Wordle is a great website that takes a piece of text (or another website), and creates a word cloud. There’s some good method behind the madness, I’ve seen them used as abstracts for academic reports or just as a piece of ‘pretty art’ as a coversheet for a report.
Always on the lookout for another distraction, I’ve run my thesis to date through Wordle :-
In some ways this is reassuring, if e-portoflio hadn’t been one of the larger word groups I would have been concerned, given that’s what my thesis is about. Do I over-use the word ‘research’ a little, probably. The most interesting ‘big word’ is within… and I’ll have to do some more analysis to see whether this means anything significant, or a function of the fact that the biggest section written so far is the literature review, so there’s going to be lots of quotes and analysis from ‘within’ a piece of work.
I’ve run a couple of other thesis’s (theses?) through, and their words are very different, but this is to be expected, and they behave in a similar manner in that by reading the Wordle you can spot the themes that come through the whole document.
Whilst not ‘playing’, I have been busy and have an almost complete section of a big part of my literature review – who would have thought it would take nearly 3,000 words to answer the question ‘What is an e-portfolio?’. I’ve also prepared a document for my participants explaining what’s happening next, jam-packed with screenshots, and have been working on my own porfolio.
I’m still behind, I still need to write a really punchy rationale for why I need a literature review (I can’t really put ‘but everyone does it’ as a valid excuse), and still need to do some transcriptions as well as another delayed interview next week. All this whilst still doing the ‘day job’. One thing less to worry about however is that I won’t have my Open University tutoring this year, having taken a year off to concentrate on my studies. I’ll mi$$ $ome of the benefit$ of working for the Open University, but I did struggle last year juggling too many balls.
Outside all of this, I’m struggling with real fatigue at the moment. I think it’s probably a side-effect of my body fighting the nasty norovirus from Christmas, but others seem to have bounced back a lot better than I. I have another week or so before I start teaching, that will be the real test of my staying power. Meanwhile I’m counting the hours to the weekend and I can indulge in a ‘duvet day’, even if it’s a duvet day with laptop and a knowledge-enhacing book.
Finally, I’ve had some really supportive messages from people after my last blog post, and whilst I can’t name names, thanks as always for your messages of help and encouragement. This blog gets a very small readership, compared to many that I read and follow, but it’s always good to hear from anyone who has read it.