Wallwisher is a great tool for incorporating technology in the classroom. Wallwisher is basically an online bulletin board in which students can write sticky notes anywhere on it. I created a Wallwisher board that would be great for English students; it includes pre-reading, during reading, and after reading strategies. I love literature circles, where students break up into small groups and alternate roles (i.e., moderator/vocabulary builder/summarizer/connector) while reading a book. This board could be used with literature circles, being used by each small group to post their ideas throughout the process.
Another way the Wallwisher board could be used is in response to a web inquiry, or good questions tied around learning standards (Coffman, 2009). A classroom in which dialogue is shaped and formed by students gives the students a sense of responsibility in the discussion, increasing their level of participation.
During this past summer in my practicum, my mentor teacher did a great job of creating a discussion where students created and propelled the ideas generated. She let them build them up as much as possible so that her role as a teacher was more of a coaching role than a lecturing role, as traditional teaching would prescribe.
I had actually used a similar website to Wallwisher, Glogster, for one of the lessons I taught during the summer. It had a function to create sticky notes and easily curbed its content to what you wanted to teach. However, since we did not have a Smart Board in the classroom where I taught, I decided to let students use real colorful sticky notes and tape them to the screen (so that the background was the Glogster I had created). Students loved moving around the classroom to color their ideas on the board. The topic was Fourth of July traditions, and it was amazing how different every student’s traditions were. After each student posted their sticky notes, we had a group discussion and had students elaborate on their traditions. It was the week before the Fourth of July, and we also had a story that focused on the author’s Fourth of July tradition. Using technology-based activities such as these can really motivate students to become involved in their learning.
Coffman, T. (2009). Engaging students through inquiry-oriented learning and technology. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Education.