Sometimes class discussions get overwhelming. Sometimes every student in your classroom is talking at the same time, but other times no one is talking at all. Wallwisher is a resource teachers can use to have class discussions without the overwhelming volume or chaos that sometimes occurs in the classroom. This way, those quiet students who have a lot of insight and clear ideas also have an opportunity to share their thoughts without being intimidated by speaking up in class.
In Mrs. DeRap’s blog post on Wallwisher-Interactive Communication, she discusses how she has used Wallwisher on two occasions, and on both she has been more than impressed with the students’ use of images and text to develop a deeper understanding of either a writing assignment or as preparation for a literature unit. As seen on Mrs.DeRap’s Wallwishers, the most important thing about this tool is its ability to be whatever the person needs it to be. On the capital punishment Wall, the students used only text and a lot of informal language, as this was simply a way for the students to casually start planning their arguments. The Crucible Wall is text and photos, as both of these exhibited what life was like for Puritans during the time of the play.
So how can you use Wallwisher? It is quite easy, as all you have to do is create a free account, and then explore! They even provide a demo wall (shown below) in order for you to see what kind of interactions exist on Wallwisher. You can click on this screenshot and it will take you to the demo wall.
With Wallwisher you can control who posts the sticky notes on your wall while you also have the power to approve sticky notes before they are posted. This means that you can prevent students from randomly posting comments that may not have to do with your content.
Wallwisher also gives you the opportunity to create your own URL for your wall. Therefore it is easy for you to give that URL to your students: it is not a bunch of random letters and numbers that they could easily mess up. For example, the wall I created just uses cis220 as its identifier, as is shown in the screenshot below.
The best part about Wallwisher is that it creates multimodal communication: it uses video, music, images, and text to communicate with other people posting on the wall. Students can create their own wall easily, or they can contribute to a class wall. This is a resource that takes collaboration to the next level, with layers and layers of text, video, and images creating complex communication.
Below is a list of resources you can use to discover more about Wallwisher
- You can also see Wallwisher’s FAQ if you want to learn more about this tool.
- Ronnie Burt used Wallwisher as part of a “30 day Teacher free tools challenge.” Here is his Free Tools Challenge #1 blog post about it.
- Tom Barrett’s 32 Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom also has some creative ideas.
- You can follow Wallwisher on Twitter.
What specific ways can you see Wallwisher being useful in the classroom? This time, instead of posting comments on the actual blog, you will put sticky notes on the wall I created. Step one will be to create an account, so the comments are not all anonymous. Go to the Wallwisher home page and create an account. Then, after you have signed in, go to the CIS220 wall and post a sticky note that answers my question. This will serve as the replacement for your comments on the blog, so by registering (making a username that will appear when you post) Professor Taylor will give you credit!