Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tag Clouds by TagCrowd

I read recently on David Warlick’s blog about TagCrowd, a web-based application for creating tag clouds... visual representations of word frequencies.

Warlick tested TagCrowd by applying it to speeches from the presidential debates at I tried it on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address. I also tested my last few blog entries (as one unit) and my vita.

How do we use this tool in the classroom? I like Warlick’s idea of comparing speeches of the presidential candidates. I think it would also be interesting to compare authors who have written books in the same genre or in the same time period… or maybe in different time periods. I plan to compare President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address with the one he delivers in 2008. Could students benefit from comparing their own writing over a period of time? Or just one instance of their writing? Would TagCrowd be a useful tool for teachers to use as they look at their students’ writing?

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