In case this news has not yet made it into Classroom 2.0, Jonathon Feinberg who created Wordle has recently taken several steps to make it safe for classroom use. I quote from his blog:

"I’m happy to announce that from now on, the Wordle front page will never feature images or links that are inappropriate for classroom use. It's now possible to configure an institution's "site-blocking" software to keep Wordle safe for classroom use.

Simply have your networking administrator block the following base URLs (i.e. block all URLs that begin with the given text, and not merely those literal URLs.) :

* http://www.wordle.net/gallery
* http://www.wordle.net/next
* http://www.wordle.net/random

and your users will not see anything that's not safe for classrooms. You’ll still be able to save your work, bookmark your individual Wordle creations, print them out, and share the URLs of saved Wordles with each other and with families.Please let me know whether this works out for you in your school or other institution."

For educational uses of Wordle, you can take a look at my own blog: Small Changes; BIG RETURNS. I think I may have all the kids in our school list the 5 words they associate with being back in week one and get a couple of them create a word cloud for our school.

Tags: internet, safety, wordle

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Very cool! I never knew this existed and now I can't stop playing with it. I can see how Wordle could make my lessons in the parts of speech much more interesting. Now I just need to hook up a color printer in my classroom.
That's great news! I'm going to forward this to our IT committee so that they can potentially unblock wordle. Thanks again!
Thanks. I will definitely block the base URLs so that kids can safely use Wordle in the classrooms.
Our IT people followed the directions but the Gallery is still available with inappropriate stuff in it.....is that what you are finding?
Good to know. Thanks for posting.


Jonathan

www.educationtechnologyblog.com
Wordle is very educational. I feel like I need a Led flashlight sometimes to get around it. Guess it's not my very best resource. We should use it more often here.
This is very educational. I sometimes feels as though I need an Led flashlight to get around. We should use this more often.
We did the above fix and can still see the gallery items that are inappropriate...it that the case for any of you other wordle useres?
Sorry to be slow getting back, Lynda -- I was just summarizing what the folks from Wordle published in their blog. If you're still having issues, I suggest that you contact them directly and see how they can help. The seem to be very interested in making this a school-friendly tool.
Sorry for the above repost.....I couldn't find my other one and so I thought it didn't save.....
Need a change from Wordle? Cliotech has posted a link to Tagul. It is a new site. I blogged about it recently. It has the same kind of functionality as Wordle, but gives you more control over the finished shape of your word cloud, and also lets you have some control over which words appear. Although Tagul has a limited font choice, the final cloud can be made into an interactive search tool with links to Google for your chosen word. It is still in beta, but has potential. I emailed the guy doing it and he said more fonts and functionality are coming soon.

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