March 12, 2012

Wiffiti

Wiffiti is coming soon to education and I believe that it will make a big splash in classrooms where phones are allowed to be a part of the learning experience.  Teachers want the ability to get immediate feedback from students.  We have come up with several ways for this to occur (response clickers, web based polling, real time collaborative documents) but we have yet to discover a way to incorporate text messaging...until now.  The first site which allows students to text in comments is here with Wiffiti.  Currently their site says that they will be undergoing a major overhaul in the upcoming weeks.  You can request an invite to their beta testing and until then try it out with what is currently on the site.  Wiffiti appears to be a major breakthrough in that the student's cell phone number is never displayed, users do not need to create accounts (a name is given to them when they first text in) and their is a moderation feature which keeps inappropriate content out of the conversation.  Students can even upload images and the teacher can pull in content from other sources (twitter so far).  Below is a screenshot of a discussion board from a history classroom:



Now What?

Once this is off the ground and running, students will be able to text in thoughts and comments during class which can be displayed using a projector.  This will ensure that everyone is in the conversation and because it is private without names, students can feel comfortable sharing their questions and ideas.

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