Wallwisher is described as an ‘online’ notice board maker on its homepage, and this is an accurate description. Basically, what it allows is you to create a noticeboard on a particular topic, and then you and pupils can add sticky notes to it, creating a collaborative board full of ideas.
To begin you register for the grand fee of £0 or $0. When you have logged on, simply click ‘Build a Wall’ and then you will get some preferences including what you want the URL to be, the background colour of the wall and who can post onto it. You also have the option about if you want to approve the stickies first or not which will be an important decision. If you leave this unticked, there is the risk of wall ‘abuse’ potentially, with outsiders leaving inappropriate messages, although this is unlikely. It is maybe safer to vet the messages first however. (For some strange reason, when I build a new wall, my ‘Open File’ opens as well, indicating some glitch which is a little worrying perhaps). You also have to give the wall a title, a description and choose a picture for it (including the option to upload your own)
When you have created your wall, all you have to do is to double click to add a sticky note. The just type your message into the note and click ok. You can also upload images, audio and video to the sticky leading to a few more options. And that is basically it. Just send the URL of your created wall to pupils and they can go to the site and add their own sticky. Once pupils have put on their notes, you need to approve them so they can be viewed by others in the class.
The premise is very simple and effective and there are a variety of ways that this tool could be employed with classes. It could be used as an essay planning tool for example – you could set a question with a central stickie, and pupils could put their ideas about the points they could mention around it. It could be a way of setting quick written preps to encourage extra participation, for example asking basic questions with pupils writing their own answers. It could be a vocabulary revision tool with pupils adding 2 or three new words to a topic. It could even be a little story. Maybe you start off a story, the first person to log on adds a sentence, then the next pupils adds another line and so on.
In order to practise this, I have started a Wallwisher notice board for people to add their own ideas about how wallwisher could be employed. Click on the following URL to leave your ideas!