Normally I save this annual exercise in running my blog through a word cloud app or website until the end of November. When I was living in the States, it was because of the short week of Thanksgiving. When I moved to Canada, it was because of my FOMO on American Thanksgiving (and because if you commit to writing a weekly blog post, they ain’t all going to be masterpieces.) This year, however, considering my state of mind as an expat living through the ongoing federal election in the USA, I’m physically and emotionally exhausted! So rather than wait a few more weeks, this seems like the perfect week (for me) to turn away from cable news and the constant refreshing of political websites, and return to a tried and true friend.
If you missed last year’s punny post…
I genuinely do enjoy this annual exercise in “word-clouding”. If you are unfamiliar with the idea, in a nutshell, word clouds (through an algorithm only they know) take any piece of written text and represents it graphically in a way which highlights frequently-used words. It is a fantastic device for visually summarizing the essence of a written text. Another great feature is that, not only can you cut-and-paste in any written document, you can type in blogs, websites, etc., and it will go back and search them for content, add it all up, and spit out a word cloud representing the sum of all its written content.
This is my fourth such annual post here at OJCS and I have done them each, as stated above, in November. So, what does this year’s BlogCloud look like and what does it reveal? [If it is too small on your screen/device you can go ahead and zoom in. Or just scroll up!]
I just put last and this years’ butterflies side-by-side to do a little comparison. “Jewish”, “Teachers”, and “Students” are about the same size, but “Parents” is much smaller this year. My only thought is that I spent so much time in March-April-May-June writing blog-length emails to parents that, perhaps, I didn’t feel the need to duplicate in this blog. I surely don’t believe it is an intentional de-emphasis. “Community”, “Learning” and “Time” continue to hold strong and I think it is interesting that “time” has so much focus. Time really is one of the critical variables in learning and how we choose to use it has tremendous impact on teaching and learning. “COVID” and “Coronavirus” make their obvious debuts.
What words would you have expected to see? What words are you disappointed to see?
If you see something interesting in my OJCS BlogCloud, let me know in the comments!