These days multiple word cloud options are available for students and teachers. Designing with words is an easy way for learners to create illustrations with spelling or vocabulary words, and some word cloud sites can evaluate short passages from reading material. To learn more about using word clouds, check out 108 Ways to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom at the Technology and Learning website (you may need to click past an advertisement).
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, however, 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 allow a user to format with colors, fonts, and typeface sizes.
- ABCya.com — This word cloud site is designed expressly for kids by a small company that develops and markets apps. Users cannot embed images, but it’s easy to copy an image and use it just about anywhere else. You do not need to sign up to use the site, and this is good one to use with younger children because it clearly states that it complies with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). Some ads promote the company’s apps.
- Tagul.com — You need to sign up to use this, and Tagul keeps track of the words used and images created, but it does not collect or share personal information. The site has no advertising.
- Taxedo.com — Not only can you make word clouds, but also you can customize them into shapes. It’s not necessary to sign up to use the site, and it has no advertising.
- ImageChef.com — No sign-up is required, but this site has advertising. ImageChef makes word clouds for all sorts of purposes — banners, cards, posters, etc. It’s a bit like the old-fashioned PrintShop program but with word clouds. These images are easily downloaded.
- Festisite — This word cloud maker lets a user turn words or a passage into a maze, spiral, or wavy text — something different compared to the other sites. On my Mac the Festisite graphics opened automatically in Preview — ready for me to save and use. Festisite has some advertising — for me this means Google advertisements that I often see in other places.
- WordItOut — Type in a passage and click the WordItOut button. No sign-up is required at the site, but if you want to send your word cloud via e-mail, WordItOut asks for your address. WordItOut does not use this personal information for any other purpose.
A Few Blog Posts on Word Clouds
- Anna’s Reflections on Word Clouds
- Word Clouds from Digital Sandbox
- Nine Amazing Word Cloud Generators
- Twenty Uses for Wordle