Last week, we posted about document sharing resources that organizations may find useful. This week, we would like to follow up with a post sharing online resources that you may appreciate.
Tagxedo is a free program that creates tag clouds, also known as word clouds, in visually-appealing images and styles. This resource can be particularly useful in helping to analyze and display qualitative data. Users simply copy and paste all their prose into the text box. From there, the program automatically removes common words such as “and” or “so,” and allows people to select words from a list that they want to include. Users can choose an image that best depicts the text subject(s) or upload an image of their own. They can also create tag clouds from a blog, a Twitter ID, a news story, or a variety of other online sources by uploading a link rather than pasting in text. The program will require you to install Microsoft Silverlight in order to run, but the program is free, simple, and entirely safe. See below for the poem “Peanut-Butter Sandwich” by Shel Silverstein.
Prezi is a free web-based presentation application that uses a single page instead of multiple slides. All information (i.e., text, images) is put on one canvas and then grouped into frames. This allows the user to create a nonlinear “story” of sorts. The presenter can create a path for the frames or choose to select a section at will. Although the application is web-based, the user can download the presentation at any time if they don’t have an internet connection. The basic version of Prezi is free to use, but must be published on the Prezi site; however, private licenses can be purchased.
Another presentation tool, MindMeister, allows users to create a mind map to show information. Users can change font size and color, insert images or icons, add links, and rearrange spaces as needed. The map fits as many paths as you need for any given area, automatically readjusting to make space. Each caption and path is easy to create – click “add” to create a new path, “delete” to remove an unwanted path, or move a path by clicking on the caption and dragging it to a different path. MindMeister does only allow three free maps before you have to buy a membership to use the program, but the membership is low-cost at $4.92 per month. See below for my example that, again, highlights peanut butter sandwiches.