Wordle is a site that generates “word clouds”. These word visualizations are generated from a source of text that the user enters. Words that are seen more frequently in the text have bigger prominence in the finished “word cloud”. This makes Wordle an
especially interesting tool for seeing the focus and direction of a piece of text, website or blog. The “word cloud” shown here was generated from entering The Teaching Palettes web address so it visualizes all the content from this site.
There are several ways to create a Wordle. You can use a blog, blog feed or any other web page that has an RSS feed. You can also paste a bunch of text. Once our “word cloud” is created you can save it to the gallery, take a screen shot or print it. There is also simple editing tools for changing the color palette or font of your “word cloud”. Just a “word” of caution (pun intended) that the Wordle gallery is not always appropriate for young audiences.
How can you apply Wordle to the art room? You could take a student’s existing written work, a new short essay or have students write a list of self-describing words and then copy and paste them into Wordle. The more frequent the words appear in the text, the larger the words appear in Wordle. The “word clouds” can be printed for display, saved for a digital display at open house or posted to your classroom digital gallery online. This is what Tricia Fuglestad’s art students did with Wordle. Check out their “Word Clouds” at Artsonia. Students could also use their writing from a poetry or creative writing unit and create it’s visual expression. Share your ideas and examples for incorporating Wordle into the art room.
Update 1/21/09: Use ~ sign to hold two words together (ex. Art~Education)
It is amazing how many cool websites exist out there – just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone else comes up with a better mousetrap. I always promise myself I will remember to get back to those sites “when I have time.” The reality is, I rarely go back to the website and it is lost somewhere among my bookmarks/favorites menu.
Recently, I came across Tizmos, the perfect visual reminder! Tizmos is a web- based, personalized homepage that allows you to “see” your chosen web addresses from any location.
Each “Tizmo” looks and acts a bit like a multi-colored Post-it note linked to the web that can be dragged and dropped, edited, or deleted. Tizmos can also be set to open as your home page so you are reminded of interesting sites or used as quick access when presenting to students. The screen shot below clearly illustrates Tizmos.
How many times have you sat in front of a staff development presenter frustrated because it wasn’t relevant or bored you to tears? If you’ve ever wished you could choose your own learning experiences then Twitter may be right for you.
I was wasn’t expecting much when I started using Twitter a few months ago. What could you possibly learn from others in two sentence increments? The simple answer is something new, every day. I’ve gathered great links to websites, fun tools for teaching, and a chance to smile at funny things that happen in education.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Go to Twitter.com and create a username and bio. You won’t know the benefits unless you give it a shot.
2. Find people to follow who share your interests. Art teachers on Twitter listed at The Teaching Palette and TwitterGroups: ArtEd20 are two great places to start. Browse the Museum Twitter Group for access to great museums world wide. Look and see who others follow – this is a great way to build your learning network.
3. Look at others’ bios, then look at their recent posts. Both are important in shaping what you learn.
4. Create your first tweet – share a funny line from a student or a favorite website. It is OK if you just sit back and learn through others “tweets” for a while . . when you are ready join in.
5. Add Twitter to your routine or make it your web browser home page.
Email us your user name and we will add you to the Teaching Palette “Art Teachers on Twitter” list!
Use the comment area below to ask questions or just let everyone know what your Twitter experience is like!
Craig’s Best of 2008 list for art educators includes: Ed.Voicethread as Best New Web Tool for Education; Jason Polan as Best New Drawing Blog; Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson as Best New Art Resource; The Teaching Palette as Best New Art Teachers Blog; and many others. Check out Craig’s full Best of 2008 list.
We are extremely honored to be part of Craig’s Best of 2008 list. Coming from a veteran art educator, author and tech guru, that means a lot to us. Thanks, Craig!
Photography is one of my favorite forms of artistic expression. In addition to artistic merit, I am particularly interested in photographs that document life from long ago.
Compare the photo found on Histografica of the Brooklyn Bridge from 1899 to a recent image photographed in 2007. Almost the same point of view, yet a completely different scene.
Add an additional element to the scene – pop culture. Use the widgets below to listen to popular music from each of these eras.
Possible Discussion Questions:
1. How has this scene changed over the last 100 years?
2. How has photography changed over the last 100 years?
3. What type of person traveled the Brooklyn Bridge in each scene? How were lives different? The same? How might social interactions be different?
4. Listen to popular music from each era (preview songs to determine if appropriate for your students). How does this help you understand time and place? Does the music make you feel any different about the images? What if you played music from the 1899 with the photograph from 2007, does it fit?
In a post from October, I described how to use fun websites motivational tool to create a positive learning environment. This classroom management strategy has worked out very well for me – although I have hesitated giving out some of my favorite websites with long URL addresses. (Some of these URL addresses are over 40, even 60 characters in length with underscore, slashes, #, etc.)
Tiny URL to the rescue! This site allows you to shrink that insanely long URL address down to a few characters or even create your own custom address.
For example, one of my favorite interactive web sites integrates the glass art of Dale Chihuly, however, the students would need to type in the following address to access the site: http://www.childrensmuseum.org/themuseum/fireworks_ofglass/games_k2.htm#
Many students could probably do it . . . eventually. But my guess is that more than a few would get very frustrated along the way and need parent assistance to type some of the special characters. If the students couldn’t access the fun sites – then why put in the effort?
Instead of giving them the Chihuly glass website in long form, I created a Tiny URL.
This Tiny URL goes directly to the Chihuly page I want the children to access.