Last week I had a lot of good luck with new webtools. First I tried Quizalize and that was great. I also tried LearnClick (more on that at some point) and it was pretty good too. Then I finally got to WordWall's beta web version of their interactive whiteboard software. It was fantastic!
I first learned about WordWall on Danny Nicholson's excellent blog. I have had the tab open in several browsers for months. I wanted to use an activity created in SMART Notebook, but it wasn't working well with my new Epson projector, so I needed a substitute. It was a perfect time to try out the beta WordWall.
WordWall wants to keep teachers using "large touch screens" to "to create activities that are a pleasure to teach with, and fun to participate in." The WordWall concept is to create templates for teachers to use to create interactive activities. These templates are designed by graphic artists and are easy to use so teachers can focus on content and not on design. They have desktop software and, in fact, offer a free personal license to teachers, but now there is also a web-based version that is in beta. This is what I tried last week.
There are 34 templates in the beta version of WordWall. Some are teaching tools (seating chart, brainstorming) and some are games (whack-a-mole, group sort) and some are quizzish (true or false, quiz). Click on the template, type in your content, click done. It's that easy. You make an activity public or private and you can always come back and edit it later. Here is the activity I made. Students sort properties of ionic and molecular compounds.
To play, just share the weblink. The activity I made has a pleasant sound if you sort correctly and a sad noise when the property is in the wrong place. When all the tiles are placed correctly, they dance and there is a jingly sound effect. This is designed to be a whole group activity, but I am going to use it as a station in a station rotation I am doing on molecular compounds. I love the sound effects because students will get feedback about whether their answers are right or wrong independently, allowing me to concentrate on helping at a different station.
As promised, the activity does look great and you can change the look with the click of a button. It is also easy to change from one game type to another. I got a little stuck when trying to play (user error!), so I sent an email to the contact address. I got a helpful response very quickly - always a plus (Thanks, Dan!). There are some math tools available for equations and subscripts/superscripts. You can also search other user's games by education level and subject area, so you might find a ready-made tool just waiting for you. All in all, this is a great webtool and will definitely become one of my go-to tools! I highly recommend you getwordwall this week! If you want try out the beta, click here and use the code danbeta. Thanks WordWall for sharing that code with us!