Tagxedo is an alternative to Wordle, a tool that takes a text and makes a rather fetching wordcloud. Having blogged already about Wordle a week or two ago, please read that particular blog entry to see how you could employ these wordclouds in your lessons, and do read the links there for more ideas from Samantha Lunn.
When you go to Tagxedo (click here) you will see the above start page. You have a range of options about where to source your text from that will be made into a wordcloud, URLs for webpages, Twitter sources etc. I’ve made one from my blog which you can see below.
Having put in the URL and clicked on submit, you then get one offering for a word cloud, which you can then adapt to the shape and colours that you like, or that are relevant to the words in the cloud. Here is the same word selection in a different style, font and colour scheme.
The thing that makes Tagxedo slightly more of an attractive option than Wordle is that you have more options about the end product. There are a variety of shapes that you can fit the words into, and a nice range of fonts, colour schemes and so on. The one down-side I think, and the reason why I suspect I will currently use Wordle more is that I don’t think you can input your choice of words (I may be missing something here as I have to admit that I haven’t had the time to fully explore Tagxedo yet – please correct me if I’m wrong someone) but the end product does look great.
Anyway, tagxedo certainly has its uses and in primarily the same ways as Wordle. Perhaps pupils could make tagxedo’s out of vocabulary pages or grammar explanations and use them as posters and it could help with revision for instance in addition to other uses already mentioned.
Please comment on how you use tagxedo already, or how you feel it could be employed.