Wordle vs Voyant: Can they be used in teaching? Yes!

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.

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3 Responses to Wordle vs Voyant: Can they be used in teaching? Yes!

  1. Sameen Q. says:

    Thanks for the link, the uses he mentions are creative. I especially like the idea of using wordle as a means to summarize something or using it to check if you’re on point with your essay.

  2. Sorry for misquoting you Roxanne, you didn’t even specify the things I detailed but for some reason I interpreted it this way. Idea cube was misconstrued in my mind as one of those 8 balls you shake and it provides you with vague directions. When I googled an Idea Cube just now a completely different object came up. In short I just thought of fidgety things you do when you are brainstorming or when you need a moment to de-stress. Again my apologies.

  3. Roxanne Shirazi says:

    I didn’t mean to convey that I thought they were only for entertainment, as I do think they’re useful. I think I was comparing it to an idea cube or deck of cards, which some writers use when faced with writers’ block. Playing with this kind of tool could help a student jump start a research topic, by giving a new visual element to a relationship that may already be conceived, thereby pointing to new directions of inquiry.

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