Sunday, November 22, 2009

Emerging Tech 3-Wordle

I have been playing with wordle with my students several times this year. The possibilites of usage are limitless:
review of a character
biolgraphy tool
visual vocab
springboard for discussion
sharing multiple ideas at one time
My students did some as an introduction to themselves as a prelim to writing biographies. It lead to discussions in class on similarities and differences between students. When they included their interests and their values it lead to a bonding excercise between students in a class that necessitates such relationships (mass media)
My English students did one to exemplify their ideas about Tim Burton and then we did all together so that the words many of them used stood out as the bold words and were most important to "knowing him". Similar would be the character study.
The advanced wordle options are fun for students, but defeats some of the tools that can be found in wordle when done in the collaboration form discussed earlier.
The sample wordle I posted was over ideas surrounding urban reform.
Limitations and problems to wordle are mainly about school filtering, often they cannot be printed, or in cvolor, because of pop up and filter blocks. I have had success in having students e-mail them to me and then re-open, but often they cannot print from school log ons. This week I taught a after school workshop where we did one together and found IPS had blocked the create and gallery tabs. (Sometime within a day as I used in class the week before) We are working to have them reversed, but make sure you test from your school site before assigning.
Additionally, they are an incredible conversation piece. When limited to one word at at time a student has to be definite and succinct, conversely, it is difficult sometimes to keep those ideas to one word. When this happens I have had students use underscore/dash etc to keep word together in display.

Wordle Sample