I recently rediscovered WordSift (I used it regularly during my first couple years here) and wanted to share it with those of you who may not know about it (or may have forgotten about it as well).
Word sift creates a word cloud out of any text, based on how frequently each word is used. Paste some text, hit sift, and voila! Below is a WordSift cloud I created out of an article about the snowstorm:
But that’s not all! As you can see from the areas I circle on the screenshot, you can change how the words are highlighted and displayed. By picking a subject area from the Mark category, you can highlight words that are related to that subject (for example, when I clicked on Math, the words area, inch, part, and region were highlighted).
And there’s more! Underneath the word cloud there’s a visual search which will find images related to words from the WordSift you created (you can either enter a word, or simply click on one from the WordSift). There’s also a visual thesaurus to explore related words and terms.
WordSift could be a great tool to use with classes or with individual students when exploring a new topic.