I’ve been catching up on some reading tonight. My Google Reader has been sadly neglected of late – too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. I haven’t read The Shifted Librarian for awhile and was thrilled to see Rhonda Powling’s post about Wordle featured in it’s entirity on Jenny’s blog. Good for you Rhonda. Great to see an Aussie Teacher-Librarian blogger getting attention. Wordle is a neat application that allows you to paste text in and it will create a tag cloud formation with the most used words appearing larger than others. No thinking required, but great effect. It has a lot of potential for display purposes and to generate class discusssion about word choice. It would be a fun activity to insert the text of a well known peom and see if your students were able to piece together which poem it is and how it should appear in regular text format.
Dennis Harter discovered Wordle this week. He put out a tweet (on Twitter for those of you wondering what on earth I’m referring too!) asking if he was late in catching up with this app. I very kindly replied that yes, he was! He wrote about this exchange in his first post for U Tech tips and recounted it with good humour. The focus of his post was, you guessed it, Wordle, and he included one he had created using Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. It looked brilliant – the kind of thing you’d want to laminate and use in your library or classroom.
I’m sure you’re wondering why it is that I haven’t got an example here of the kind of thing you can do using Wordle. Well, that is because, for some unknown reason, I can’t get Wordle to work. I paste in the text of Robert Kennedy’s speech after the assassination of Dr. King, and it keeps telling me there is ‘no plugin available to view this content’. I have the latest version of Java installed, and can’t understand why what looks to be the easiest application available on the Web will not work for me!
If you’re reading this and have an answer to my dilemma, please leave a comment and put me out of my Wordleless misery! Yes Dennis, I may have known about Wordle before you jumped on the bus, but I’m still waiting at the stop!