Leveraging Technology for Visual Learners

I like the idea of using Wordle in the classroom.  I took a grad class that used something like Wordle to show our answers to short answer questions.  We typed up our answers and this program built a Wordle to show the frequency of our answers.  She could then use this information to see how many of us got the right answer as well as what kinds of wrong answers we got.

I can see using this in a similar way in my own classroom.  Students could write short summaries of a text for the entire class, including me, to see what we think is important.  I could use this as an exit ticket to see what kinds of questions or understandings students have as they finish a lesson.  Students could record observations of a painting or science experiment so we can all see what common observations we have.  At the end of the year, I always have students write some adjectives to describe their classmates.  I could put these in a Wordle so students could not only see which words their students used to describe them, but which words were used the most often, the words that their classmates most associate with them.

There are a couple of different ways that I could implement this in my classroom.  I could open up the website and have students type in their answers as they finish their discussions.  That would be the most ideal situation, so I don’t have to type up each person’s answer myself.  If I had centers, I could have a computer at each center and students could type in their thoughts or observations before they transition to the next session.  We would then look at them on the SmartBoard to see what everyone thought as they went through the centers.  For more individual answers, students could email them to me or put them on a shared Google Doc.  I could then copy the related text and put it into a Wordle to print or share with the class.  Students could also make their own at home or on a computer at school to share their own thoughts and observations on homework or other assignments.

Wordles are visual but they have a lot of academic uses as well.  I think my students will like getting to use them.

Created on LooseLeaves.


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