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Using Word Clouds in Education

by Janice Florent

Word clouds allow you to visually display text data. Word clouds are also referred to as a text clouds or tag clouds. Word clouds are popular for text analysis because they make it easy to spot word frequencies. The more frequent the word is used, the larger and bolder it is displayed.

When it comes to finding the deeper meaning in a text passage, a word cloud is a simple application that you might have seen as a cute bit of fluff rather than a useful academic tool.

Word clouds are being used in education to sort through important ideas and concepts quickly. A glance at a word cloud is an easy way to preview a passage, or to analyze text. So what does this mean for your courses? Joseph Kern's article, "Word Clouds in Education: Turn a toy into a tool," lists some interesting ways word clouds can be used for readings and assignments.

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