Working with Wallwisher and Wordle in ESL

This week of technology has been challenging and exciting, full of ups and downs, yet, in retrospect, satisfying and full.  In my high beginning/low intermediate ESL Talk ‘n’ Tech, we worked with Wallwisher, Wordle, several ESOLCourses World Cup sites AND changed student account passwords in just a total of four hours.  Whew!

I introduced the students to Wallwisher as part of a unit on count/non-count nouns.  At the same time, I wanted us to share as a group all that our city, Milwaukee,  has to offer us especially in the summer.  So, I asked the students to get in small groups and list as many things as they could that they liked about living in Milwaukee.  They were to put those items/ideas on Wallwisher and then read the items aloud as we determined if those items were count or non-count nouns.

The difficulty with this task was that only one person/group could work on Wallwisher at a time, and all others were shut out and had to wait to complete their work.  With 24 students in this class, I hadn’t realized how slow the going would be.  Ultimately,  I told those who didn’t get to post their ideas on the site that they could/should do it as homework.  However, computer assignments at this level are usually only completed by one or two at best for a variety of reasons.

The next time I use Wallwisher with beginning and intermediate students, I’ll first have the students dictate their information to me as I enter and project it for them to see.  Then, as a follow-up activity,  I’ll set Wallwisher up on the instructor computer and have each group input their information via that computer with my assistance or that of a student computer mentor if necessary (while the rest of the class is engaged in another activity).  The third day, I’ll stagger the inputting task and times for the students to enter their information at their own computer, again as one of several activities for them to complete that day.  I will offer a Wallwisher assignment at that point as a weekend assignment with hopes that fewer will be intimidated by the task and will enjoy showing their families what they are learning.

Continuing the count/noncount unit and employing Wordle as my technology tool,  the students brainstormed nouns again in small groups that they associated with school and learning.  They listed those words, doubled the names of the members of their group and created a Wordle.  They enjoyed Wordle but wished they had had access to a color printer to keep their copy.  I reminded the students of the importance of flash drives for saving their work and not always relying on paper, but this is another “foreign” concept to most of them.   One day at a time, one concept at a time, one technology at a time.

Maybe less will be more in the long run.

One Response

  1. […] Wallwisher / Linoit – Ways to use them  – blog post and 101 ways to use […]

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