Today at THE NEW RENAISSANCE: A Revolution of Creativity and Learning conference in Edmond, Oklahoma, we used a custom mobile website (created with MobilAP for free, thanks to the assistance of great folks from Apple, UCO and Creative Oklahoma) to solicit participant answers to questions and prompts throughout the day. The majority of attendees at the event (about 475 people) either brought or obtained at the event an iPhone, iPod Touch, or other smartphone. After participants entered responses in the “discuss” tab of a particular session, one of those amazing “behind the scenes” tech wizards (in this case Ken Gray) copied those responses into Wordle and displayed the responses for the audience on Keynote slides so we could visually “see” our combined thinking.

This is the Wordle for the first question, “What does creativity mean to you?

Wordle: What Creativity Means to You

Here is the Wordle for the second question, “How You Think Technology Best Serves Creativity?”

Wordle: How You Think Technology Best Serves Creativity?

Finally, here’s the Wordle for our third prompt, “Actions you will take to apply creativity in your life this year.”

Wordle: Actions you will take to apply creativity in your life this year

There are a lot of observations we can make and discussions we can have about the content of these three word clouds. It’s significant the word “FAIL” appeared prominently the final Wordle. No one WANTS to fail, but failure is a natural part of both learning and creative processes. We’ve got to stop allowing our elected officials to focus education policy in our nation and world primarily on punitive consequences, rather than empowering learning as well as creativity. When fear rules the day, no one wants to take a risk and step out on a limb to be creative. Creativity requires brave souls, and it thrives when those individuals are empowered to collaborate.

It was great to use Wordle to aggregate and make sense of group responses like this at the conference. Way to go Creative Oklahoma!

MobilAP does permit multiple choice questions to be asked and will generate pie or bar graphs on the fly with that data, but we mainly used the “discuss” tab for open answer responses today.

Consider a similar activity with students in your classroom or educators at your next educational conference. The use of mobile technology at today’s event was exemplary. I hope we’ll see many more conferences, schools, and classrooms using interactive, mobile web technologies like MobilAP in the months ahead to empower attendee participation.

Did I mention MobilAP is free to download, install and run on your own server? Wordle is free to use as well. 🙂

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One Response to Visualizing Ideas about Creativity with Wordle

  1. Jam says:

    Governing Dynamo has built a gallery containing the text of every US President’s inaugural address(es). In addition to the text, the gallery includes a Wordle of every address and an image of the President who delivered that address.

    it is worth a look!

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