Word clouds are a great way for students show their understanding and creativity.
Every creative student can show understanding by using word cloud makers for classrooms. Word clouds are an easy way for students to display their knowledge while also being creative. They are easy to learn and fun to use. Teachers can spend a long time looking for just the right tool. That is why I took the time to figure out which word cloud makers are best for the classroom.
What Are Word Clouds?
A word cloud is a graphical representation of how words are used and their frequency. Just type or paste text into the box on the web page. Then modify the word cloud to represent your message. You can alter the looks of your cloud by playing with the different options of many of these websites.
After students or teachers create the word clouds, there are multiple opportunities to display them. Most allow for the creators to save or print them. I use Schoology and so students simply downloaded them as .jpeg image files. They then uploaded them to Schoology in a discussion board.
Using word clouds is a good way to get knowledge into the hands of visual learners. There are many word cloud generators available that give you a good word cloud representation. Teachers can use word cloud makers for classrooms to:
- Have students brainstorm a topic
- To teach vocabulary for reading activities
- Feature ideas from videos or discussions
- To get a reaction on particular topics.
Recommended Word Cloud Makers For Classrooms
1. Wordle. Wordle is the most popular word cloud generator. Wordle is free and easy to use. You do need Java though Chrome so you may have a bit of trouble if you don’t have Chrome or Java. In Wordle, you generate word clouds from text you input. The clouds give a great illustration to words that appear more frequently in your text. Tweak clouds with different color schemes, layouts, and fonts. You can use the images you create with Wordle in any situation you wish. Print them, save them or pass them out to students.
2. ABCya. ABC Ya operates similarly to Wordle. You can make changes when the results come up and pick layouts that best suit your classroom. Save options in the traditional jpeg format and keep your options to get print-outs turned on. You do not need to have an email or log on, and students don’t not need register individually for ABC YA. The app is free and runs from iTunes on iPhones and iPads.
3. Tagul. Tagul words can be linked to Google. You can choose personalized shapes and multiple fonts to be used in the same word cloud. You can tag these principle words and use them as URLs once they are embedded in a web page. Registration is no obstacle for usage in classrooms. You do have to have individual email and logins to access. Can be used on tablets and the app is free.
4. Tag Crowd. Tag Crowd is nice, but you do not have any way to choose the color, layout variations or create a unique style. You can upload a file or use a URL address and then change fonts and colors. The word cloud can be saved as a PDF, or you print the cloud. You do not need logins or email, and Tag Crowd is free to use.
5.CloudArt. CloudArt can provide you with beautiful word clouds on an iPad or an iPhone. All you need to do is provide texts from a web page or paste text into the app, and CloudArt automatically creates a word cloud for you to use. CloudArt is $.99 for downloading and is categorized as “entertainment.”
Any word cloud apps will work for your classroom. Just investigate their pros and cons and enjoy!
You can check out the details on how I used them to teach arguments by clicking here.
Discussion: Which word cloud makers do you use in your teaching?