Technology Education Know-How

Helping Teachers Teach with Technology
September 25th, 2008

Wordle in Education

Over this past summer there was a lot of educational blogging about the use of Wordle. So, I’ve debated about bringing it up again. But, being that the purpose of my blog is to bring tools and ideas to teachers, I determined that this was the right time to bring it up. Basically, this is when teachers are searching for ideas.

Wordle is a tool that creates a graphical display to show the frequency of word usage in a text, web page or document. This is called a Word Cloud. The bigger the word is, indicates its dominance of usage. As I’m sure you know; Visual Feedback can give a more lucid understanding of what you read. To give you an example here is the “First Inaugural Address by George Washington in 1789”.

You or your students can use this tool in many ways.

Here are some ideas that I’ve had:

1. Students can use it to monitor the frequency of word usage in their own writings.

a. How often do they use the same adjectives or nouns?

b. Are they overusing words?

2. Students can use it to analyzing news articles.

a. What is this article about?

b. What’s the gist that the author is trying to get across?

c. Check out this assignment

3. Teachers can use it for field trip reviews.

a. Have each student generate a list of what they saw are learned on the field trip. Combine the list, copy and paste into Wordle. Whoop! you have an instant “What’s Important List” from the field trip. (side note: A wiki would be good for creating that list. 😉 )

4. Teachers can create a Current Events Analysis.

a. Copy the RSS feed from popular news sights like Google News and use Wordle to give you the hot topics.

b. Copy the text from a news page and use the same way.

5. What are your students listening to? Copy and paste the lyrics of popular songs into Wordle and find out.

6. What is important on your school campus? Copy and paste your schools mission and vision statements into Wordle and find out. My schools Wordle.

7. Self Reflection; If you where to write a story about yourself, what would your Wordle say?

8. Current Study posters. What is curricularly important in your class this week? Create a Wordle that visualizes that.

There are as many ways to use Wordle as there are clouds in the sky. If you where to Wordle this blog post what would be the biggest word? So, today’s theme would be? You guessed it, Wordle!

Leave a post and let me know how you used or plan to use Wordle in your educational setting.

34 Responses to “Wordle in Education”

  1. […] the most and how their writing is coming across.  For a list of ideas on this, please see the Tech Ed Know […]

  2. I am an education elementary major currently doing a blogging project for my Technology in Education class. We are studying Wordle and when I came across your blog… WOW!! I never imagined that Wordle could be so useful in the classroom. I shared some of your information in my blog. You can check out my blog at

  3. […] Technology Education Know-How » Blog Archive » Wordle in Education […]

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  5. Danny Polzin Says:
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    Very interesting blog post thanks for sharing I just added your blog to my bookmarks and will be back :) By the way this is a little off topic but I really like your web page layout.

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  7. i always watch current events on TV and also read newspapers daily to keep myself updated**.

  8. Fantastic site! Your writing is so fresh compared to most other bloggers. Thank you for writing when you do, I will be sure to return!

  9. Great news I am going to check on this tool

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  11. and so… thank you

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  14. Technofreak Says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 1:03 am

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  15. Haha I have used wordle at school before. 😛

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  18. […] the word is, indicates its dominance of usage. I like some if the ideas for usage presented on Technology Education Know-How Blog. 1. Students can use it to monitor the frequency of word usage in their own writings. a. How often […]

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  24. Reed Mincher Says:
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    Hi Mike,Thanks for your feedback – glad you found it informative. You can definitely post a link to a photo (on Flickr or elsewhere). I’d love to see what you came up with! I took a quick look at your WEB site. It looks really good, nice photos and an all round well implemented Flash site!Cheers, Markus

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