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Free Tools Challenge #1: Wallwisher – Words That Stick

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This is the 1st post in the “30 days to using the best of the web’s free tools for educators” series. Be sure to subscribe to the Teacher Challenge blog by RSS, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter to keep up with future challenge posts as they are published.

Let’s face it, we all love free stuff!

Over the next four weeks, we will present as many of the best free web tools for educators and students as we possibly can. We’ve got tools and websites of all types that you are going to love.

Your challenge: Follow this blog closely for the next month and read about any new tool you haven’t yet tried out – there is sure to be many!

Do you your best to carve out a few minutes each week to really try out one or more free tool each week with your students. Then, come back to the blog and share your experience!

The following challenge post was written by teacher Noeleen Leahy.
wallwisher (1)

In this activity you will:

  1. Learn how to create an online noticeboard and check out ideas for using Wallwisher with your students
  2. Learn how students can add to your notice board
  3. Learn how to embed your notice board in your blog or learning platform
  4. Complete one or more of the challenge activities

Overview:

Wallwisher is a Web 2.0 free online tool where anyone can build a “wall”.  Discussing a new idea? Taking notes? Giving feedback? Voicing opinion? Wishing a happy birthday?

Your students can then go onto the internet and stick post-it notes electronically onto your wall.  The notes can include linked pictures, You Tube videos, PowerPoints, PDF documents, Excel Spreadsheets, or web page links.

From EduTeacher:

You might create one yourself, or get your students to contribute to one on their own time or in school. Either way, you can embed your wall on your blog and make it accessible to your school community and parents.

Here is one my students contributed to on the theme of Poverty http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/emnetpoverty

Task:

Step 1: Learn how to create an online noticeboard and check out ideas for using Wallwisher with your students.

Sign up and create a Wallwisher accountit’s free!

If you want to create a wall without creating an account, it’s very simple – just click, write, post.

To build a wall:

  • Select Build a wall from the top right menu and create a wall.
  • Select an image and give your wall a title and a sub title.

wallwisher1

  • Choose your wall url (6 – 20 characters)
  • Decide who can view your wall and who can post to your wall.

wallwisher2

  • Select to approve every post before it shows on the wall. This way you can moderate all comments whether they are posted anonymously or by a named student.
  • Choose a theme / colour for the wall and select Done.

Double click anywhere on the wall to add a sticky note

wallwisher4

Check out these ideas for using wall wisher with students. Thanks to Tom Barrett for permission to use and to all the teachers who have conributed to this ‘Interesting Ways to using Wallwisher’ presentation.

3-21-2011 2-43-56 PM
https://docs.google.com/a/edublogs.org/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_436f8kscmdc

Step 2: Have students add to your wall/notice board.

Once you have decided on a theme for your wall you can share the wall with your students.

To share your wall with students:

  • Select the share tab, top right, or share the web address.
  • If you select Email the wall address will be sent to the recipients in the email.
  • You can also share your wall via a large number of applications such as Google Reader, Twitter, WordPress.

I usually share the web address with my students first and only when the wall is complete do I use the embed code to post the wall to my blog.

Step 3: Learn how to embed your notice board in your blog as a post or as a widget

When your wall is finished, or even if you wish to post a blank wall to your blog, you will need the embed code.

  • Go to the Do More tab, top right.
  • Select embed and the embed dialogue box will present the code.
  • Copy this code and paste using the html tab in your blog application.

Challenge:

Complete one or more of the following:
1.      Come up with three topics for a wall of your own. Leave a comment with your suggestions for a wall to this blog post for others use.

2.      Go to the edte.ch website (http://edte.ch/blog/) and email your suggestions for using Wallwisher to the owner. [email protected]

3.      Post a wall to your blog.

4.      Write a blog post about the challenges of using Wallwisher with your students.

Help & Support:

For more help with Wallwisher, use the Help tab, top tight on Wallwisher.com.

