This free discussion tool lets you create word clouds or bar charts that respond live to answers that your class or audience have for questions you ask them.

The tool was designed and tested by students at Manor CE Academy in York looking to improve their web development skills by creating a web app that used a mashup of different APIs on a client / server app model.

  1. Google Charts API has been used to create the QR codes that you scan to be able to answer the questions. It’s also used to generate the bar charts.

  2. JQuery and JQuery UI are used to quickly create the buttons, dialog boxes and user interface for the web app.

  3. WordCloud2.js is the library that generates word clouds from a list of words.

  4. FontAwesome is used for the icons and spinners

  5. Google Fonts is used for cross-browser and platform support for the text styles used in the web app.

On the client side, a html webpage displays in the browser and runs javascript code to display the question, word cloud or bar chart. CSS is used to style the page.

On the server side, a mysql database stores the questions and responses, filtering out or sanitizing any suspicious responses from the client.

Please note: this tool was developed as part of a project for a Cyber Security and Digital Forensics lunchtime club. It attempts to block out common SQL injection or XSS scripting exploits but it doesn’t filter out any swear words or offensive content. This is down to the classroom teacher to monitor whilst using the tool and why the discussion is only accessible for an hour after creating the question.

If you can think of a creative way to use this tool to get discussion going in class I’d love to hear from you – please post a comment below.