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Friday, 11 January 2013

Word Clouds & Typography - Simple and effective classroom tools

The web definition of a Word Cloud or Tag Cloud is:

A visual representation of the number of times each word in a transcript is used. The higher the frequency, the larger the word is printed. Word Clouds are often used to quickly visualize the content of a specific text.


Word clouds are a fantastic resource to use in the classroom. There are so many different ways in which they can be used right across the curriculum. Probably the most known website for generating word clouds is wordle.net

Another good website to use is Tagxedo, where you can build world clouds around pictures.


If you are lucky to have iPads, there are a number of apps that can generate word clouds however the best I have come across is Tag Cloud.
This is a really straightforward to use app that has over 25 different styles to choose from. The children find it very easy to use and is a great way to improve their typing skills on the iPad. They simply type their ideas into a box and then choose their design to make their own personal word cloud. This can then be exported as a picture and uploaded to dropbox unless you can print straight from your iPad. I have so far used this app with children from Year 2-Year 6 obviously differentiating by outcome.

The children love the arrangements that they make from using the app and it leaves them with a real proud sense of achievement.

Word Clouds can be used in a variety of ways which is what make it such a useful and effective classroom tool, click links to see examples of these being used in the classroom:

2013-01-07 14.58.05


I will try and update these links when/if I have the chance to do them or if you have used word clouds in a different way and I will link them on this page.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO USE WORD CLOUDS IN THE CLASSROOM.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE IDEAS ABOUT HOW WORD CLOUDS CAN BE USED IN THE CLASSROOM.

Typography apps 

Typography is the art of using words and letters to create a picture, rather than using lines and brushes words are used to draw. Quite difficult to explain but the pictures created are really effective - the best app I have used for this is TypeDrawing. A lot of the activities mention above can be 

I have used this app in different ways to create some great artwork linking Literacy with art. Here are some examples:


2013-01-16 11.29.32

These are just a few tried and tested ideas. Obviously there is so much potential to using these apps that there are endless possibilities. Another interesting app similar to this is WordFoto, where you can turn pictures into interesting wordart pictures, a great way to show empathy with a character in a certain picture perhaps? Again the possibilities are endless!

1 comment:

  1. You could also have a look at Phoetic. This app allows you to create beautiful, detailed photo word clouds. You can choose any image to create your own template, select one of the cool embedded fonts, choose background and foreground colors. You can even store the result as a .pdf file to print at extremely high resolutions. DISCLAIMER: I am the developer of Phoetic :-) Cheers!

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