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I love Twitter.  I know some of my colleagues think I’m a bit crazy when I continually extoll the virtues of being a connected educator, but I really can’t imagine my life as an educator without it now.  Twitter has become a powerful resource for me in many ways, and yesterday was a perfect example in multiple ways.

One great aspect of Twitter is the sharing between educators that happens.  I often get inspiration, ideas, and tools from tweets that come across my feed.  Yesterday’s gem came from @shakeuplearning when she shared Halloween Magnetic Poetry created in Google Drawings.  I love the idea, and quickly created a copy to use with my students.

And then I got to thinking…

I wanted to make some magnetic poetry activities of my own!  The basic creation of it is not that difficult: use Drawings or Slides (I prefer Slides so the kids can’t accidentally move or delete my background, but both work pretty much the same way) to create a colorful background, and then add words as either text boxes or images.  @shakeuplearning recommended image files so the words can’t be erased or changed.

Easy enough, it took me about 2 minutes to set up my background, and most of that was me deciding which image to use!  The stumbling block became creating the images of the words.  I could use text boxes and make each word individually.  I could use a graphics program to make each word as an image file.  I could, but I didn’t want to spend that much time working on it.  As I am sure most educators know, time is always a premium for teachers, and I try to use it as wisely as possible.

I started with my regular go-to resource, the All Powerful Google.  After many different search phrase iterations, I still could not find any tool that would take a word list and convert the individual words into image files.  I was getting discouraged and about to resign myself to the tedium of creating the images by hand when I decided to throw it out to my PLN on Twitter.

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Within just a few minutes, the totally awesome @gersteinj responded.

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After a short discussion to clarify exactly what I was looking for, she went to work.  In just over an hour, she had a brand new app for me that did exactly what I needed.  It took a list of words from a file and created an image of each one!  I am utterly in awe of her programming skills!  Now, instead of spending hours creating hundreds of image files, I run the app and it generates over 200 image files from my word list in about 20 seconds.  How awesome is that?  Now I just copy and paste the image files into my document, and it’s ready to use.

Thank you, Twitter, and thank you to my wonderful PLN that lives there.