TagCrowd will take text, whether it be from a website or a file, and create a visual depiction of the most commonly used words in that text. What uses could this possibly have in the classroom? Well, David showed us TagCrowds he made from presidential inaugural speeches – students can compare what was important to the country through the years. He also showed TagCrowds from various speeches made by different people about a single event – students can see what was important about an event from the perspective of different cultures or countries. Another thought I had was to have students create TagCrowds for their essays or papers - they can see what words they may have used too frequently, or they may see that their focus is different than what they intended. What a valuable and visual way to teach students the importance of the words they choose! Another participant at the session this morning suggested that students create TagCrowds on text that is written in casual language versus formal or academic language.
I used TagCrowd to evaluate an essay I wrote about leadership for a graduate school application and here was the result:
Try it out and post a comment here with ideas you see for uses in the classroom.