Posts Tagged ‘Wordle’

Glogster is a ‘Publisher’ type online tool, that makes posters that have more to them than your standard Publisher documents that Microsoft Office provide. Aside to text and images, you can also add video and audio as well as much flashier graphics and other little effects. The emphasis is much more on ‘youth culture’ rather than office or work presentations in terms of the graphics and images provided, which make it attractive for pupils. The end results are eyecatching and professional looking and are relatively easy to produce, and can be either printed out (obviously not if you have included video and audio content) or viewed online.

Glogster itself is free to use. There is an educational vesion which provides a ‘safer’ environment, allowing the teacher to be able to control what their pupils can see and organise things more effectively for their classes. This is called called Glogster EDU and it does cost a subscription depending on how many accounts and licences you need. I must say that I am not wholly convinced about the need to use the EDU page as with department budgets being what they are, the money is possibly best spent elsewhere. It is worth having a look though and seeing if you feel you would get your money’s worth from it, you can take the Glogster EDU tour here that tells you what the service provides. If I was to pick one suscription version it would be single user with 50 accounts, though I am not sure I would use Glogster lots over the year.

Glogster could be used for a variety of activities. It could be presentation device perhaps to start off a lesson. It could also be a revision device, presenting a variety of resources for pupils to look over following a lesson or unit, much as I have done here with this Glog containing videos on immigration that I use with the U6th and IB sets. It could also be an online worksheet, much like Lingt offers, without the ability for pupils to record their own answers as Lingt offers. Of course, pupils can use it as well. It would be excellent for doing projects, allowing them to include videos and pictures and maybe an oral presentation with their written work. Obviously it is a nice poster creation tool, and not just for class display but also for their own revision for their rooms. There are a variety of other blogs that talk about how glogster could be employed in the classroom, here is one such: Using Glogster in the classroom

To start with, you will need to register, and when you have done this, you will be directed to your dashboard home where you can start creating your glogs and see previous ones that you have made. It will look like this:

First of all you need to decide what type of glog you want to make, and you have a few templates to give you some ideas as you can see above.  I’m going to do an information giving glog about Las Fallas, and try and include some videos and things, as an example for this blog.

Let’s use the Poster glog template to start with, as this is the one you will probably use the most, and your pupils will opt for to give them more freedom to design their glog. Once you’ve clicked on it, your poster will load and you will see this below, with a helpful arrow pointing at the buttons you wil use to add images, text, graphics, video and audio.

Let’s start by adapting the background to something more Spanish. Click on ‘Wall’ and then select from a variety of options, including an image of your own, a Glogster gallery wall, or a solid colour. Find something you like and then click ‘Use it’ to set as the background wall for yout glog.

Now I’m going to add a title to my glog, so click on ‘Text’ and again you have a wide variety of tetx bubbles that you can write in. This could be one issue by the way with pupils using Glogster; some pupils could well take ages agonising over which colours, images, fonts and so on to use, wasting valuable time when the key aim is to obviously produce accurate language. Since my glog will be about Las Fallas, I’ve managed to find a fiery text bubble! Having picked a text bubble, click ‘Use it’ and then you adapt the text as you see fit, with colours, fonts and so on, and can obviously drag the text bubble around the glog and resize it as you need, much as you would do with Publisher.

Now let’s put a Youtube video. Click on ‘Tools’ to go back to the choices for types of add ons to put onto your glog and select video. If you are looking to upload a video you have already made (perhaps from Silent Film Director – see previous blog entry, or even from GoAnimate, Dvolver etc)  you can do this, or you can link to one from Youtube, Vimeo or anywhere else on the internet. I’m using a video from Youtube which gives a nice intro to Las Fallas festival (Click here if you want to see it, Journeyman pictures incidently do a lot of nice vids about cultural events from all over the world, worth searching them.) I’ve put a random graphic of an arrow in as well.

Once you have put in a few bits and pieces like this, you will really get the idea of how it all works. Go to the Tool Menu, select what you want to add to the glog, upload or link to whatever it is, click ‘Use it’ and then adapt it in terms of colour, size or location around the Glog.

You can see my completed Glog by following this link. http://www.glogster.com/mrwatson76/las-fallas-de-valencia/g-6li1pk394c25q3hj9pepna0 It’s just a demo really. With more time, I might add links to places with more information about Las Fallas, or put in some questions to stimulate discussion.

You can obviously embed lots of the types of tools that I have talked about on my blog before. Cartoon, wordles, tagxedos, videos made with GoAnimate, toondoo, Dvolver etc etc can all be put in, so it is a good chance to show off all your abilities!

Happy Glogging!

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Tagxedo

Posted: April 26, 2012 in Reading, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 tools
Tags: , ,

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.

I reckon Wordle is a little tool that is very well known by many teachers now. I only found out about it through Joe Dale’s course in London in September (everyone should go on one of his courses btw, I got more out of it in one day than any other course I have been on) and in fact, Joe set me on the path to investigating web 2.0 tools generally. I had seen examples of Wordle around but hadn’t really ever looked into it, but since its uses were shown, I have used it a number of times and passed it on to other teachers in my department.

Anyway, if, like me, Wordle had evaded your attention, here is a little bit about it, and how it can be employed perhaps in lessons. Here is how Wordle describes itself on the title page: ” Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”

When you go to the website www.wordle.net, click on create and then either type in or paste a load of text into the box. Then click go and your word cloud will appear quickly (you will need Java by the way).  Here is an example of one I have quickly done, using an article from www.authentikinteractive.com

Once you have created the wordle cloud, you can adapt it, changing the font, layout and colour schemes, so feel free to play around with it and see what looks effective. You can either print your wordle out then and there, or save it to a public gallery (it’s worth storing the URL for future use if you want to project your word cloud onto a whiteboard). Again, I would really like a self-storing area, being the natural hoarder I am, but this isn’t an option.

So how can Wordle be used – here are some quick ideas:

1. Posters for classrooms or prep revision sheets for pupils

2: Revision games: Maybe have your wordle on the board via a projector and pupils pick a word and say what it means, gaining a point for their team. Cross the word off on the board.

3. Sentence building. Pupils create sentences using words on the poster. Could try and recreate the whole paragraph perhaps

4. Odd one outs. Put a whole load of vocab on the wordle with a few topic exceptions. Also could play categories, eg have rooms, furniture, prepositions, adjectives and relevant verbs in a wordle and pupils have to categorise them.

5. Find key elements of texts, or how many tenses are used within essays.

As I said earlier, there is a lot about how Wordle can be used in MFL already on the web. I read this by Samantha Lunn after going to Joe’s course http://languagesresources.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/23-ways-to-use-wordle-in-the-mfl-classroom/, so definitely go here for more ideas! This was done a couple of years ago, so Wordle isn’t something brand new, just a nice little tool you can easily find a use for.