Category Archives: Instructional Technology

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: November 2014

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: July 2014

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: June 2014

8 Free Web-Based Applications for Creating Tag and Word Clouds

I’ve used Wordle a lot, but I want to try Tagul and Text is Beautiful‘s correlation wheel.

Input Options Visualization/Editing Options Output Options
  • plain text (500 KB maximum)
  • URL
  • plain text file (5 MB maximum)
  • language
  • maximum number of words
  • minimum frequency
  • frequency shown
  • similar words grouped
  • conversion to lowercase
  • exclusion of listed words
  • HTML embedding
  • printable/full-screen
  • PDF
Comments:  There are no color options for the tag clouds in TagCrowd.  Also, the tags are in alphabetical order, and apparently the order cannot be changed.
  • text (including Excel and CSV format)
  • URL
  • conversion to uppercase, lowercase, and initial capitals
  • shapes (images can be added)
  • fonts
  • layout
  • colors and animations
  • raster and vector images
  • link share
  • HTML embedding
  • API xml
  • postcard, t-shirt, mug, etc. (can be ordered from store)
Comments:  Tagul is free, but users are required to sign up with an e-mail address.  I haven’t used Tagul before, but I like the option of being able to put the word clouds in different shapes and buy items with the word clouds on them.
  • URL
  • Twitter ID
  • Delicious ID
  • news topic
  • search topic
  • RSS feed
  • shapes:  classic, apple, dove, heart, star
  • orientation:  any, horizontal, vertical, horizontal/verticle
  • font
  • theme
  • image
  • web (thumbnail, URL)
  • print
  • HTML embedding
  • gifts (t-shirt, mug, bag, etc.)
Text is Beautiful
  • text (5,000 to 100,000 characters)
  • Wikipedia page
  • concept cloud, concept web, correlation wheel
  • font
  • layout
  • colors
  • advanced (automatic, square root, linear, exponential)
  • share (Facebook, Google+, Twitter)
  • download (PNG, SVG)
Comments:  I like the correlation wheel.
  • URL
  • text
  • title
  • display (alphabetical, frequency, first occurence)
  • interpolation (logarithmic, linear)
  • phrases only
  • display frequencies
  • minimum frequency
  • number of words
  • effect
  • stop words to be excluded
  • merge with another webpage
  • background
  • colors
  • HTML embedding
  • text
  • URL with RSS feed
  • table (CSV)
  • colors
  • text
  • size
  • layout
  • t-shirts, mugs, etc.
  • website gallery
  • text
  • URL with RSS feed
  • language
  • font
  • layout
  • color
  • website gallery
  • print
Comments:  I’ve been using (and having my students use) Wordle for a few years.  On some computers we have problems because it won’t run without Java.
  • text (sample text options available on home page)
  • sort (common to rare, rare to common, A to Z, Z to A


Comments:  There are no color or output options for the tag clouds in WordSift.

ABCya! Word Clouds for Kids is recommended for Grades 2 through 5, so I didn’t include it in the list.

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: April 2014

“Digging Diigo: Bookmarking, Annotating, Sharing, and Networking”

This Friday (October 25) Metro and the eLearning Consortium of Colorado are sponsoring the Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology at the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver.

Below is the proposal I submitted to present at the symposium.  It was accepted, and I’ll be presenting at 1:00 p.m. on using Diigo in teaching.


Digging Diigo:  Bookmarking, Annotating, Sharing, and Networking


Attendees will learn how they and their students can use Diigo, a web-based social bookmarking service, to bookmark, annotate, and share web pages.  They will also learn how to install and use the Diigolet and Diigo toolbar.  In addition, we will review Diigo’s list, group, and network features.


“Diigo is a multi-tool for knowledge management.”  With Diigo, a web-based social bookmarking service, you can bookmark, annotate, and share web pages and then access your bookmarks and annotations from any device with internet access, unlike Favorites in Internet Explorer or Bookmarks in Firefox, which will only save links to the web that can be accessed only on the computer where they are saved.

For years, I’ve required students in research/writing classes like ENG 1020 to use Diigo or a similar application (Delicious) to bookmark web pages they find or use as they do their research.

With Diigo, you can highlight passages and post sticky notes on pages you bookmark with one of Diigo’s tools, including some mobile apps.  The annotations then appear in your library on Diigo as well as on the web page.

You can organize your bookmarks with tags and lists.

In addition, Diigo allows you to create groups, which could be used for students to communicate and share bookmarks.  You can also follow and be followed by people with similar interests.

In this session, you will learn to use all of these features and tools, and we will discuss how they can be used in various disciplines and courses.

You will benefit most from the session if you bring a laptop or other device so you can explore the features and tools yourself as we discuss them.

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: August 2013