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Weekend Website #26: Tagxedo

Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.

tagxedo

Age:

3rd grade and up, as well as teachers, homeschoolers

Topic:

Mind mapping, multi-intelligence, tag clouds

Address:

Tagxedo

Review:

If you haven’t discovered Tagxedo, you have a treat in store. As its tagline suggests, it is a tag cloud with style. Think Wordle on steroids. Tagxedo takes words and turns them into pictures, as does Wordle, but it has all those options you wanted and couldn’t find on Wordle. Remember saying, “I wish I could turn this into a picture of a ____ (fill in the blank with your favorite).” Or, “I wish I could save this.”

Tagxedo makes that all happen. You start with either words, a website, your twitter handle, your Delicious links, an RSS feed, a news event or search a term.  select colors, fonts, shape of your cloud. You can stop there or move into more advanced choices like having phrases stay together in the cloud. Once you’re happy with your picture, you can save–as a thumbnail, a jpeg, in html. Here too are many choices so you get exactly what you want.

I discovered Tagxedo on my tech teacher PLNs. The site has a helpful slideshow of 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo. Here are some uses that you might find useful in your classes:

  • as a discussion of back to school stuff
  • what students want to learn about a subject (I’m having my 8th grade Photoshop class create one advising me what they want to learn about photo editing)
  • input an essay/book report they’ve written to see what words pop out as most important. They can then shape it and color it to match the ideas.
  • input words from a website they enjoy
  • input words from an historic document to see what is the important theme
  • perfect for visual learners–any written projects that normally are difficult for them will take on new life with this program
  • Each student contributes 10 words to describe ****. Write them down on your Smartboard and enter them into Tagxedo
  • Make a Class Tagxedo with the teacher’s name larger and students all around him/her
  • At the beginning of the school year, ask each student to make a Tagxedo about himself/herself
  • Make a cover page–turns words about the report topic into a picture
  • Paste in an essay from a student into Tagxedo. See if the students can work out (a) The topic and (b) The title of the essay in question. If they fail to do so, this suggests that the essay lacks sufficient focus on the question, and the student should make some edits and try it again later! (thanks russelltarr)
  • Contrast Candidates in a Political Debate
  • Summarize a Field Trip Report
  • Appreciate Other Languages. Make Tagxedo with non-Latin languages
  • Teach Students about Cultures of the World. Add words about a specific culture and shape the Tagxedo like the country. This can also be done for states.
  • Make a Guess-the-Quote Game. Enter all words from a quote and see if the students can figure out the quote. Or have the students do it.
  • Brainstorm a Topic. Use Tagxedo as a brainstorming tool. Enter all the words about a topic the student comes up with.
  • Create a Synonym Word Wall. Look up synonyms of overused words at thesaurus.com. Enter into Tagxedo.
  • Track a Poll Over Time. Make a Tagxedo of knowledge on a subject at beginning/middle/end/whatever to show how ideas are evolving.

For more ideas, visit the Daily Tagxedo. How do you use it?

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