated in Tagul.For example, you have the option of choosing personalized shapes and multiple fonts to be used in your cloud. These words may be tagged and used to lead to URLs once they are embedded in a web page. There are several options, though registration can be an obstacle for usage in classrooms. This app requires email and login to be accessed.
This application is very much like Wordle and operates the way Wordle operates. Once it is ready with the results, you can make changes to the font or color and pick any layout at random. However, it does not enable the same function on word frequency, which is a drawback for seasoned users. Save options have been provided in the traditional jpeg format with options to get print-outs. If you have used Wordle at any time you will find this to be a great alternative. One does not need to have an email or a log in for accessing this.
This application gives you access to see frequency of words. Unlike Wordle, there is no provision for choosing color, layout variations or even creating a unique style. You will be able to upload a file or use a URL address to do it. You can save the word cloud as a PDF or make printouts. In addition, this one does not need email or login and the free usage is to promote the nonprofit concept.
Word It Out helps create word clouds from any text, similar to the way Wordle does. The text needs to be pasted into the box assigned for it. The application enables the word cloud to be personalized as per requirement and lets you choose the font, color theme, and the size as well. If you do not want to use certain words, would like to exclude them, and lets you ignore them and keep them out. This application does not need a log in, however to use the saving options, email is required. You can also get a screen print by right clicking your mouse.
This one is from Image Chef and is one of the best creative tools you can find for your classroom. This helps bring out the creativity in students. You can experiment with different colors, fonts and shapes, and is an easy to use word cloud. You can email your creations to various social network forums and have them posted/embedded. Saving information is easy and can be accomplished with the push of a button. If you require larger images with better resolutions, you need to pay accordingly. This one too does not require email or login, though it would make sense to go through the terms and conditions before setting off.
Wordsift is presented by Stanford University and allows you to do anything with or to a word. Though it does not have the features Wordle has, it is a versatile app that lets you study a word cloud. The words may be listed by their commonality and rarity, and allows them to be listed in order, alphabetically. By merely clicking on a word, Wordsift lets you view the meaning in an online dictionary; helps view the images through Google, and understand the word sentence placement as well. The subject they are related to, through a specialized color coding system can view words. It lets you analyze lengthy speeches and oratories. This app does not require email or login and print is through screen print.
The moment you enter a website address, this tool takes you there. The results can be downloaded and used with relative ease. There is a service available for WordPress-powered sites as well.
This great tool shows you the fun way to match words as well as how to upload a picture to share with friends on social networking sites or through email. This free tool is available thanks to the American Heritage Dictionary.
This is one great creative tool that helps students analyze a set of words. It has more than enough features that can be used to create lessons to understand what you’re reading a bit better. VocabGrabber, as the name suggests, picks the most useful words in the text and tells you how these words have been used according to the context. All you need to do is cut, copy, and paste text from any document and hit Grab Vocabulary and watch the magic unfold. The list of vocabulary that is thus created by VocabGrabber can be sorted and saved. Mere clicking on the word pops up definitions of the word from Visual Thesaurus.
About the Author
Kate Smitty is an education blogger who loves to share easy study methods and teaching solutions. She also reviews various career-oriented programs to help the young and budding children.