Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Infoshare - TCEA 2012 - wiffiti

A charge that I assigned myself at TCEA was to learn as much as I could about utilizing mobile devices in the classroom.  I attended a fun session by the Tech Chicks from Killeen ISD, who were excited to share many links and ideas.  During this session I learned about wiffiti, an online user-generated screen that allows participants to submit/text messages directly to a site/phone number. The participants' messages instantly appear on the screen for the audience to view.

I was given the opportunity to participate in a classroom wiffiti activity in which participants were given a basic (boring) sentence and asked to use descriptive words to make more creative sentences.  We texted our answers to the number given, watched, and read as the once bland sentence was transformed into much more unique, interesting sentences. This simple activity example caught my attention and sent my mind whirling with additional ways this tool could be used in the classroom.

wiffiti Features:
  • It's free to sign up!
  • Instant/real time message display
  • Teacher controls - Example: "Content Rating" which includes a built-in language-rating mechanism that will keep inappropriate messages from being published. 
  • Message can be posted from website link or unique text message number (for mobile classrooms)
  • Upload you own background.
  • Keep screen private or publish to the world. 
  • Participants are assigned a unique/private screen name.
  • Can be embedded in your website

Classroom Integration Ideas:
  • Brainstorm any topic with whole class or in small groups.
  • Active Cognitive Engagement activity during questioning. 
  • Give your students a math problem and one minute to post their answers to the screen.
  • Use as a backchannel to classroom discussion.
  • Have students post observations to board during science experiment. 
  • Have students practice writing and share thesis sentences.

Important Notes:
  • wiffiti is in the process of adding features and updating this tool.  
  • When you logon to the home page the disclaimer in the image below will appear.  
  • You can "request an invite" to be notified when these changes have been made, by entering your email address. 
  • To go directly to the homepage, click on the "continue to".

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