Here Are Some of The Best Word Cloud Generators for Teachers

February 7, 2016
Below is a collection of some of the best tools and mobile apps to use for generating word clouds. We have arranged these resources into three main categories:  word cloud generators for Google Drive, iPad word cloud generators, and web based tools for creating word clouds. As for Android users, the one we recommend is Word Salad which is also available for iPad.

Categories
Apps
Web tools for generating word clouds
iPad apps for generating word clouds
Google Drive tools for generating word clouds


1- Tagxedo

This is another great word cloud tool. You can use it the same way like Wordle but with an added feature which is  that of creating clouds in various forms.

2- Wordle

This is my favourite word cloud tool and it is probably the most well-known of them all it helps you generate word clouds from the text you provide. Key words are given prominence in your cloud and you can use the clouds you create the way you like, print, or share with others

3- ABCYA 


ABCYA provides a very practical tool to create word cloud for kids. The tool is very simple to use and has a  kid-friendly interface.

4- Tagul

This is another cool web tool to create tag clouds for free. The procedure is the same like the ones above except that Tagul requires a sign up

5- Word it Out


Word it Out is a tool that offers extra features like allowing you to create word  clouds from documents, or website URLs.

Google Drive tools for generating word clouds


‘Create your own word cloud from any text or Google Drive file to visualize word frequency.This is a tool for generating word clouds from text or Google Drive file that you provide. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and more. You can also create image from word cloud. You can print them out, or save them to your computer to share with your friends.’

2- Word Cloud Generator


‘Use this add-on to quickly assess what your emerging theme is, how to best categorize your document, or if it is someone's else's document - find out the theme of the document without reading it. The #1 Word Cloud add-on for Google Docs just got tricked out. Loads of new features including control over number of words, prettifying the cloud, dropping words and including a word count table in the document.’

iPad word generator apps


Make great wordsalads out of documents that matter (or not) to you! With WordSalad you can make beautiful word clouds, super customized with different fonts, colors and words layouts.


Unleash your creativity by making beautiful word clouds on your iPad. Simply give Cloudart some text from a web page or paste some into the app and it will automatically create a gorgeous word cloud for you in seconds. Next, get busy with the intuitive sliders to customise your cloud to your heart's content. When you're happy with your masterpiece, share it with friends!


Visual Poetry lets you make beautiful text collages.Type your text or phrase and watch it instantly arranged as a mosaic in a variety of shapes and styles. 24 symbols are included or you can draw you own shapes. Pinch and drag to resize and rotate individual words.


Make beautiful tag clouds from your iPhone and iPad! Create a word cloud from a web page, custom text, your own spreadsheet file, or try sample clouds included with the app...


Create stunning word collages on your iPhone and iPad! Set up a collage with your text(or website URL), different layouts, fonts, and color themes.Simply start by clicking on the "Text" button. Add some text or input a website url. Select color theme and font in Settings. Select Landscape or Portrait orientation. Word Collage even lets you pan and zoom the picture.


WordFoto offers a great way of adding a message within photos, producing some intriguing results

Two Interesting Google Drive Tools for Generating Word Clouds

February 7, 2016
Word cloud generators are great tools to use for a variety of educational purposes in your class. For instance, students can use them to identify main themes in a passage, generate a quick overview or summary of a text, help with word choice or vocabulary when writing, brainstorm ideas around a given topic and many more. There are several web tools and mobile apps you can use in your class to create word clouds, this chart we have previously published features some of the popular titles to use in this regard. In today’s post, we are adding two very good tools that are integrated with Google Drive. Check them out below and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

1- Drive Word Cloud


‘Create your own word cloud from any text or Google Drive file to visualize word frequency.This is a tool for generating word clouds from text or Google Drive file that you provide. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and more. You can also create image from word cloud. You can print them out, or save them to your computer to share with your friends.’

2- Word Cloud Generator


‘Use this add-on to quickly assess what your emerging theme is, how to best categorize your document, or if it is someone's else's document - find out the theme of the document without reading it. The #1 Word Cloud add-on for Google Docs just got tricked out. Loads of new features including control over number of words, prettifying the cloud, dropping words and including a word count table in the document.’

