Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wallwisher: Interactive Communication

Looking for a way for students to share their thoughts or reflections without having another in-class discussion? I know that it can be hard to create a quiet environment for those students who need peace and quiet to build their thoughts before they share. Similarly, students who blurt out their answers to questions can sometimes benefit from a little quiet and space to develop their thoughts before they share. These same students also sometimes need a restriction on how long they can ramble before getting to their point.

If you're interested in finding a space where students can post their thoughts and ideas and collaborate in a more orderly, peaceful manner, wallwisher might be the platform you need. I've used it twice in two of my classes for completely different purposes and have met with success each time. Here are links to two ways that I've used wallwisher with freshmen and junior students:

Think-Tech-Share with Freshmen (5 Paragraph Essay pre-writing exercise)

Webquest with Juniors (To lead into unit using Arthur Miller's The Crucible)

In both lessons, students used the wallwisher site to post short snippets of thought or their findings about a particular issue. After using this method with students, I found that their feedback and the information they and I received from the activities were beneficial. I love that students can post thoughts and images on this site. I also love that students can see/ read what others in the class have to say. Several of my quiet students have enjoyed not being interrupted in their thoughts, and the more outgoing students have had to condense their opinions to meet the 160 character limit. I have all kinds of ideas about how I'm going to use this site in the future!

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