I decided to return to Voyant and add a little Wordle into the mix. At first I thought it was ambiguous whether or not these tools were applicable to much more than entertainment, or brainstorming. Jill mentioned using these programs for student praise and to motivate participation which could be handy I suppose. I wanted more perspectives so I did a search on “reasons to use Wordle” and sifted through the results. I landed on an article from a teacher in the U.K. whom wrote an article named “Five Reasons to use Wordle in Teaching” by Terrie Freedman. I believe he explains some compelling uses for word clouds with young people and for teachers working under the increasing restrictions placed on teaching to standardized tests. He says he uses the tool for summarizing and self-reflection and argues it can be seen as an alternative to bullet points, yet it’s a more creative and visually pleasing option.
Read more about the uses in teaching here: http://www.techlearning.com/default.aspx?tabid=67&entryid=209
A difference I noted in Wordle was that it already removed “stop words” and allowed for a variation of color, background, layouts and fonts. Voyant allowed for specific word edits as Roxanne pointed out in class.