Check out the Wallwisher blog for updates and tips http://blog.wallwisher.com/

About:

I am a second level teacher from Ireland. I teach Geography, Religion and IT to 11 – 18 year olds. I have only been blogging for two years. This is my year group blog, an account of everything they do during their 4th Year or Transition Year: http://www.stwolstansty.blogspot.com/

58 comments for “Free Tools Challenge #1: Wallwisher – Words That Stick

  1. Mr. Stezzi
    December 10, 2011 at 2:57 am

    It seems like some have experienced frustrations with this tool but there are a lot of success stories as well. Though one way to use this is to collect student written book reviews in one place I sort of like the idea of posting the reviews on the blog separately so other students can make comments. I am not quite ready to give my students their own blogs. Does anyone have a fun way to display book reviews on a blog so they can be commented on individually? Check out my blog if you get a chance! http://mrstezzi.edublogs.org/

    Thanks in advance,
    Mr. Stezzi

  2. August 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Every time I try to use Wallwisher with adult education classes in a third level institution it does not work/ is so slow as to be unusable (have tried it three times). I love the idea but just wanted to warn people it can be very unreliable and is not a good idea if you are working with people who do not have good IT skills and therefore become concerned by IT failures (because they think it’s them!). It is a reasonable speed network on a T1 connection so I really don’t know why it doesn’t work…

  3. Imogen Bertin
    May 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Sorry to rain on the party but I have tried using wallwisher several times on a college network and it never works. Slows down, crashes, postits don’t appear – frustrated students. Obviously it’s our network, but I just wanted to warn those who may not have super-fast facilities that it’s hard to test it in “real life” before bombing in front of a class of students. It’s a brilliant idea but can be a problem in practice.

  4. Mrs. Axelrod
    May 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I’m having a whole lot of trouble getting set up on this site because it is unbelievably slow! Then I found this: http://www.drezac.com/2010/10/is-wallwisher-dead.html

    Back in October, 2010, Mr. Rezac said, “I checked the Wallwisher blog. Guess what? Hasn’t been updated since February 4th, 2010. . . . Sorry, teachers, but it looks like Wallwisher is dying a slow death.”

    Guess I’ll be checking out the corkboard site someone mentioned above. :(

  5. May 11, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Wallwisher is a fantastic tool, but it’s burned me a number of times in class where it just won’t load (embedded or otherwise), and I know a number of other people who have had similar problems. The one I use now is corkboard.me, which is very similar.

  6. May 10, 2011 at 9:26 am

    OK, so I’ll start with the topics. My first wall (which did not get much of a response) was a followup to a project we did on racism in France, and asked for student opinions. My second attempt, involved each of my students having his/her own wall. We were working on the future tense, and each student had to make a prediction about what the other students will be doing in 20 years. That was quite successful. What I will do for the start of the next unit (I teach French) is to solicit suggestions of vocab the students want to learn (I will ask for 5 suggestions from each student). We frequently use music in class for reading/listening practice. I will solicit feedback on the various songs (which encompass a wide variety of styles and time periods). After the speaking portion of the final exam (which is administered several weeks before the written portion) I will solicit success tips from my students to benefit future classes. I also thought of (next year) having students set goals at the beginning of each marking period — public goal-setting can be more meaningful. I also really liked the two suggestions about posting greetings in multiple languages, and the “Where were you born” wall — I will likely share those with my department for Foreign Language Week next year. One comment about Wallwisher — my students and I frequently run into “matrix glitches” which hinders our ability to post and read on the walls. I am looking into linoit as a possible alternative

  7. May 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    As promised, @innovation3.edublogs.org: Free Tools Challenge: 23 Ideas for Using Wallwisher – Teacher Challenge | Edublogs.org: tinyurl.com/3w3wp3o

    • Noeleen
      May 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks for the summary of these ideas Dennis.

  8. Dinah Hunt
    May 5, 2011 at 5:42 am

    My three ideas for using WallWisher.
    1. Just created a wall for my son who is getting married soon. Thought it would be nice to have a place for people to write their well wishes.
    2. Created a wall for keeping track of my candy survival kit resources. I’ll take pictures of the finished products and share them.
    3. WallWisher is a great tool for brainstorming ideas. In this one I’ll invite people to share ways that they use Web 2.0 tools such as this one!

    • May 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      What a great idea for the wedding – I think I’ll use it for my daughter’s graduation!

  9. May 5, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Nice Post and comments. I am working on a list of the ideas for using wallwisher suggested in the comments that I will post on my blog tomorrow, Thursday, May 4, 2011.

    But here are some additional ideas for to push the use of wallwisher beyond it’s use by students.

    1. Ask parents, school board members, citizens to use wallwisher as a suggestion box – post their suggestions on any classroom, school or district topic … for example, the 4th grade field trip, the school auction, creative ways to save district dollars.

