Tagxedo Word Cloud: My Job or Career Goal and My Strengths
Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required
Website Example: http://www.tagxedo.com/
Computer(s), Internet access, projector
This activity will show students how to use Tagxedo to create a word cloud about their current jobs or their career goals, or words that describe their strengths (also known as soft skills or transferable skills) for their field of employment. The word clouds created on Tagxedo have many customization options, including constraining the word clouds to selected shapes or in the forms of silhouettes of uploaded images.
- Make sure the Web site is not blocked at your school
- Ensure that Microsoft Silverlight is installable on the computers students will use.
- Practice using the site yourself to familiarize yourself with it and to anticipate students’ questions and difficulties.
- Plan a lesson to introduce career goals and to teach personal strength words, especially as they apply to employability.
- Make a sample word cloud to show to students or download and print the Example Document - Sample Tagxedo Word Cloud (above). You can also show them some samples from the Gallery which are very nice word clouds made inside simple drawings. Printable instructions are also available (above) as Example Document - How To Use Tagxedo if you wish to print them.
- In class, teach about career goals and teach vocabulary words for personal strengths, especially as they relate to employment and careers. (Note: You can also have students brainstorm word association or vocabulary lists for any topic or theme you are teaching).
- Have students make their word lists (in a word processing program, if available), to include their first and last names, current jobs (if they are employed), and/or career goal, and personal characteristics (soft skills), especially as they pertain to employment. If students do not plan to work or are retired, they can make a word list about a past job, or about a job or career goal of a family member or friend. Collect the word lists and provide feedback on content and spelling, as needed.
- Students open a Web browser to the Example Web Site (above).
- Select the Create button or link, or the Start now link.
- If the window pops up asking you to install Microsoft Silverlight, select Yes. (In computer labs with no admin rights to download software, this process should be done in advance.) Install the program, as needed, by following the on-screen directions.
- A sample word cloud will appear.
- Select Load... which is located on the left side of the screen. This is where you will type in your own words into the text box indicating Enter text. If they were able to use a word processing program, they can just copy and paste their word list in the box on this screen. Select the Submit button next to the box where you entered the text.
- Have students choose a Theme which matches their subject. Themes are located under Re-spins on the toolbar. There are many themes to choose from.
- On the left hand side of the screen is a toolbar which will allow you to select Color. Although a theme designates which colors are put into your word cloud, you can switch the colors around to designate a certain color with a certain size of word.
- Select a Font.
- Choose a Shape under the heading Options. You are able to select an image from the list provided or add your own image by uploading it from your computer. But it needs to be a simple drawing or it may not work well.
- Select the Orientation (under Respins) you would like your words to appear as. They can be scattered, horizontal, or vertical.
- Make final changes. Decide whether you want to change word options, and if so select Word | Layout Options under Options and you can choose from editing many word options such as including punctuation or not. Decide what layout options you want.
- When you have finished, select Save | Share (above Respins) which is located at the top of the toolbar. You now have the option to save in many different formats. Saving as a .jpg image to the computer Desktop may be easiest for students.
- Select Image 125KP JPG (or larger) and give the image a File name. Select Save.
- Students can share their word clouds with you via e-mail or you can save them on a USB device. If you have access to a printer (preferably color), the word clouds can be printed. Otherwise, project the word cloud images you have saved and optionally, have students share their word clouds, describing their jobs or career goals and personal characteristics/strengths they possess for these particular fields.
- To use the site, you will need to be able to install Microsoft Silverlight, as directed on-screen.
- For information and directions on using the site, see the site’s Frequently Asked Questions or the WikiHow page.
- At the time of this posting, this was all available for free, but according the FAQ's, when the beta period is over, it looks as though some of these options may be behind a login and may require a paid account. So use it as long as you can for free.
- Students can demonstrate comprehension of new vocabulary in creative ways, by writing original sentences, paragraphs, stories, or poems and illustrating them with this site. For example, students can create a word cloud for an influential historical figure (see a Martin Luther King, Jr. word cloud), word clouds with personal descriptions – physical and/or character, vocabulary word lists, famous quotes or proverbs, word association lists, and much more.
- For ideas, see 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo . Other sites for creating word clouds include the following:
- Intermediate Low
- Intermediate High
- (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information
- (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
- (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
- (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals