What is a Web 2.0 tool? According to Webopedia, the Web 2.0 is “the term given to describe a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online.” There are many of these Web 2.0 tools that are useful in education. A new one that I think is easy to use and is very flexible for integration into the curriculum is wallwisher.com. This free site allows users to add a post-it note with up to one hundred sixty characters to a wall, and others can collaborate and add to the same wall at the same time. The “wall of post-its” can be private if desired, filtering is possible, and the post-it notes can be moved. The post-its can include text, images, links, video and music. The opportunities for collaboration with students are endless, and an email account is not required either.
In my district, students use paper post-it notes while reading a novel to document various literary elements as well as character traits etc. It would be very exciting for students to be able to use the wallwisher.com tool to add character traits, story elements, examples of literary elements and even quotes to the “novel wall” to expand the pool of ideas of the class while studying a novel. Another lesson idea for this tool would be for the teacher to post videos of an abstract concept, for example the laws of motion, and students would add a post-it to describe the particular concept in one hundred sixty characters or less, which requires a great deal of critical thinking. Another example would be for the students to take notes on the post-it about a historical event, for example the causes of WWI, and then other students would add their brief comments about the resulting effects. Similarly, a music teacher could have the musical notes displayed on a post-it and the students would add the audio file of that music to the wall. The possibilities are endless.
Although this Web 2.0 tool was not initially meant for use in education, I think it would be a great tool to use in school for all grade levels as well as with teachers. Resources that teachers use could be posted on the wall for others to view. The benefits of this site are the ease of use and the flexibility with file type. I am excited to use this with my students to see if they think it is as much fun to use as I do.