There is a term (that has completely escaped my mind) that describes the phenomena of the convergence of ideas at a particular moment in time. I am experiencing that convergence in a personal sense today through my discovery of Wordle. This particular web site and tool was introduced to me through three very different avenues, all sent and delivered this very day.
Wordle produces something similar to a word cloud or tag cloud from a blog. It’s a collection of the words from a chunk or paragraph of text or tags from a blog that uses larger and bolder fonts for the words that are used most frequently and smaller regular fonts for the words that are used less frequently.
Wordle applies the structure of tag clouds to any chunk of text you’d like to analyze. The site includes a gallery of examples, which you can browse through. There’s also a search that will help you find examples. Remember that the tool is open to the general public, so there may be inappropriate texts in the Gallery.
Students can use Wordle’s ability to analyze a chunk of text to create clouds for the texts that you are writing. I wrote in the text from Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken and the above example is what was generated. I chose the font and colours from a menu of different styles and colours. Check it out!