Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Wordled my Blog!

Wordle is an easy-to-use tool that can help teachers and students analyze primary source documents, poems, blogs, or anything else that contains text. I have used it with my students before, but a video blog that Howie DiBlasi tweeted this morning reminded me to check it out again.

This is how Wordle works:
Once you enter the text, Wordle creates a word cloud that makes the words used most often appear more prominently. I thought I would Wordle this blog, to see if I am truly addressing the topics I set out to address when I started it: history, politics, and technology in the high school classroom.

I have to admit that I was pretty happy with the results:

Wordle: KerryHawk02's Thoughs on Education 11-4-10
Click here for a larger view.

The Results that Made Me Happy
  • students: The fact that "students" is the largest word means that I use that word the most. It also means that it seems to be the primary focus of most of my posts. This thrilled me because it means that I truly have followed through on my goal of putting students first and considering how my use of technology and methods of teaching history and politics will affect them and their learning.
  • content: I use this word often when discussing the history that I teach day in and day out in the classroom. So the relatively large size of the word pleased me because it means I spend a decent amount of time considering history as well.
  • questions & think: These two words help define the purpose of my blog. I hope to consider my students' questions and ask my own questions through my writing. Publishing these questions to the world helps me further define these questions and maybe come to some answers. I wouldn't be able to do it without all of your comments, so thank YOU to my readers!
  • technology & tool(s): These two words are also relatively large, but not as large as I would have thought. Upon further consideration, I think this might actually be a good thing. After all, when teaching with technology, it isn't about the tools themselves. Rather, the emphasis should be on how the tools and technology help the students learn.

The Results that Surprised Me

  • names: There are several names of presenters and education technology leaders who I have had the opportunity to meet at conferences recently and have subsequently written about in my blog. I hope Darren Kuropatwa and Brad Ovenell-Carter know how much their ideas have inspired me and my teaching!
  • get & use: I was surprised that these words were so large. Obviously it indicates that I utilize them often. Was I talking about "getting" and "using" information, online applications, or just getting tired? I'll have to go back and do more reading.
  • political language: It surprised me that words like "Democrats", "Republicans", "Conservatives", and "Liberals" were so small. I hope to spend more time posting about elections, voters, and politics over the coming weeks and months.

1 comment:

  1. If you like Wordle, take a look at http://www.tagxedo.com/ for another Word Cloud tool. I think some of the visuals with Tagxedo might distract from the message of the words, but they do make for an attractive presentation.

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