Monday, October 20, 2014

National Day on Writing and Word Clouds

    Today is National Day on Writing sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English in a partnership with the New York Times Learning Network.  The day is designed to give a focus and audience for writing- this year's focus is "Community;" students can use photos, film, graphics, blogs, pens, paper, etchings, graphs, murals or anything that celebrates writing in its many forms to express what students want people to know about their community.

    Make sure to check the National Day on Writing website to find articles, blog posts, and podcasts of student examples and teacher lesson plans for the day, which really extends into November.  You can also find a tweet-up about the event all day today at #writemycommunity.

    In honor of National Day on Writing, I also wanted to let you know of a new add-on for Google Docs which allows anyone using docs to make a word cloud within the doc.  A word cloud is a visual representation of a selection of text that shows the most commonly used words in larger fonts.
Tag, or Word, Clouds show visually which words are
used more than others in a document.  Here, "progress"
is used more in the writing piece because it is a larger font.
  I learned about this new add-on from the website- a great resource for educators looking to use technology in the classroom.  Richard Byrne, the author of, recommends using the word cloud generator with students in a multitude of ways (CLICK HERE).  I see this as a great tool to have students self-assess their writing by creating a word cloud which can show them the frequency of words in their document.

    Students can make adjustments for words that are overused or use the "Define" tool to find synonyms for commonly used words.  Check out the screenshots below to get an idea of how this works.

Select "Add-ons" and "Get Add-ons"

Search for "Tag Cloud Generator" and click "+ Free"

After the Generator has been added, access and enable it
by clicking "Add-ons" and choosing "Create Tag Cloud"

No comments:

Post a Comment