You Are Your Words, Right?

The American Heritage Dictionary has a fun, simple site called You Are Your Words that allows you to create a self-portrait with your own words. Upload a picture or use your computer's camera to snap one, copy and paste something you write, and then share it by downloading it to your computer or sending it to Facebook or Twitter.  Be forewarned though that your creations may appear in the public gallery on the website.  I didn't see any statement saying this was a possibility, which brings up an important connection to the concept of digital footprints.   We need to have ongoing discussions with our students about this idea.

For fun, I uploaded a picture of my puppy and copy/pasted an upcoming post I wrote.  The picture on the left is the result.

Met Ed (application):  I see multiple benefits of integrating art into writing and the use of typography!

a.  I could have my adult students do this as an optional assignment.  I wouldn't require it due to the sharing feature on the gallery and could offer word clouds as an alternative. (See my earlier post about word clouds.)  It would be fun to have each student write an introduction on my online classes and then use it to create a word self-portrait to share.  

After creating these, powerful discussions could arise about the topic you are our own words.

b. The site seems to work okay with animals as well.  A class could write something about a class pet or animal they study and make a word portrait of it.  The concept of you are our own words could be extended to animal rights and asking questions surrounding giving voices to animals.

How could you use You Are Our Own Words site or the basic concept in your class?  Feel free to share if you have similar sites or apps that work for you.  I also use a similar free app called aTypoPicture-- Amazing Typographic Picture (a wordfoto).  

Happy creating!  (You know you love typography in education, even if you say you don't. Wait, you are your own words, right?)

Update: Aug 2012 A reader notified me that the site was not currently working.  I hope they get it functioning again.  It's a fun site.

Here are a few related previous posts:

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