Many of you have played with Wordle (www.wordle.net) to make word clouds. If you haven’t seen this yet, do yourself a favour and check out Tagxedo (www.tagxedo.com), it takes Word Clouds to a whole new level.

TAGXEDO – Word Cloud with Styles

Tagxedo turns words (famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters) into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.

With Tagxedo, you can:
· make word clouds in real-time
· customize font, theme, colour, orientation, and shape
· fine-tune with lots of options
· save as images for printing and sharing
· view your word clouds as thumbnails, and pick the one you want for further tweaking or saving
· choose from many standard fonts
· use custom fonts (e.g. downloaded from Font Squirrel, DaFont, FontSpace, or your own hand-drawn fonts)
· constrain the word cloud to selected shapes (heart, star, animals, etc.)
· use images as custom shapes (e.g. a portrait, an animal silhouette)

Quick Response (QR) Codes

You may have seen Quick Response (QR) Codes starting to appear in many publications and the concept received some attention when the West Australian Newspapers started to use them with advertisements.

Description: http://encode.i-nigma.com/QRCode/img.php?d=The%20first%2025%20to%20email%20%22QR%20CODES%20ROCK%22%20to%20steven.tsocas%40allsaints.wa.edu.au%20will%20win%20a%20prize.&c=Scan%20Me&s=4

The advantages are that people can scan the codes and the following things can happen:

a)      automatically be directed to a website

b)      have an encoded message appear

c)       create a personal contact card

d)      automatically send an SMS to a chosen phone number.

All you need is a smart phone and a QR code reading App to their phone. Try downloading I-Nigma here.

If you want to try making your own code, visit here: http://www.i-nigma.com/CreateBarcodes.html

Where do they fit in schools and the Classroom?

The QR codes  can be included in display work linking to YouTube videos or other websites. You could create an Amazing Race, Clues and Questions which have the students visiting destinations.