Three Great Tools for Teachers to Create and Publish Their Own Apps

February 7, 2015
Looking for some good tools to use to create and publish your own apps? The list below has you covered. It features a number of key platforms that enable you to easily design educational apps to utilize in your instruction. You don’t have to be a coding geek to operate these tools, the process is less complicated. You pick up a template, fill in your data, customize the look and feel of your app and there you go. We invite you to check out the tools we have for you today and share with us your feedback:

1- Appmakr

This is my favourite among them all. Appmakr allows you to easily create your mobile app and share it with others. You do not need any coding knowledge to use this tool. Your app can include an image gallery, podcasts, videos, and HTML snippets if you want to include some.

2- App Inventor 

App Inventor 2 is an extended and updated version of app inventor 1 that was popular in 2013. With this tool you can build your app in a matter of few clicks. App Inventor provides a plethora of guides and tutorials to help you better use their platform. There is also a community of users where you can ask for help from advanced users.

3- iBuildApp

iBuildApp is another wonderful tool for creating mobile apps for both Android and iPad. Once your app is created iBuildApp provides you with the tools to help you promote your app. QR codes, social channels and embedded links.

A Handy Classroom Poster Featuring 6 Safe Search Engines for Kids

February 6, 2016
The Internet provides an ocean of content most of which is unfiltered. Giving kids unrestricted access to this ocean can sometimes be detrimental to their balanced social and cognitive growth. The web is teeming with inappropriate, explicit and adult content which comes in different formats (images, text, banners, audiovisual…etc). It is our responsibility as teachers and parents to make sure we create a safe digital environment for our kids where they can benefit from the educational potential of the net. The first step towards this goal is to provide kids with the tools to safely navigate and search web content without exposing them to inappropriate content. To this end we have curated for you a list of some of the best kids-appropriate search engines to help young learners explore the riches of the web without compromising their digital safety. You can also use check these tips on how to screen out objectionable content in Google Search and YouTube.

kids friendly websites

Two Great Tips to Screen out Inappropriate Content on Google and YouTube

February 5, 2016
In today’s post we are sharing with you two important search tips to help you optimize your kids safety while using Google and YouTube. These are two hidden features that are usually overlooked by many teachers. The first feature is SafeSearch which you can activate through Google Search settings page.’SafeSearch can help you block inappropriate or explicit images from your Google Search results. The SafeSearch filter isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid most adult content.’ The second feature called restricted mode works on YouTube. Restricted Mode is used to screen out inappropriate content from YouTube. Think of it as a parental control. Here is how to access and activate each of these features:

1- Turn SafeSearch on or off:
      A- On Your computer:
  • ‘Visit the Search Settings page.
  • In the "SafeSearch filters" section, check or uncheck the box next to "Turn on SafeSearch."
  • Click Save at the bottom of the page.’

     B- On your iPad:
  • Open the Google app .
  • In the top left corner of the home screen, touch your photo or the gear icon Settings. (If you’re in Google Now, scroll down to get back to the home screen.)
  • Touch Search Settings.
  • Choose Show most relevant results or Filter explicit results.
  • Touch Save.
2- Enable Restricted  Mode on YouTube
       A- On your computer
  • ‘Scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and click the drop-down menu in the "Restricted Mode" section.
  • Select the On or Off option to enable or disable this feature.’

Lock Restricted Mode:
  • ‘If you wish for Restricted Mode to stay enabled for anyone using this browser, you must lock Restricted Mode.
  • Sign in to your YouTube account.
  • Scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and click the drop-down menu in the "Restricted Mode" section.
  • Click "Lock Restricted Mode on this browser."
  • Enter in your password again to lock Restricted Mode on this browser’.
On your iPad
  • Touch  Menu > Settings
  • Select “Restricted Mode Filtering”.
  • You can choose between strict or no filtering.
Sources:
Google Search Help
YouTube Help

Here Is An Excellent Formative Assessment Tool for Teachers

February 5, 2016
Formative is a great formative assessment tool for teachers. It provides you with a handy platform where you can create and distribute your assignments with students and track their performance in realtime. As a teacher, you can either create new assignments from scratch using Formative editor or upload assignments you have already created somewhere else and use them with your students paperlessly. The process is very simple. Create an account, generate a code for your class and send it over to students so they can register.


Once logged in, you can use Formative dashboard to create new assignments or upload pre-existing assignments for your students to work on. Using the tool's analytics features, you will be able to see students progress in realtime, you can also grade their work, provide instant individualized feedback and engage with students in constructive discussions around their assignments. Formative is free for teachers and students.  Watch the video tutorial below  to  learn more about how to use Formative.