Once in a while I will stumble across a piece of software that I instantly realize would fit well in my “teacher’s toolbox.” Such is the case with Tagxedo. Tagxedo is web based software that enables the user to create word clouds or ‘wordles’. There are alternatives to Tagxedo, and software that composes wordles isn’t completely new, but there are certainly some distinctions that place Tagxedo above the competition.
There is almost no learning curve when it comes to using Tagxedo. It is so simple that any teacher could implement it and, within minutes, have students creating products that are based upon the learning objective. As an instructional designer, I occasionally hear professors saying that they would love to use a particular piece of software, but that they just don’t have time to learn it themselves or teach their students how to use it. This won’t be the case with Tagxedo.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this software is that it has almost limitless potential to take the most mundane topics and convert them into lessons that exist high on the charts in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Tagxedo doesn’t limit the students to a homogeneous product. Although it doesn’t have to, creativity can allow the student to express individuality and style.
Here’s how it works:
• The user places a series of words that he/she would like to include in her wordle. The words can come from a list, a website, a document, wherever.
• The student chooses a style for the wordle. The wordle can have many different color combinations and shapes. The student can even upload an image into the software and have the wordle take the shape of their picture.
• The software does the rest. The student can save the picture to a hard drive and submit it, or print it out. It’s that easy!
For examples of works, click here.