Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wordle - Word Clouds

Wordle is an application that creates Word clouds from text. The more times the word is used is how large the text will be. You can print them or take a screen capture of them for use on blogs or wikis. To embed you must save to Gallery first and then the code will appear. Here is an example of text copied from a recent newspaper article. This could be used as an activity for writing a report.

Or this one where the story of Cinderella was copied from wikipedia site

Why not copy the text from a child's story and insert into Wordle, the student will be able to see what words they use the most in their writing.
Here are some examples of student writing. This particular student is very aware about using descriptive adjectives and interesting verbs.

This next student who is of the same age as the previous one has the same amount of words, but it is obvious which words she has overused by the size of the text. In discussion with this student she is able to clearly see that she needs to find other words for 'said, school, fun' and she could look at the use of her pronouns as well. Compare the two Wordle diagrams and it is obvious which student has the larger vocab!
If you are letting students enter this site on their own then I suggest that you give them this address this will avoid the Home screen which has examples of others 'Wordles'. Occasionally there may be one that has inappropriate words but if you use this address with the Create it will open up the Create window thus avoiding looking at the Home Screen. There are new features being added regularly. Use the menus to make more changes to your diagrams, the Language menu allows you to show all common words like 'the' or 'and'. The font menu offers you a range of creative fonts. Layout gives you many choices for viewing the words horizontally, vertically or any which way. Under the Colour option you can change the colour of the words and backgrounds. This application has the potential for many uses in education so give it a try!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mixbook Creating books on line

Mixbook is an application that enables you to create online books (with turning pages!) with photos and text. You can upload photos and jpegs to a library in Mixbook. There are a variety of page templates to choose from. Once finished they can be embedded into wikis and blogs.

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Be Funky - Catoonise your photos

Be Funky is a photo editing application that will cartoonise your photos in colour or as line drawings.

These can then be saved to your computer.

Use these images to create a cartoon in ComicLife or insert them into Autoshapes in Word or PowerPoint.
There is also a wonderful morphing tool where you can stretch parts of the photo. These boys look like elves now!

Eventually you will be able to cartoonise video clips as well as this is a feature they are working on. See a demo here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dipity and Timelines

Dipity is an online application that allows you to make and share interactive timelines. There is a search feature to look at other timelines under a wide range topics i.e. History, Literacy, Social Science etc. These timelines can be embedded into wikis, blogs and webpages. This is an example of an incomplete timeline about Sir Edmund Hillary.

Thursday, June 5, 2008 Online collaborative mindmapping is an online mindmapping tool that can be embedded into blogs, wikis and websites. It can be created online, saved, printed and other people can be invited to add to it. It can also be exported as a image so it can be inserted into wordprocessing documents. Once it is embedded use your mouse to click and drag the diagram around, use the scroll button on your mouse to zoom in and out. Try this out on the example below.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Animoto is slideshow creator that animates your photos. This example has PowerPoint slides saved as jpegs. There are also some microsoft clipart examples of bees.


Slideshare is a programme where you can share your PowerPoint or Keynote presentations. You can save them as .pps, .ppt or pdf. This is an ideal tool for children to showcase their presentations online in a wiki or a blog publishing their writing or sharing their findings on a research .


Photoshow combines photos with captions, transitions, effects, and musical soundtracks.

The Photoshow can then be shared on blogs and wikis. Create your photo slides using KidPix (as in this example)