Wordle
http://www.wordle.net/create
I chose Wordle to use as my first 2.0 tool to cover. It is a cool tool that students can use to make collages of any word/word combination. Wordle takes the most frequently used words and makes them larger so they get the viewers attention. Students can use these images to decorate folders, make posters, use on T-shirts, and any other way they can imagine.

Below is the one I created about myself. It took only a few minutes. I thought of all the words I would use to describe myself professionally. Enjoy!
http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/4088711/Who_I_Am...

I also created one that used some of the most prominent buzz words we have had DRILLED in our heads for the past 5 years. I have so much fun with this tool. I love it!
http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/4088756/The_Buzz_on_Literacy

The Pros- this tool gets students into using words. It also helps them develop computer skills like typing, cutting, pasting, copying, etc. It is very versatile and the user can change the looks and colors of their words in any way that they like. Students are attracted to the personalization aspect of this tool.

The Cons- this tool is used by students so it must be monitored. You will always have one or two immature students who will try to put inappropriate words on their pages. I noticed when I used the Randomize button that after several rounds it repeats the previously given choices. It may change the color sometimes but once it get set on a style it doesn't want to change much from the design or color. Also, all the color combinations may be draining on one's ink supply if one has a large number of students printing their work.

Classroom Usage Ideas:
  • turn sonnet into poster
  • introductions (like example above, Who I Am)
  • visual representation of student's thoughts on literary pieces read
  • show student poetry in artistic way
  • center for younger students to practice typing and spelling words
  • bookmarks with "pop" to attract students
  • to-do list in artistic and fun fashion
  • display facts about historical figures
  • important dates/battles during wars
For a more detailed list visit: http://thecleversheep.blogspot.com/2008/10/top-20-uses-for-wordle.html

*For step-by-step instructions on this application see the Helpful Hints page.*