Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Response from the Web 2.0 Tool that I emailed

I emailed the Web 2.0 tool, Wordle because I use it in my classroom when teaching character traits, as well as historical figures, and I even create these clouds as little gifts for my students and players (since I coach) when they have had a success:)

I contacted Jonathan Feinberg, who is the creator of Wordle, and I asked him if there was a way to get from the cloud creator page, back to the area where you enter your words before creating. Currently, once you create your cloud, and if you find any type of an error, there is no way to go back to the page where you typed in your words...they are gone. To avoid this issue, I have been telling my kids to copy all of their words into a word document before creating the cloud just in case they make a mistake. I think it would be wise for Wordle to somehow create something that saves the entries on the first page so kids don't have to worry about copying them into another document before creating their cloud.

After emailing this question, and explaining how I use Wordle, I received an email back from Jonathan within the hour, and this was his response:

"Sadly, no. It had never occurred to me that Wordle would be used in the way you describe; I'd assumed that people would copy some existing text and paste it into the Wordle box. I don't have much time to work on Wordle these days, so I'd have to say no. On the other hand, you could have the kids work in a text editor or word processor, then copy and paste the text from the primary document into Wordle when they're ready to visualize it. If you don't have anything like that installed, you could always use Editpad ."

After reading his response, I guess I was on the right track by having my kids copy their work into a separate word document. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a solution to my question since he doesn't have much time to work on Wordle these days, and he didn't anticipate someone using Wordle the way I had described.

Overall, I'm glad I took the time to email, and I am pleased with the speedy response from him. Even though it's not the answer I had hoped for, it was considerate of him to answer my question honestly, and it will not stop me from using Wordle in the future.

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