26 April 2010

1 Blogs as a Learning and Teaching Tool by Guest Blogger - David Andrade

This post is from David Andrade and we were partnered up for the "I Heart EdTech Blog Swap". Please read his post below and visit my post on his blog - Educational Technology Guy.

Blogs are a great learning and teaching tool. They can be used to communicate with students and parents as well as have students post work and discuss it. Blogs can allow students to share their work with a wider audience and get feedback from outside of their classroom.

I use Blogger for my classroom blogs, but there are a variety of blogging services available including WordPress and EduBlogs. (These are all free or have free versions).

09 April 2010

2 Move Over Wordle...Hello Tagxedo

What a fantastic and cool alternative to Wordle, Tagul, and Word it Out! Tagxedo is word cloud generator with total pizzazz!

Like Wordle, you can insert a web address or type in your words to generate your word clouds but unlike Wordle, it offers one to upload a text file. The menu is so robust. You can choose various theme colors, change the font - you can even upload your favorite font too…How cool is that? Additionally, you can change the directional layout or respin to your heart‘s content!
The Options area is very nice! You can change the shape and since it is in beta version – for a limited time - you can upload your own graphics. Check out the Dovewhisper logo in this post!

The Show History shows all of your "respins" so you can easily go back and view previous examples made instead of losing it in Wordle.  The Skip Words Option is a plus too. Not only is it easy to remove words, it also gives you a word count.

Unlike Wordle, Tagxedo provides you with 18 options to save. Yes, 18 options to save your word cloud…that alone it is a major plus as an educator!!!!

I did not see an option to embed the graphic into a blog but maybe it will be an option which will come out soon?

As of right now, Tagxedo is free but I understand that it will cost to use some of the Pro options (uploading your own graphics and inserting your own word as a shape)  but “…..the creator promises that a lot of the functionality will be preserved in the basic, free version…..” http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/09/tagxedo/. We will see!

Example of the Pro Option:

So, if you get a chance -  check out Tagxedo!