    2. Use wallwisher to solicit concrete suggestions for ways to empower kids to reshape the school, district, the education system

    Background: At TedActive2011 (tinyurl.com/3fnov8z) the education project (tinyurl.com/43h74wn) was formed. Here’s a quote from the website. “The TEDActive Education Project will explore how children can make an impact on the education system. We hope to come out of this project with fresh ideas for ways kids can start an education revolution. How can we empower kids to reshape the education system?”

    My idea? Award the TED prize to someone with the passion, talent, resources, experience of Jamie Oliver to write, produce, direct and act in the television series “The Student (or Kid) Education Revolution.”

    3. Have teachers, school-level administrators, department heads, district administrators, etc. use wallwisher to brainstorm ideas for how best reinvigorate teaching in their classrooms or schools by incorporating the Habits of Mind found on this chart (tinyurl.com/4y2tj6t) and described in this Habits of Mind Summary article (tinyurl.com/3wo7koc) that I found on the Habits of Mind Teachers Network website (tinyurl.com/3smge6y.

  10. May 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    My three ideas for using Wallwisher
    1. Spot for students to generate questions
    2. Descriptive Art Word Wall
    3. Finding images for a particular element of art or principles of design
    Artfully,
    Mrs. Berry

  11. heidi weber
    April 25, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I am going to use wallwisher before our state tests to have students post how they are going to prepare for the test. I’d also like to use it in language arts for book reviews. Finally, I think it would be great for students to post questions after a lesson.

  12. Brooke Miller
    April 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I had a lot of fun creating the walls and my students had even more fun writing on them. I have used it a lot for pre-test. After we complete the lessons I embed it into a blog and have them respond to their previous answer. I then use there blog post as clarification of the lesson before I give a post test. This has really helped me form my small groups by identifying the ones that need extra help. I have also been amazed at the peer to peer teaching that just happened! Students see their classmates responses and instantly start “teaching” eachother. It is wonderful because they would much rather listen to their friends than me.

  13. April 21, 2011 at 5:40 am

    I like the way you’re providing these tech overviews, and I think they’d form a nice resource for the 31 Day Game. The game is only run during months with 31 days, and ‘Web 2.0 Apps’ is a topic we’re considering.
    http://thecleversheep.blogspot.com/2011/01/do-you-have-time-for-31-day-game.html

    I’m wondering if you’d be interested in partnering on running such an activity via Twitter. It wouldn’t take much, as by month’s end you’ll have completed an overview of many of the tools we’d profile. If a 31st and 32nd post could be added at months end, I’d be happy to work with you to pair them up to go head to head.

    The only 31 Day Game that’s been completed so far, was on ‘compelling education themed videos’ and the results are online at http://31daygame.net

  14. Maria
    April 11, 2011 at 3:22 am

    I’m late to the party here, but I already took a handful of ideas from the comments section! I can’t wait to try some of them out. Fortunately, I already wrote a post about a lesson using Wallwisher in my classroom for the initial Teacher Challenge in January, so I’ll recycle it here. http://schooled-essays.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-classroom-wallwisher.html

    • April 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Maria, thanks so much for sharing the link to your post on using Wallwishers in the classroom. You’ve raised a lot of interesting points to consider.

  15. April 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    This is a great tool. I am first going to use it to have students, staff and families wish one of my students a Happy Birthday this upcoming week and will try to continue the tradition for each of my students. The possibilities are endless. Thanks!

  16. March 31, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Hello. I am joining this challenge really late, but I am hoping I will catch up (or at least finish the challenge at my own pace).
    I have written a post about ways to use Wallwisher for vocabulary exercises for EFL students. Wallwisher is really easy to make, but it tends to misbehave when it is embedded. Right now I am staring at my blog post with three empty red screens where my Wallwishers should be. That’s why I have provided links to my walls underneath.
    This is not the first time I have embedded Wallwisher and this is not the first time I am staring at a red screen. What’s really strange is that the wall reappears after a while, or at least it did so last time I embedded it. Am I doing something wrong or does Wallwisher have a will of its own?

    • March 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Natasa, definitely not you. Sometimes Wallwishers have problems with their service and when that happens you’ll lose your embed. Normally when you click on the link you’ll see that on the main site it is also having trouble.

      • April 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

        Thank you, Sue. You are right, that happens on the main site as well. Waiting a little, then reloading the page seems to work.

  17. March 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Lovely walls
    I will do a wall tomorrow on emotions in the blog at
    http://2ycroydon.edublogs.org/
    thanks,
    Jane

  18. March 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    One of the subjects I teach is genetics and Wallwisher could be used to start a discussion about the ethics of cloning, genetically modified foods or consumer labelling. These are controversial subjects and it would be interesting to see the position of younger people who have grown up with the idea of genetic manipulation.

  19. March 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I am using WallWisher with not only my students but also my teachers. I use it primarily for feedback purposes, but alternate my Question so I can get a pulse on technology in my school!

    • March 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      I’ve become a big fan of screen shots that I edit in Paint and then post on my blog (www.techatease.blogspot.com)as well as my school webpage (http://tinyurl.com/4slrkpv). It came in handy for my class Wordle, PicLits, and WallWishers.

  20. refspec
    March 26, 2011 at 5:41 am

    I am having difficulty embeding my wall into my blog. I have tried it several times and keep getting a screen saying the page is no longer available. I can see on the page what it is supposed to look like, but it just isn’t happening when I use the embed code from the page. I finally just copied and pasted the link, but that’s not the right thing – which I realize, of course. Any ideas anyone?

    • noeleenleahy
      March 26, 2011 at 6:34 am

      Make sure you embed the code into a html widget box otherwise it will not display properly.

      • March 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm

        I’m not sure what you mean by the HTML widget box. My blog is edublogs and I can choose visual or HTML and I have a link button with 2 chain links. Can embed the code but not the image.

        • March 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

          Hi Kerry, you are using a Free Edublogs.org blog. Unfortunately sploggers, who create lots of blogs to promote products, were using the JavaScript for redirects on free blogs so we’ve had to restrict the ability to embed to Edublogs Pro blogs or free Edublogs blog which have had extra features enabled on them by a Pro blog.

          This is why your Wallwishers won’t embed.

          A HTML widget is the same as a text widget. You can use the text widget to add embed code from almost any source.

    • March 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      Hi refspec, it can also depends on what blog platform you are using as to whether you will be able to embed into your blog post or not. Can you give us your blog URL so we can check it and let you know your options?

  21. Dinah Hunt
    March 23, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Great tool for brainstorming on any topic.
    It made me think of an activity that we did in our 4th grade class. I’d put up a word and each child would have to write a short sentence using that word.

  22. March 23, 2011 at 4:40 am

    This looks pretty cool. I am still trying to figure out how to embed it into our schools webclient “First Class” Any help on that would be great. I definately see application here especially for afterschool clubs. Great Post.

  23. March 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I have used Wallwisher to collect compound words, as a maths challenge by posing the answer and asking what the mathematical question may have been and will be using it to collect more word lists.

    I like the ease of use and found it very easy to embed. I like the way you are able to add a link or image.

    • March 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      Hi,
      the idea with the mathematics wall sounds fun. Can you share what it looked like?

      • March 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm

        Sorry, Anna but the original walls I used with the Maths questions were several years ago when I first discovered Wallwisher. I simply posed a question such as “The answer is 32. What was the mathematical question? Very open ended so that the class could answer at their own level. Some children simply gave simple addition or subtraction answers while other looked more at patterns, Roman Numerals or even consecutive number patterns.

        • March 23, 2011 at 2:07 am

          That sounds great. It is really a way to have students answer on their level of understanding! I think I am going to use your idea! Thanks for sharing.

  24. March 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Hi,
    I just posted on this challenge and sort of created my own “challenge” for teachers, so please join and post on my wall The Teaching Day. I wish I had students to try it out on, but that will have to wait! By the way, do we have a hashtag?

    • March 23, 2011 at 5:27 am

      Hi Anna – That looks great!

      We decided for consistency to use #ebshare for all challenges related to edublogging. How does that sound?

      • March 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

        Sounds great, now I am going to go and add it to my post’s tags!

  25. March 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Hello!

    We’re currently learning about persuasive writing. I used the wallwisher on our class blog to get students to post their position and one argument on whether they think homework should be banned or not. Should stir up something!

    You can visit our blog here.

    We’re trying to get a lot more traffic through, and more comments!! So please feel free to visit us with your class and leave a comment, or by yourself!!

    Cheers
    Kirby :)

    • March 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Hi,
      I think it is a wonderful way to use Wallwisher. I think it makes the student really think about what they write as well, since you shouldn’t write to much on a Sticky/Post-It. I’ll return to your wall to see what has happened later on this week!

      • March 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm

        @Anna,

        Thanks so much! I hope they get a chance to post at home, as well as school!

        Hopefully by the end of the week there’ll be a few more!

        Kirby

  26. March 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Wonderful post! I plan to embed a wallwisher with my students – thank you for the great explanation and steps.

    Theresa

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