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Online Noticeboards

Online Noticeboards

Have you ever thought about a quick and simple way of collecting ideas from children using the internet? Of course they could email you but this has drawbacks. The children may not have an email address and when 1 replies, how do the rest see it? Your VLE may have a discussion forum but is there an easier way?

Online noticeboards have been around for a while now and come in a number of different forms. The most popular and well-known is Wallwisher. Some useful ways of using it can be found here. They all work in a similar way. The teacher sets up a ‘wall’ and then children visit the address of the wall online and add a sticky/postit on to the wall.

You could use these noticeboards in a number of ways including as starters for a topic. What do the children already know? Or what would they like to find out? You could also pose a question such as ‘What is your favourite…?’ and they could answer online. You can often add links and pictures so that others can share URLs or their blog posts too. Walls are sometimes used at the end of parents’ evenings, conferences or just in the library for evaluations or suggestions. Usually they can be embedded too which means they can be put into a website or blog post very easily to make it even simpler for people to comment. Sometimes you can password-protect them too so that only your class can add to them. There are lots of ways that they can be used within class.

So, Wallwisher is the most popular but with the popularity, we have seen some weaknesses. Often, particularly in the Autumn last year, Wallwisher wouldn’t load properly. This meant that people started looking for alternatives and here are a few different sites that you might want to try.

Primary Wall – http://primarywall.com/

Primary Wall offers the ability to create a wall without signing up and you can choose a wall e.g. www.primarywall.com/teacherspet wasn’t taken so now it is mine. See, it’s here. You can also sort and organise your stickies which is very useful when they become cluttered.

Lino It – http://en.linoit.com/

This site lets you move stickies from one canvas to another and you can set due dates to remind you when things need doing. obviously this feature makes it more like a noticeboard than just somewhere to collect children’s responses, but still, it’s a nice feature. You do need an account to create a wall on this one. It’s free though.

Corkboard – http://corkboard.me/simple

This one is very simple. It doesn’t offer much at all but it does make it easy to use if you just want to collect text-based answers and ideas from the children.

And if you want to give Wallwisher a try, it can be found at: www.wallwisher.com You can sign in with a Google login too.

So have a play, make a wall and see what your children think of them. Some examples from my school can be found here and here.

Author: Ian Addison

I am an ICT coordinator at St John the Baptist Primary School in Waltham Chase, Hampshire. I have been here since September and since starting I have overseen the implementation of Google Apps and whole school blogs among other things. Before starting at St John’s I spent two years working for Hampshire LA as a VLE consultant. In 2010 I attended the Google Teacher Academy in London.

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