Showing posts with label school library. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school library. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Five Ways to Create Word Clouds

This morning at the Massachusetts School Library Association's conference (a fun conference that I highly recommend) Pam Berger presented some good ideas for working with primary source documents and Web 2.0 tools. One of the ideas that she shared and others elaborated on was the idea of using word clouds to help students analyze documents. By copying the text of a document into a word cloud generator your students can quickly see the words that appear most frequently in that document. Here are five tools that you and your students can use to create word clouds.

ABCya! offers a beautiful word cloud generator. Like all word cloud generators you simply copy and paste chunks of text into the text box to have a word cloud created. Common words like "the" are automatically excluded from your word clouds. You can edit the font style, adjust color schemes, and flip the layout of your word clouds on the ABCya! Word Cloud Generator. The one shortcoming of the tool is that it doesn't provide embed codes. You can download and or print your word clouds.

Tagul is a free word cloud generator that offers the option to link every word in your word cloud to a Google search. Click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word. Tagul creates a word cloud from text you copy into your Tagul account. Tagul will also generate a word cloud from any url you specify. Just as you can with other word cloud generators, Tagul allows you to specify words to ignore in creating your word clouds. Once your word cloud is created Tagul provides you with an embed code to put your cloud on your blog or website.

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.

Tagxedo makes it very easy to customize the design of your word clouds. You can select from a variety of shapes in which to display words or you can design your shape for your word cloud. You can enter text into the word cloud generator manually or simply enter a url from which Tagxedo will generate a word cloud. As with other word cloud generators you also have options for excluding words from your word clouds.

Wordle is regarded by some as the "original" online word cloud generator. Wordle provides many options for color, shapes, and fonts for displaying your word clouds.

Disclosure: ABCya! gives me money for groceries and dog food every month. Actually, they give me money for advertising. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video - How to Sit at Your Computer

Here's a short video reminder of something that I'm guilty of forgetting, how to properly sit in front of a computer. If you're just watching a couple of video clips, curling up on your couch with your laptop is probably fine. But if you're doing some serious work you should definitely heed the advice offered in the video below. I know from experience that posture makes a big difference in how I feel after a couple of hours of writing on my laptop.

H/T to Dominiqu De Guchtenaere for sharing this on Google+.

Applications for Education
If you can get past the background music, this video provides some useful reminders for students. Consider posting it on the website for your school library or computer lab.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Club It - Create an Online Book Club

Book Club It is a new service you can use to host and participate in online book clubs. Creating your own online book club is quite easy, just register for the service, select a book or books to discuss, name your book club, and invite members. You can make your Book Club It club a private or public group. If you choose to create a public group anyone registered on Book Club It can join your club. If you choose to create a private group only those people you invite can join.

Applications for Education
Book Club It could be a good platform on which school librarians could create a book discussion forum for students. You could accomplish the same purpose with a service like Google Groups or Lefora. The added benefit of Book Club It is that you and your members can search for other books within the Book Club It platform.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Amazon Introduces Kindle Book Lending

Earlier this week I shared some places where you can find free ebooks for your Kindle or other ereader. Yesterday, Amazon introduced lending of purchased Kindle books. So if you have bought Kindle books you can now lend them to others for up to 14 days. Borrowers do not have to have a Kindle device in order to read titles that you lend to them. Borrowers can read titles you lend to them on a PC, Mac, iPad, and other devices that have a Kindle reading app installed.

Not all Kindle books are eligible for lending. Books that are eligible for lending are marked as such. When you lend a title you cannot read it until it is returned to you. While that is an inconvenience, it isn't any different than what happens when you lend a physical book. Click here for directions on how to lend Kindle Books.

Applications for Education
Lending Kindle books could add a new dimension to school library programs. I didn't see anything in Amazon's documentation that would prevent school libraries from lending titles to students to use on their personal Kindle devices. The automatic expiration of borrowing after 14 days should mean that school libraries won't have to go chasing down "late returns."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great Video - Study Like a Scholar, Scholar

Thanks to Janet Kenney for alerting me to the following funny and relevant to education video.

Applications for Education
Why isn't this video embedded into every school library website yet? At my school the librarian conducts a library orientation for incoming freshmen, I'm going to recommend that she include this in her program.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
A Fun Video for Introducing Google Docs
Seven Videos All Educators Should Watch

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Freeze-n-Read 4 Libraries

April 11-17 is National Library Week in the United States. To celebrate National Library Week Gulf Middle School in Cape Coral, Florida has organized a neat event they're calling Freeze-n-Read. Freeze-n-Read is an effort to get students, teachers, librarians, and parents to "freeze" at 4pm on April 17 and read. To make this a global project, submit pictures of your group "freezing" and reading on the 17th.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Acer and Intel K-12 School Library Makeover Contest

Acer and Intel are currently accepting nominations for a K-12 school library "makeover." The winning school will receive ten Acer Timeline laptops and two desktops. I'm not sure if twelve computers constitutes a full "makeover," but it's certainly better than no computers. To enter you must submit an essay describing what makes your school great and why your school should be chosen. You can also submit videos and images to supplement your entry. The entry deadline is January 17th. You can read all of the contest details and enter here.

In the interest of disclosure, while I do own an Acer Aspire One (it's great), I do not have any affiliation with Acer or Intel.