9 Amazing Word Cloud Generators For The Classroom …Word Clouds in Education Series: Part 3 by Michael Gorman

10/7/2012 12:00:00 AM


Welcome to a series of posts devoted to the use of Word Clouds. I know you will find new information… whether you are a seasoned user of word clouds, or brand new. I am certain you will enjoy reading about these nine amazing Word Cloud Generators.  In the last two posts you already discovered    12 Tips in Using Wordle and 108 ways for Educators to use Word Clouds in the Classroom. There will still be more in this series including:
  1. An Amazing Word Cloud Generator That Is Not Wordle… Word Clouds in Education Series: Part 4
  2. Beyond word clouds… cool sites and applications to integrate word clouds… Word Clouds in Education Series: Part 5

To ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts keep returning to Tech & Learning. Also, to discover other amazing resources covering PBL, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please visit and sign up for my blog at 21centuryedtech, and  as always  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone not as familiar with technology and Web 2.o.  Word clouds are a great way for teachers just testing the Web 2.0 waters. - Mike Gorman

ABC Ya - This application may be the most Wordle like and, in fact, operates much like Wordle. It creates final results that allow for font change, color change, and a randomized layout.  It does not seem to provide the function on word frequency, important to more advanced users. Save options are in  jpeg format and there are print options. If you are used to Wordle this application may be an good alternative. It does not require email or log in.

Tagul -  Tagul has some features that Wordle doesn’t, like custom shapes selection and multiple fonts usage in one cloud. It also allows for the use of tagged words that can act as pointers to URL’s if embedded in a web page. It abounds in options but registration may limit classroom use.  Requires a log in with email.

Word It Out  - Much like Wordle, it creates word clouds out of any text that you paste into the text box. This application allows  the word cloud to be customized by size, font, and color scheme.  Word It Out also allows the user to  ignore certain words and thus  keeps them out of the word cloud.  Can be used without a login, although the saving option requires an email. Can work around this option by right clicking to save as jpeg and/or screen print.

Tag Crowd - While it does not give the color,unique style, or layout variation of of Wordle, it does allow one to see frequency of words. It also allows a file to be uploaded or a URL address to be used.  The word cloud creations can be saved as a PDF files or  printed from a full screen print menu. No login or email is required and free use of the product is for nonprofit use listed under creative commons.

Wordsift -  This hidden gem from Stanford University does not give the pretty effects of Wordle,  but does give several awesome  features that allow students to really analyze a word cloud. One unique feature allows words to be listed by how common or rare they are. Also allows for words to be listed in alphabetical order. Wordsift allows the user to click on words to view in an online visual thesaurus with dictionary, google  images, and word sentence placement. It even allows the user to view words by subject area and cross curricular areas by unique color coding and definitions that relate to specific disciplines.  Watch this video lesson on using Wordsift with students on a lesson about Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. What a great way to analyze a speech!  It even covers assessment of students using Wordsift. No login or email required. Any printing or saving would need to rely on a screen print.

Make Word Mosiac  A creative tool put out by Image Chef. This is one tool in their suite of tools to be used for people who like to create.  It allows for different shapes, colors, and fonts. It makes a real cool word cloud but may have limited use in the classroom. Items can be emailed and embedded in different social network forums. By pressing the more button you can save a jpeg. Larger images with higher resolutions are available for a price. Login or email does not appear to be required. Be sure to read terms of use of any usage outside of personal.

VocabGrabber Another creative tool that allows students to analyze a group of words. While it lacks the flashy pictures and clouds that Wordle can create, it has substance in creating lessons that can be used to really understand a word passage.  VocabGrabber analyzes text and generates lists of the most useful vocabulary words then displays how  those words are used in context. Copy text from a document and paste it into the box, and click  Grab Vocabulary! VocabGrabber will automatically create a list of vocabulary from the  text, which can be sorted, filtered, and saved. Click on any word in the cloud and a snapshot of the Visual Thesaurus map appears along with definitions for that word, and  examples of the word in the text.

TagCloudGenerator - This is a service that does not allow pasting in of text, but instead goes to a website that is entered by the user. The effects are impressive since the results are a moving flash file that can be downloaded. It also provides an HTML tag cloud.  It even provides a service for WordPress Blogs.

You Are Your Words - A very cool way to match words and a real picture that you upload. Watch this video to get a better idea. This is a free product from American Heritage Dictionary. While the website encourages a self portrait there could be a lot of possibilities. Remember that since this is a Web 2.0 site, students should not be sharing personal information in teh words that they supply and upload.


Thank you for joining me in this series on Word Clouds. I hope found new information for use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   Watch for other posts in this series including:

  1. An Amazing Word Cloud Generator That Is Not Wordle… Word Clouds in Education Series: Part 4
  2. Beyond word clouds… cool sites and applications to integrate word clouds… Word Clouds in Education Series: Part 5 
Have a great week… enjoy the passing word clouds! – Mike Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)
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