Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wallisher: Student Response in a Jiffy

Although it seems to have been around for a few years, I just discovered this past week and put it to the test in my English classroom with happy results.

Wallwisher allows you to create a wall (a.k.a. webpage that takes stickynotes by the click of a mouse). Students need not register or login, so you can do this on the fly. Set up your wall with a title, subtitle (maybe a special instruction or focus prompt), graphic, and pick a color design. Name its URL extension and you are ready to have your students point their browsers to it. You may also designate whether comments will be moderated or not (recommended).

It's soooo easy! No need to register students or fuss with passwords.

Since students don't register, they need to type in their names (we use first names and last initials only). Of course, their might be some unwanted guests and students could pose as each other, so I moderated comments. They still have the thrill of seeing their posts immediately, but no one else does until you approve. In addition to 160 character text posts, the stickies will also host images from the web, video, audio, and other media, making this an exciting way for students to collaborate, research, and share information. Conversely, you may embed your wall into a class website, wiki, or Facebook page.

My first go at it was as an asynchronous dialogue of questions and answers related to Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Take a peek here.

I look forward to trying it out when the students have each have a laptop and we can have in class responses to questions as a discussion starter.

After posting the above blog on the English Companion Ning I got plenty of other great tips from colleagues, such as:
  • Brainstorming
  • Student response
  • Polling
  • Reflection
  • Feedback
  • Presentation notes (only 160 characters!)
  • Play scripting/Improvisation
The response from the English teachers has been enthusiastic. If you figure out other ways to use it, I'd be happy to hear.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Thank you for posting about this site. I can see this being a useful and interactive tool for my intensive reading students. They dislike physically having to write, but give them a keyboard and off they go! I am going to incorporate this into my planning for next year. Thanks again!