word clouds and main ideas

so I’ve read extensively on using word cloud generators to help students identify the actual main idea of their paper to compare with their expected main idea. The idea is a student plugs in their essay text to a word cloud generator, then compares the organization and word/idea emphasis created by the word cloud to the point they wer4 attempting to convey. K-12 teaches and professors rave about this approach. I really like the idea of using a new media resource to help students better understand their own writing, and to make the oft skipped edit and review phase more fun and engaging. But I wonder at the effectiveness of the word cloud for identifying main idea when a main idea may be multiple words. I’ve alr3ady assigned this, so i’m going with it, but i’m also going to check the effectiveness here now, to understand what happens and to help troubleshoot technical issues (the new English professor – part writing instructor, part IT)

The results:

Wordle didn’t work on my tablet. I’ve used this previously and like it, but had to find others.

Tagul – I tried this for the first time. The problem is I have to select the size of the word, so this is a deliberative word cloud generator. TONS of possibilities but a no go for this project.

Tag Crowd – YES!!! It drops words that don’t matter and shows you the main words in your writing. I will recommend this to my students! we’ll see what happens 🙂

created at TagCrowd.com

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