Apr 14 2010

Word Clouds Way Beyond Wordle!



Most of you, by now, have heard of Wordle (see our Jan. 20th post). And don’t get me wrong- Wordle is fabulous. But even Wordle’s creator is singing the praises of Tagxedo. This awesome web app does the same thing Wordle does, but adds so many more options!In short, it makes a word cloud based on words you enter. The more times a word appears, the larger it is displayed.

This example was created not by typing in words, but just putting in the URL of our blog:

Some things to consider…

  • Free (a few premium features are locked- or will be)
  • No login required
  • Silverlight (free plugin) is required- though this is becoming standard for many new interactive websites
  • Great possibilities for curriculum integration
    • Describing the Kingdoms in science
    • Parts of speech in language arts
    • Key facts centered around an important event or person
    • And on and on!

Why is it better than Wordle? Let’s see…

  • It allows you to save your cloud in various shapes (star, heart, circle, etc.)
  • You can save your creation as a .jpg or .png without screen capture
  • It has some great color palettes and font choices
  • You can select words to skip
  • The interface is easy and beautiful

Tell us what you think!

And, oh yes, we have already obtained permission to use this site in our next book!

Apr 6 2010

We are Trippin!



Although this tool probably doesn’t have a classroom use, it’s outstanding for helping to keep your life in order. TripIt allows you to organize all your travel information in one place. You can add flight information, hotel reservations, rental car, activities, meetings, notes, maps, and whatever else you have. You can type all this information in directly, or best of all- forward your confirmation emails from hotels, airlines, etc. and TripIt will fill in all the information. Continue reading

Apr 5 2010

Sliderocket… A Great Presentation Tool!



OK, this webapp has been around for awhile… and it just keeps getting better and better. Sliderocket lets you import your PowerPoint presentations or start building your own presentation from scratch.  You can collaborate with others on a single presentation that’s filled with some awesome features:

  • Killer, transitions- yes, even those cool ones you’ve seen in Keynote
  • Embed video and images
  • Record and sync audio using the webapp
  • Link to or embed your presentations

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a sample: