Bottom line: Word clouds are an effective way to help get a message across or teach a lesson by giving kids a visual tool to help communicate that message. This app allows users to fully customize word clouds for presentations or visual lessons (or just for fun, because they are pretty cool!)
If you would like to download Shapego, please use the handy links below so they'll know who sent you.
Educational version ($9.99 for single copy, but it is available at a 50% discount on the Educational App Store if 20 or more copies are purchased)
No ads, but there are in-app purchases, and the connection to Wikipedia does qualify as an external link in my opinion
The fabulous Ellie brings this app to life here:
I've always been kind of jealous of people who were able to create fancy word clouds to use in presentations or just for display on their walls. I assumed it was difficult to do and that choosing and placing the right text in an effective way was something that was beyond my capabilities. I find with Shapego, though, I am able to make really cute and visually pleasing shapes filled with words to get a point across. This app is simple to use and offers so many ways to customize each creation. I can see its value as a learning tool or to just create personalized art.
Users can choose from preset shapes for their word clouds, or they can import black and white images to create shapes of their own. The color palette can be adjusted to suite the creator's tastes. Users can make changes in the setting to control the number of fonts used and to do things like removing numbers or exclude certain words. This is particularly helpful when you have imported a passage of text but find that you are seeing words highlighted that aren't on point for your message.
While I impressed myself with my own ability to make some really cute word clouds, that was only a small part of what I found great about this app. The ability to use text directly from Wikipedia pages relating to whatever subject you choose just opens up a world of possibilities for creating learning tools to use in the classroom or on presentations. (I foresee some pretty impressive book reports in my kids' future.)
My one misgiving is that I feel like there is a smidge less control than I would like to see in regards to the access to the Wikipedia pages. I found that I could search for anything and make some word clouds that might contain phrases or words you wouldn't necessarily want to use or to have your child making artwork with.
I think that it would be worth any parent's time to download the free version to try (there are multiple levels for upgrade within depending on what you need.) Teachers will most certainly want to check out the school edition to give themselves a resource to create some very effective teaching tools.
I'm giving this app 4.5 stars.