Friday, 13 November 2009

Wallwisher update

I've made reference to Wallwisher in a previous post but I thought it might help to demonstrate how it works with a specific example. I decided to use Wallwisher with my sixth form photography classes. They are currently developing their Personal Investigations which require them to research, generate ideas, document the process, present them appropriately and evaluate the outcomes. Sound familiar? What I needed was:

a) a way to support them between lessons
b) a virtual notice board to post ideas
c) a resource that was available as a link on the department blog
d) a way for students to share ideas

Wallwisher has delivered all of these requirements. It's free, easy to set up and can be embedded as an interactive resource on any web page.

What I discovered today was that it's flexibility enabled students to post thoughts when they had them (at any time of day or night) and attach a relevant media file from the internet. Today, in the lesson, I asked them to refine their original thoughts, adding more precise information and defining a more specific area of study. So, for example, I had a conversation with Micah about knitting. I saw him knitting (for pleasure and relaxation) in the sixth form common room the other day. I told him that I had recently discovered a phenomenon called Guerrilla Knitting which describes radical knitters who decorate the urban environment with their work.

Fluffy graffiti! Micah did a bit more research today and found a variety of useful links online. I posted an idea to the wall for him and he responded. You can view our virtual conversation on the wall above. I hope to continue to prompt him, and others in the class, with a series of provocations over the coming weeks as they further develop their investigations.

All in all, this has proved to be a simple, elegant and free solution to a challenging problem.

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