I’ve said it before, but Twitter truly is a wonderful place. It started a few days ago with Dianne Spencer, a head teacher from Bolton, commenting that she had written her SEF form and was pleased with her work. I suggested ‘chucking it into Wordle’.

Wordle would then enlarge the words used more often, giving a visual display of the SEF form. What words would you expect to see?How about learning? children? impact? Her Wordle is here

It looks good, but Dianne (@DianneSpencer) had problems getting to that final stage. There were lots of tweets to help get her there. So, I thought I’d share the steps to using Wordle for those that might not have used it before. It’s easy to forget about the simple steps when explaining these things to people!

First step is to copy the text. Now, in Dianne’s case she was using Word, so this just involved selecting all of the text (CTRL+A) and then copying it (CTRL+C). This could then be pasted (CTRL+V) into Wordle.net

Pressing ‘Go’ creates the Wordle. Then the fun begins. You can change the layout, font etc and play about with it. The problems then come when you want to save it. How do you take that Wordle and put it in your VLE or blog? Print Screen.

On your keyboard, usually in the top-right, you will see a Prt Scr button. Press it. If you’re on a laptop, try pressing Fn and Prt Scr. This takes a screenshot.

I then use Paint or a similar to edit the image. Open Paint, paste in the image and then crop it to just show the Wordle. Save this as a JPG image and then it can be uploaded into other places.

Wordle is great fun and there are many ways of using it. For ways of using it in the classroom, check out @markw29‘s excellent site Ideas to Inspire that brings together the Interesting Ways documents from @tombarrett.

What makes Twitter great is that once Dianne had messed around with Wordle, along came @colport to suggest Tagxedo instead. This is a bit whizzier than Wordle and has more saving options. Dianne’s Tagxedo is here

There are many other versions of Wordle floating around, and I’ve collated some of these on the Hampshire Delicious page here

I know many of you use Wordle or word clouds a lot, but for those that don’t, give it a try. I know my post will be patronising for some, but it isn’t meant to be. It’s for those that might have seen a Wordle, but never made one, or better yet, never seen it and are intrigued!