Great Example of Primary Sources

One of the things we do daily at TPS-Colorado is scour the entire Internet looking for any new technologies we can use to aid us in our quest for the ultimate 21st Century learning tools.  One of the technologies we use frequently is Wordle because of it’s basic, visceral methodology.   You paste in a paragraph or more worth of words into the program and it spits out a visual representation of those words.  The more frequent the word the bigger it is–much like a tag cloud.

So today as I did my daily Internet surf, I came across a supreme example of Wordle in action from NPR‘s website.  Now, we’ve all heard about the recent troubles in Iran regarding their election and the events following it and while I want to avoid any type of political/religious debate here on the blog, I still think it’s an important topic, if not for the simple fact it’s the biggest current news story.  Anyway, Andy Carvin of NPR used words from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mir Houssein Mousavi during their recent speeches to contrast their two opposing agendas:

While watching the Iran protests play out online, I thought it would be interesting to map out some of the words being used on each side of the debate. I took recent statements from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, then ran them through the word mapping tool The results show the 100 most commonly used words by each.

Click here to see his results.

It’s really interesting to see the words of the two political oppositions in a striking, visual format.  It gives a quick and painless method of analysis into the two speeches and the two wildly different sides they represent.

Let us know if you’ve ever used Wordle in your teaching methods or are now interested because of this post.  🙂


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