A Wordle to the Wise

Readers of this blog know a few things…

…I will make bad puns.

…I will take 200 words to say something better said in 20.

…I will use any opportunity to include a gratuitous picture of my children.2014-08-18 07.47.16

…I will worry aloud that only my mother and the people she shares with on Facebook read my blog.


…I love Wordle.

If you are unfamiliar with it, in a nutshell, Wordle (through an algorithm only it knows) takes 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 Wordle representing the sum of all its written content.

For the last three years, I have used Wordle to visually summarize the content of this blog and compare it to years past in order to reflect on whether I am living up to its goals.

Since I have to wait another year to see if this repurposed blog becomes the adjacent possible I hope that it will, I thought it might be a useful exercise in comparison to take a Wordle of our largely not-yet-reimagined website:

SDSN Website WordleAnd the text from our new case statement:

SDSN Case Statement Wordle

The thinking being that the website pretty much reflects Schechter as it was and the case statement pretty much reflects Schechter as it is becoming.

Is it a perfect reflection of either?

Probably not (I don’t think there has been any de-emphasis  in “Hebrew” for example), but it hits many of the high notes.  It may help us realize what we’ve been emphasizing (or over-emphasizing) or what is missing that perhaps we thought was there.  Either way it really gets you thinking…

If you see something interesting in Schechter’s Wordles…let us know in the comments!


Quick Pedagogy Epilogue:

Who is using Wordle in their schools, classrooms or organizations?  You can check classroom blogs, school websites, the Torah, your mission statement, a behavioral code of conduct and so on.

How fun!

So…let’s Wordle Up!  Find a text that is meaningful to you, create a Wordle, and find a way to share it.  The wordle is waiting!

[More bad puns!  I am who I am…but I did manage to write a post under 450 words.]

Author: Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Jon is studying to be a rabbi at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is on the faculty of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) as a mentor. He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network.  He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.  Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.