I have to say, I really love playing with new resources. I found this particular site a few weeks ago while reading through edutopia's Back to School guide. If you have ever played with Wordle, you are going to love Tagxedo. Tagxedo lets you create word clouds generated from the frequency of words used in a document. What sets Tagxedo apart from other word cloud designing sites is you can select the shape in which your word cloud appears. For example, if you wish to convert the FFA Creed into a word cloud, go to "Create" across the top of the screen. On the left menu, choose "Load" and merely paste the entire FFA Creed into the text box. Then, you can customize the font, color theme, orientation of text or other characteristics in the left menu. To represent the final word cloud in the shape of a pig or perhaps the USA, go to "Shape" and make the appropriate selection.
Teachers may find Tagxedo helpful for struggling readers learning to extract meaning from a paragraph. Like Wordle, Tagxedo makes the words used more frequently much larger than others. English teachers may wish for students to enter their poetry into Tagxedo to create visually stunning representations of their work for posting around the classroom. Teachers may also use Tagxedo as a game with students to introduce a topic. By entering key words from the lesson plan or unit plan into the text box, teachers may have students try to anticipate the next topic of study.
I recently used Tagxedo as a professional development feedback tool. As you can see from above, I entered my faculty resume into Tagxedo. I had hoped to see where I was spending the bulk of my time. Those words I am not seeing, or those not appearing as large as others, may be areas I need to focus on for the coming academic year. Why did I choose the footprint shape? Because I wanted to see the footprint I was leaving on Agricultural education! The opportunities for this tool are limitless!