Ok, so Tina Avery introduced me to Wordle and Tagxedo and I was finally able to use them the other day and I can say that I love these free web 2.0 tools, especially tagxedo and more importantly, so do the students.
Let me explain... Monday, the first day of the new quarter, I had a brand new group of 28, 6 graders and the printer was out for service in the lab. They were supposed to be creating name tags in Publisher and I usually have them put 5-10 images of things they like to do, it takes up pretty much the entire rest of the period after we go over class expectations, it also gives me a way to assess how comfortable they are with the computer.
So, plan B...I had the kids write their names on paper and on the back of their name tent, they had to list their 5 favorite things to do with technology. I wanted to see what were the most popular types of technology uses without polling them, so I opened up Wordle and had the kids say outloud their 5 favorite things. I quickly typed everything they said in.
This was the result... (click to view clear) as you can see youtube is the most popular use of technology.
When I projected this, I got oohs and aahs, they were amazed by how it turned out so I thought that since this kept their attention, they could create their own. They got in groups and came up with a question, all I told them was that it had to be about technology, any type they like computers, mp3 players, ipads, games etc... They were then to poll their classmates throughout the day and the next day they created tagxedos.
Here are a few samples...
What kind of phone do you have? http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/41f8795760ed4e06
What types of technology do you have? http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/d4447b6d2da74199
What do you do? http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/bef57e62199e4c39
I love tagxedo, the kids were so engaged and they were really amazed by all of the different shapes you could make. Now my brain is thinking about all of the other possibilities for tagxedo... I created one about all of the things we learn in the class and included it on a handout, this would be great for class expectations or a syllabus... there are so many uses for it and luckily its creator created a blog post called "101 Ways to Use Tagxedo". Be patient, it takes time to load, but the results are amazing. There is something for everyone at all grade levels. If you have used this in your classroom, please leave a comment with a link to your tagxedo.
As always, if you would like to try this in your classroom and need help, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org