Tuesday, September 04, 2007

TechTip 9/4 - Cool Tag Uses

I wanted to continue the theme of tagging and the possible uses. One of the neatest uses of tags is to create tag clouds. A tag cloud is a visual representation of the common words in a group of text - words that appear more frequently are larger and bolder. This text can be from any source and can be in any language.
Here is one for Act I of Romeo and Juliet (I'll show you how to do this later in this tip)

I am sure something like this could be a great discussion starter - or could be excellent in the review of a particular piece of text.

One of my favorites is a website that has taken many of the past Presidential speeches and has created clouds for each speech. It is really interesting to see what words (topics) have changed or remained over the years.

Here are other good clouds:
Flickr Photos - popular photos
del.icio.us - popular bookmarks
Technorati - popular blogs

The coolest option is to have your students do it themselves. If you go to http://tagcrowd.com/ you can cut and paste in text or upload a document for it to analyze the text.
For my example I just found Act I from Romeo and Juliet online and then cut and paste it into tagcrowd.

Here are some ideas:
Compare and contrast similar authors and their use of grammar
Look at what words a student uses in their own writing
Use it to find common themes in a piece of text or in a group of written surveys
I'm sure there are lots of others that I haven't even brushed on...