Wordle: Teaching and Technology

Wordles are great for introducing new units, new vocabulary (or the word bank on a quiz), or as a poster in your classroom with words describing your subject.

Essentially, Wordles are composite images that display key terms or words to describe something.  You’ve probably seen them around – on websites or printed graphics.  They look professional and look like you invested some time in making them.  However, they only take seconds to create online because Wordle is a web 2.0 tool.

There are numerous Wordles already made that you can use in the classroom as well.  To check them out, look at the gallery.  To create your own, simply go to Wordle.net and click “create“.  There are two options: paste in a bunch of a text or paste a URL of a blog/website that has an Atom or RSS feed and it will pull words for you.  In seconds it will create a “word cloud” for you.

You can then easily adjust the color scheme, the font, and the direction of the words with just the click of a button.  If you’re not sure what you want, don’t worry, there’s a “randomize” button that will help.  Once you’re finished, you can just print the Wordle or you can save it to the public domain as well.

Feel free to read the Terms of Service, but the essential copyright terms are this: it’s yours.  You own the copyright (unless you save it into the public domain).  You can put it on whatever you want.  You can profit off of it.  And there is no need to credit Wordle.net if you don’t want to.  Of course, the applet that creates the Wordle is copyrighted, so if you’re interested in the those terms, you’ll have to read the Terms of Service.