Posted by: Bill Lord | January 9, 2010

Wallwisher snow project

It's been a snowy week!On Tuesday morning I sat and watched my Twitter stream fill up with comments from teachers and advisors who were becoming increasingly snowbound. I saw a torrent of twitpics flood through of different snowy scenes and wondered if I was in class what would be the most effective way of sharing these with the children. I set up a Wallwisher page to see if this would take off and whether people would find it easy to upload images.

In terms of using the pages Wallwisher is very intuitive requiring simply a double click to open a sticky and a section in the dialogue box. I have previously used in a Year 6 writing lesson for the children to collate ideas before moving onto their first drafts. I have also used it to collect ideas from a range of advisers before as well.

I set up a Wallwisher page for Tuesday 050110 and asked people to collect images of what the snow looked like in their area. I had originally hoped that the page would be used by classes but it became clear that  on this day it was not going to happen. Being realistic this was entirely predictable as I had only tweeted the link to my PLN at about 8.30 that morning and also it was the first day back after the christmas break in most schools. In addition there were significantly more important things to worry about for teachers on a snowy day than an activity such as this!!

The first Wallwisher page

I created a page very easily on Wallwisher and chose to publicly share the page.   This page is available at www.wallwisher.com/wall/snow050110 and shows links from around Great Britain.

The images were inserted into Wallwisher using flickr accounts or twitpic. Not all of them worked but it created a very quick resource which was available to all schools to use.  Now with all resources which are shared publicly there are potential issues over ensuring that no-one has posted something inappropriate since  your last visit. I am,  however, very excited by the potential shown by the use of the page over the four days of snow this week.
I simply added a new page every day this week

Wednesday
Thursday

Friday

Over the four days I saw some interesting developments with images added from classes (with selection of shots not to show children’s faces), a video created of snowmen on one area and posted on Youtube and also on the last day we started attracting interest from friends over the Atlantic in the United States of America.
The image below was  submitted by @globalrams of the snow that they were experiencing.

Snow at Globalrams' school

This shows the global potential of an application such as Wallwisher and has made me consider how it could be used to support the primary classroom.

During the week I read an excellent blogpost on the Miss Brownsword blog about the use of Wallwisher to support homework in her class. I would recommend it to all readers of this post.

I chatted with @missbrownsword on twitter during the project and she mentioned some work on global weather which she is going to be doing with her class.  She is hoping to use Wallwisher to collect images from around the globe on the same day.

It will be very interesting to see how this works. I suspect that ultimately a project like that is dependent on the reach of the teacher’s PLN through twitter, email and blogging. It is also, therefore, dependent on the kindness of other people re-tweeting the original message. This means that new adopters of the application need to be very clear on how they hope to use it – you will only be able to attract images from other locations if you have the contacts and simply posting on Wallwisher will not automatically guarentee any interaction with others.

I will seek to use this in other areas of my work including to collect reflections on national training coming up in late January but I am very interested in other readers’ thoughts on this.

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Responses

  1. You’re right, something like you have done and what I’m planning on doing depends more on the connections you make through a good PLN than Wallwisher itself, without that it wouldn’t really work. I am lucky to have worked in schools abroad and still have contacts in those places to call on for those kind of things too.

    • This points to the fact though that it is vital for people to plan these approaches out in the same way that they did before they used technology. The interactions may be instant on an application such as Wallwisher but the preparation can often be lengthy.
      One thing I have learned though in the last few months is that the Personal Learning Networks on Twitter will do their best to help and will often bring a global aspect.
      For those reading this who do not have a twitter account or have not developed a PLN I would strongly recommend it.

  2. This was a wonderful way of sharing what was the most talked about thing in the uk this week, and it was great to see the international element coming through.

    I agree wholeheartedly that this is just one reason to ‘grow’ a pln, whether on twitter, or some other way. Having discovered wallwisher through twitter, and used it with both Y7 and Y12 / Y13 I can tesitify to its power with students.

    I love that wallwisher pulls and plays the video from Youtube (as testified by our snowmen), but it is harder to post pictures, twitpic’s appear as an embedded webpage, as do flickr etc. Well done on this project.

    • Thanks Chris. It was fascinating to see it develop especially the different uses such as your fantastic snowmen video but as you say something like is a great advert for developing a PLN

    • I added a photo from twitpic using the URL of the actual photo not the page, but when I just checked I can’t view it! Does that not work at all or is it just a glitch?

      • I think that this is one of the issues with wallwisher. I am not even sure how people who added a single photo did it! The most effective ways appear to be linking to a flickr or twitpic page.
        I don’t know if anyone more technically minded can suggest a way forward for this?

      • If you have a direct link to a picture you can provide that link (see some ppt slides I’ve exported and uploaded from plannerlive, or just found on google images at http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/JBSMaths-Y13

        Somehow (and I don’t know how, as I’m no expert) twitpic and flickr manage to block this.

        You can pull the link to a twitpic thumbnail by going through the “Add to your site” code, and finding the <img src "http://…." code. It is only the thumbnail however.

        Chris

  3. Thanks for this Chris. It is a small thing but something which could make it much easier for Wallwisher to be used to share images.


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