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Every once in a while you come across a free application that really fires the imagination, for teacher and student alike…

You’ve seen the tag cloud on the Economics blog and many others around the blogosphere.  It is a simple idea - the cloud lists the most popular tags (topics), applying a larger font to those which are used most often in the blog.  That way, you can get a sense of the most topical tags.

Here is an application designed by an engineer at IBM which takes the tag cloud one step further.  It turns tags into a work of art (aka a classroom wall display).  You can provide a list of words, a body of text, even a web link or an RSS feed.  Wordle then does the rest, giving you lots of control over the style and layout of the output.

We tried it using two sources.  First we gave Wordle the tutor2u Economics blog - the result in shown above.  You can also download a larger version of the image here

blog-wordle-econblog.jpg

The we gave Wordle a list of the terms used in our new AS Economics Course Companions for 2008/9.  And it came up with the following work of art:

blog-wordle-aseconmicro-gloss-w1000.jpg

Have a play with Wordle - I’m guessing that you’ll love it, and so will your students…

 

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