Many students are visual learners and the benefits of using word clouds and sites such as Wordle are well known. A student being able to create word clouds and maps to see the relative importance through frequency of words in a document, or their own overuse of words in a paper or essay is a fabulous tool. But is there a way to allow them to change it up a bit, and perhaps allow a little more customization? Yes – with Tagxedo!
Tagxedo allows students and you to copy in text from anywhere and customize your shape, font, theme, and size. Students can upload their own images to use as a template, or choose from the pre-set templates within the program. The cloud at the top of the post is taken directly from the text on the front page of NJBiblio, and this is the Gettysburg Address:
Try using Tagxedo as you would any other word cloud. Have students create character summaries of books with a picture of the character or key trait, create a keyword visual of important news events, check their own writing for overused words or phrases, compare two pieces of writing, or even have them use their own picture to create a personality trait map. All clouds can be saved as images, shared with many common Web 2.0 and social media programs, or printed out.