Hi, I’m Robert Drummond, I currently teach primary 6 at Uphall Primary School in West Lothian I’m going to tell you about a tool we use a lot in class and that the children have used at home called Wallwisher.
Wallwisher is an web-based, online, free program which acts as a place for people to stick post-it style notes, pictures, videos and hyperlinks about a shared topic – school based or otherwise. The owner (normally the teacher) has control of the wall and decides on the messages that get posted onto it and can edit them in anyway they wish. To post on it users don’t need to register in anyway – they simply double click to bring up a new post. The posts they write do not appear on the public wall until the owner of the wall approves them, however, so it’s easily controlled and safe. Let’s have a look at how to set one up.
Creating a wall is simple and free. You can link your Wallwisher account to a google mail (google account), an existing openId or you can create an account with Wallwisher itself. I prefer to create a google account for my class each year and use that for Wallwisher (and other) purposes.
Once you have logged , in your account page appears and on there you select the ‘Build a New Wall’ link and you arrive at the page on the screen currently. You can do the following things in any order, but you must: Select a URL for your wall– Tmwos would be suitable for tonight, and this would give us WWW.WALLWISHER.COM/WALL/TMWOS as our URL for the wall we are creating (and only that wall) This will also be the URL of the wall which everyone will use to access the wall. Choose a main title for your wall – this could be the same as the end of our URL, Choose a subtitle – here you can give instructions on what to post. Choose whether everyone can view, or just the account holder, (normally the in class setting is everyone, but if you were running a secret vote etc this would allow this) Choose whether everyone can post, or just the account holder (could make for a dull wall!) Choose a background for the wall – the gaudier the better seems to work in my class. Select an image for your wall’s picture in top corner – either from Wallwisher or your own from your own bank of images. FINALLY make sure you tick the I WANT TO APPROVE EVERY POST box so that you moderate the wall. Once this is done click on done and your wall will be ready.
To post they simply double click on the wall and a box appears asking for their name and comment (the name is pre-done on this one as I was logged in) As you can see at the bottom is the box for adding images, audio, or video links. Posts are limited to 160 characters, rather like twitter or texting. The children complete their post and click ok and on the post appears on your Wall (where you’re logged in) asking if you want to delete it, edit it or approve it. Only when you have approved it does it appear on a public wall – although it will appear on the wall of the machine it’s been created on (i.e. Lottie posts an idea – she sees it on her machine, but no one else in the class sees it on their machines until I approve it) Wallwisher can be easily embedded into your class blog using an html code setting which you can find from the main menu. This can allow the ideas your class have to be shared and added to more easily than just sharing the wallwisher link
We’ve used Wallwisher in many ways this year in class. We have used Wallwisher alongside the class novel to describe how the main characters are feeling, what the main characters should do in key situations and to predict what we thought would happen in the next chapters of the book. We have used Wallwisher in maths to notate our own word problems – these were added to by people in places as exotic as Australia and Nottingham which gave the children a real buzz.
We have posted knowledge about topics and what we would like to find out about topics on them. We have then used these at the end of a topic to assess our learning against our aims.
We have used Wallwisher alongside the class novel to describe how the main characters are feeling, what the main characters should do in key situations and to predict what we thought would happen in the next chapters of the book.
We have used Wallwisher in maths to notate our own word problems – these were added to by people in places as exotic as Australia and Nottingham which gave the children a real buzz.
My class and I really enjoy using wallwisher – it’s a simple program which can be used in as many different ways as children and teachers can think of. The children at home have created walls of favourite pop stars, footballers, all type of things. I hope you find it useful also. Some more of the ways wallwisher can be used have been collated by Tom Barrett as part of his interesting ways series – the shortened link for which is on the screen. This is well worth a look and if you choose to use wallwisher with your class, please add your ideas to the series.
Using the program in the Classroom. <ul><li>Start of a topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Close of a topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow a character. </li></ul><ul><li>Predict next chapter. </li></ul><ul><li>Maths problems </li></ul>
Further Ideas. <ul><li>http://dr-u.co.uk/hLCMaX has 31 interesting ways to use Wallwisher in the classroom from a variety of educators. (Compiled and organised by @tombarrett ) </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>@robertd1981 on twitter. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>