Monday, December 21, 2009

What is a word cloud?

A word cloud is a bunch of words all lumped together, with the size of each word dependent on how many times it appears in the original document.  A word that appears many times within one piece of writing will be larger than a word that is only there once or twice.  For example, if you listed all the words in one of President Obama's speeches in one big jumble, then made the words that appear most often larger than the others, it would look something like this:

Word clouds are mathematical, they're visual, and  they're a different way to view information in order to gain understanding. 

Go to Wordle's website <> to create yours today.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Online safety

The laws regarding privacy and protection on the Internet are rapidly changing, but the overall message is clear: we will protect our children from harmful things on the Internet, and we will teach our children how to protect themselves.  Below is a link to OnGuard Online, a federal website regarding Internet safety.  Within that site is Net Cetera which has resources to help parents and teachers talk to their children about the dangers associated with using the Internet.

OnGuard Online <>
Net Cetera <>

Net Cetera

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Internet search results in a table format

Google has a different way to search for information.  It's called Google Squared <> and instead of returning a list of websites it instead presents information in a sortable table.  It's different.  For some searches it's a better way to do things, and for others it's worse.  You'll have to make that determination.  Choosing the best way to find and use information is an important skill for our students and this website is just one more way students are doing just that.

Look at the two images below to see the difference between a regular Google search and the new Google Squared search.