If I am being honest, I have never found use for word mapping in class. I have seen some super sweet word maps, and I liked them. I just haven’t used them. Recently, I used Tagul in one of my education classes at MSU, and I thought I’d pass along what I found.
As with any tool that you come across, Tagul has some perks (affordances) and some quirks (constraints). The key as always is to find the tool you need after you know what you want to teach and how you want to teach it.
One of the perks of Tagul is its lack of complexity while adding in some nice features. You put in the words you want to use (one at a time), choose the size, color, angle, font and whether you want it to repeat. Then the shape, colors, and animations. That’s it. Super simple.
It also has a preview on the same page as all of the options so that you know exactly what it is going to look like. It also includes a pretty extensive gallery of possible shapes.
As to some of the quirks, I feel like from what I have seen in the past word clouds are often used to show how often words pop up in a passage. Tagul will not do that.
All in all, Tagul is an intriguing tool that could lead to creative expressions for students. What are some ideas for products that students can create to show their learning with Tagul? Anyone found a great use?
All images are screen shots from http://www.tagul.com