Watching clouds were a favorite pastime when I was young. I remember road trips when my sisters and I tried to spot pictures in the sky. Over the years I have had a lot of "windshield time" driving across Montana, watching the road and the kaleidoscope of our ever changing "Big Sky Country".
As a new comer to social networking and blogs in general I was aware of word clouds. After a few questions to more knowledgeable friends, I learned it was a collection of word tags. Recently I read the blog Changing Phase. Clare talked about several word cloud generators.
I had already played with Wordle, the word art generator created by Jonathan Feinberg. Several of the word generator's Clare referred to were inspired by Wordle.
Tagul is a program that creates word clouds with active links. I was thrilled with the possibilities. I used the Tagul program to make a star shaped word cloud based on my blog article "Reading Like Writers: Using Mentor Texts in the Classroom". I have a lot to learn in order to use this program to it's highest potential.
I also read the Wordle Blog. In his blog, Jonathan praised Tagxedo a word cloud generator developed by Hardy Leung. I took a delightful journey through his gallery of word art. I was disappointed when I realized my computer doesn't support silverlight, so I was unable to create my own word art.
I was feeling so excited about being on the "cutting edge" of new information. I headed over to the EFL Classroom Ning and searched word clouds and tagul and discovered several people, David, Ellen and Marisa - who had already shared information on the word cloud tech tools.
Ah well, I think I already said I have a lot to learn. Here is to watching clouds and looking for sky pictures both in the physical world and in the virtual world.