These days multiple word cloud options are available for students and teachers, and designing with words is an easy way for learners to create report illustrations or create graphics with spelling or vocabulary lists.
Word design sites offer users a range of opportunities. Some create conversation bubbles, others form shapes and images, and other word cloud sites evaluate short passages taken from reading material. While word designing is not, strictly speaking, an important 21st Century digital world skill, these websites encourage kids to organize information and create in clever and stylistic ways — activities that were not easily accomplished before web 2.0 arrived on the scene.
Many people are familiar with Wordle– the original word cloud site — that is especially clean, easy-to-use, and without advertising. Yet, as with everything else in the digital world word cloud sites are increasing. Sites building off Wordle’s success offer various options for saving, sharing, copying, and embedding, but no one word cloud site offers everything. Most of the sites below allow users to format with colors, fonts, and typeface sizes.
I have a new favorite app — Wordfoto. Interestingly it’s designed for an iPhone but does not yet have an iPad version.
With the Wordfoto application, I make a word list and then have some fun designing art. I select a picture as a background to highlight my words. I can use an image that comes with the app, I can use one of the pictures in my iPhone photo galleries, or I can take a new picture.
When I combine the picture and the word list — voila, a cool Wordfoto. The app comes with a variety of editing options, allowing users to play with the image, crop it, create styles, and fine tune the texture of the pictures. Wordfoto also comes with preset styles that introduce texture, color, and depth variations, making it easy for new users to get started.
Newly created images can be easily e-mailed, posted to Facebook, and more. Once e-mailed, the Wordfoto jpg images can be incorporated into other projects.
Potential uses? Spelling lists, messages and cards, vocabulary practice, event signs, and much more. The images will also be useful as illustrations for school reports, and I’m excited because I design occasional images for my blog posts.