Head in the (word) clouds - Reviewing my VRT presentation

Yesterday, I gave my presentation on using Wordle in the language classroom as part of the Virtual Round Table conference and, while it’s all fresh in the memory, I thought I’d offer a few reflections and get some feedback.

I love the global nature of these online events and the fact that the audience was located in a fair few different countries (see the word cloud images below). However, while presenting and attending without the need to travel is an advantage, there are potential problems with participating via computer as well. At the Global Education Conference, my son interrupted the presentation and this time, my computer crashed halfway through causing a delay of several minutes while I rebooted, leaving my audience in the lurch somewhat!

Technical difficulties aside, I thought it went quite well (if a little rushed towards the end due to the lost time). I tried to make it more interactive, asking the participants to type responses to some of the activities I demonstrated such as predicting content, matching words together and constructing sentences which worked quite well (it seemed only a few of the audience actively took part in these however). Ideally, I would have liked to get more ideas out of the audience and perhaps I could have cut out a couple of my examples to allow for more contributions like that.

But your feedback will be much more valuable than my own reflections. If you were in attendance, I’d love to know what you thought of the session - both what you liked and what you think could be done to improve it. Please leave your comments!



The presentation

Here's the link to the archive of the session

I created a digital hand-out with Google docs, which I’ve pasted into the blog post below (click here to see the doc itself) along with a copy of the slides I used.

My Wordle user page - you can find links to all of the word clouds from today’s presentation (plus a couple more) here.



  • A link to the Google doc used for a quick survey during the presentation...
  • ...and links to the word clouds created from the attendees answers:
Where are you attending from?

What type of learners do you teach?

Favourite food (the one that created most interest ;))

Examples for previewing/predicting texts


  • Our first time with dictogloss - a post from my blog describing how I used a word cloud to support my learners in the reconstruction phase of a dictogloss activity.
  • Doing dictogloss with E1s (elementary) - another example of using word clouds during dictogloss, this time from Anna Rose’s excellent Magpie Moments blog. Check out the rest of her posts as well! :)

Articles, blog posts and other useful links


  1. First of all, thanks David for a great presentation! I found it very inspiring because I really enjoy using word clouds with my students. And now, thanks for all the useful links you posted here.
    You have challenged us to create a word cloud from the content of the blog, so here comes mine:

    I hope you don't mind I have given a link to your blog in my post.

    Vladka (Kosice-Slovakia :-))

  2. Thanks for the positive feedback Vladmira. :)

    I've just left a comment on your post - thanks for contributing!

    And of course I don't mind links posted on other people's blogs! It's a great way to spread and sahre ideas. :)

  3. It was very good, Dave. Nice interaction, good variety of activities, friendly and professional. How would you improve Wordle's functionality?

  4. sorry to have missed it but here's mine for you http://worditout.com/word-cloud/25580

    see u on Friday.

  5. Thanks David. Good to hear the interaction and variety got through - always difficult to tell in online presentations.

    I think my two main thoughts for improving Wordle are the same as everyone else's - direct saving of an image of the word cloud to computer and customisable embedding (especially regarding size!)

    Ed (?) - I've added you word cloud to the other post. See you in a few days

  6. Hey Dave,

    I had no idea global on-line conferences existed! What an amazing idea.

    This looks like a very professional, clear and well put together presentation. Thanks for sharing it. I'm looking forward to exploring some of the ideas and links.

    Thanks also for the very kind comments :-D really made my day!

  7. Hi Anna,

    Glad you liked it. We'll have to make sure you are in the audience 'live' next time! :)


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