Word Clouds: Lots of Options for Homework and Projects

These days multiple word cloud options are available for students and teachers.

Created with Festisite

Created with Festisite

Designing with words is an easy way for learners to create illustrations with spelling or vocabulary words. Some word cloud sites can even evaluate short passages taken from reading material. While word designing is not, strictly speaking, an important 21st Century digital world skill, these websites encourage kids to organize information and create in clever and stylistic ways that were not easily accomplished before web 2.0 arrived on the scene.

Many people are familiar with Wordle – the original word cloud site — that is especially clean, easy-to-use, and without advertising. Yet, as with everything else in the digital world word cloud sites are increasing. Sites building off Wordle’s success offer various options for saving, sharing, copying, and embedding, but no one word cloud site offers everything. Most of the sites below allow users to format with colors, fonts, and typeface sizes.

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Wordfoto: Great Fun With Photos and Word Lists

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I combined a field of sunflowers with a word list.

I have a new favorite app — Wordfoto. Interestingly, it’s designed for an iPhone and does not yet have a separate iPad version. A GDS student told me about it.

With Wordfoto I create a word list, and then I have some fun turning the words into art by selecting a picture as a background to highlight my words. I can use an image that comes with the app, choose one of the many pictures in my iPhone photo galleries, or take a new picture. It’s even possible to use screen shots. If an image is too cluttered with details, it may not make a good Wordfoto.

When I combine the picture and the word list — voilà! — a cool Wordfoto. Like Instagram, the app comes with a variety of editing options, allowing users to play with the image, crop it, create styles, and fine tune the texture of the pictures. Wordfoto also comes with preset styles that introduce texture, color, and depth variations, making it easy for new users to get started.

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