Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Power of Wordle

by Becky Ranks

Having just completed a day in Bangor with teachers there who are working on Inquiry-based Instruction and Essential Questions, my partner in crime, Jim Burke and I were very impressed with many of the things that are happening there in Grades four through 8. We were part of an all day professional development experience that reached all content areas. Jim and I covered the language arts curriculum and presented resources and ideas for language arts teachers.We were just a small part of a day arranged by Martha Thibodeau through the Title IID grant. One of the resources presented was Wordle. I am sure most are familiar with Wordle, but if not it makes wonderful word clouds. Last night while watching CNN's commentary on President Obama's press conference, the commentators used his words in a Wordle word cloud. It was blown up to a tremendous size, and they were able to pinpoint the words that were used most often and it highlighted the power of words. The Bangor teachers were thrilled with exposure to this new resource, and now its reach to mainstream media has taken it to real world uses and shows another use beyond our imagination.

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