Wordle is great for quickly creating word clouds from chunks of text. Last week I used Wordle to make a word cloud of President Obama's State of Union Address. The complaint that some people have about Wordle is that it doesn't offer much in the way of customization options. That's where Word It Out shines.
Word It Out creates word clouds out of any text that you paste into the word cloud generator. Once the word cloud is created you can customize the size and color scheme of the cloud. You can also customize the font used in your word cloud. The feature of Word It Out that I like the best is that you can choose to have Word It Out ignore any word or words you choose. Ignoring words keeps them out of the word cloud.
Word clouds created using Word It Out can be shared publicly by using the embed code provided by Word It Out.
Applications for Education
Just as with Wordle, Word It Out can be a good resource for students to use to quickly identify the words used most frequently in a text. Create a word cloud and have students discuss why certain words were used frequently by an author.