A Word Cloud Blog Challenge

October 11, 2011 § 21 Comments

If I was a sales rep for Language Garden, I swear I’d have fired myself. I’ve talked myself out of sales of the current resource I have as I’ve raved about a brave new world where everyone, teachers and learners alike, not just me, makes their own language plants, to suit their own needs, and share with friends and strangers – or as we like to call them, friends we’ve yet to meet 😉 .

Plants of the people, by the people, for the people.

Well, stage 1 is here, and I’d like to propose a blog challenge. It’s simple enough: make your own word art – a language plant, a mind map or word cloud using the new language plant maker.

Seeing as there seems to be a large dogme contingent, how about an activity from Teaching Unplugged, “The lesson that was”? You just have to record language highlights from a lesson or activity that has already happened, a post-plan. I’ve done it, it’s the word cloud at the start of this blog.

Click this link, the language plant maker. If you need to install Silverlight, please do so. Most of you should have it already.

Click on the screen and type in a word.
To change the angle, click and drag the first or last letter of the word.
To bend or resize the word, click and drag on the two circles.
To change the colour of the word, you’ve got to click on the Bend circle first.
(Yes, there are a few things that aren’t as intuitive as we’d like; we’ll fix those. And don’t worry about colouring the words grammatically either – more colours to come.)
Finally, if a word goes haywire, just press delete on your keyboard and start again.

When you’re ready, and not before because the screen clears afterwards, click “Save as…” and give it a name. That’s yours now, forever, and all subsequent ones you make. If you’re happy to share, and of course we all hope you are, please publish it on your blog. Any discourse, comments, feelings you have and such, these are optional but most welcome too.

The tool is designed for you and your learners to use – easy and intuitive – that’s our mantra, my developer and I, either before or after a lesson, or better still, actually in class. I’m imagining your young learners fainting with excitement when you tell them to make a word cloud for ten minutes in groups and then present it to the others. Or for homework.

It’s not perfect yet, not by a long chalk, but it’s useable. My developer, he works full-time for someone else and does my development in his free time, he’s now got a month’s break from Language Garden to recharge his batteries. He’s dreading coming back. He thinks you’ll have all given me loads of new ideas. I hope so.

§ 21 Responses to A Word Cloud Blog Challenge

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