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Mixed modality learning with mobiles – 20 things to do in the classroom with Wiffiti

November 25th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Are wiffys tweets with attitude?

Following on from 25 ways of using mobile phones for learning, I thought I might blogsquat on Graham’s blog and look at some of my favourite mobile apps.

Today I am being excited about Wiffiti.  You can get yourself a free account (just Google it) then create a screen, load a picture, publish it and (subject to the permissions you have created) anyone can text a message or load an image (from phone or lap top which will appear on your screen.  It’s a bit like Twittering in Cinemascope…

You can go to and add your own message to the screen above in real time through your browser or just Text @wif12568 + your message to 87884.

I like….

  • The non linear format – no more threaded conversations, just synchronous comment
  • The anonymity (if you want)
  • The shared visibility
  • The “Lean Back” experience of viewing user-generated content from a distance (in a class, a public location or a conference) as well as the “Lean Forward” experience online or via text messaging.
  • Interactivity is multi-modal – it can happen at the location via mobile phones, or online via embeddable website widgets
  • New Wiffiti messages are instantly displayed centre screen and are easily viewable from a distance. Older messages then fade back and move as an animated cloud, providing enough ambient activity to continually stimulate audience attention and encourage engagement.’ (wiffiti)

20 things you could use Wiffys for….

  • Unconferencing
  • Taking questions during a plenary

(is good because you have permanent record, and you can take questions in any order or group questions together to reply)

  • Allowing students to ask for explanations, clarifications without feeling stupid
  • Getting messages to ‘strangers’ –

“will the person who put that great poster up on m-learning come and find Jen Hughes cos she’s really interested in a chat”

  • Finding people at events

“Jen Hughes is outside the main door having a cigarette – will Graham come and find me”

  • Asking for help

“Jen Hughes is desperate to borrow a Mac adaptor for the projector”

  • Conducting straw polls on the fly and giving everyone a voice

“How many of you agree that….”

  • Running a ‘background debate’ on a topic

It’s anonymous so can increase confidence in contributing

  • Brainstorming

You can run a brainstorm over an extended period not just for 10 mins in the classroom.

  • Feedback and evaluation

“one thing you liked about today’s lesson and one thing you didn’t”

  • Big screen Twittering

It’s just like big screen public Twittering so wiffys are like tweets with attitude

  • Photo competitions

“Post a photo by the end of the day representing ‘learning’ and vote on the best ones”

  • Communal storytelling

Tell a story, get kids to write their own endings….or build up a story from scratch. I’m currently loving the idea of non-sequential narrative ie synchronous rather than linear stories. Wiffiti is excellent as the posts fade in and out and are backgrounded and foregrounded constantly. Also helps kids get used to writing for web pages rater than ‘essays’.

  • Reflection and revision

“One key point from today’s lesson
“Post up an emoticon that tells me how you felt about school today”

  • Oral history / collective reminiscence

“Tell me one thing you remember from the 60s or your favourite sporting moment”
(it has to be the Scott Gibbs try at Wembley when Wales beat England 32-31 in injury time)

  • Making collections

“We are going to make a collection of screens on shapes / colours etc. This week use your phones to take pics of things which have 4 sides /red things etc”

  • In class research

“Use your computers to find some images of food that gives you energy and post them up”

  • Museums

On any subject under the sun – text anecdotes / memories, pictures – how about something easy like ‘our village’ to start off.

  • Sentence completion / cloze exercises

“If I were prime minister I would….”

  • Posting back messages from a visit or field trip about what they are doing to other classes

Oops – almost forgot Graham’s contribution, which I really liked

  • Would be good to run along side Sounds of the Bazaar radio so that comments could come in live.

5 Responses to “Mixed modality learning with mobiles – 20 things to do in the classroom with Wiffiti”

  1. Adam Robbins says:

    Thanks for a great article. I have been experimenting with wiffiti and I am keen to use it. However, I have had no joy in sending SMS messages to the screen. From various questions on the FAQ am I right in thinking that this is because the text number only works in the US. I thought you were UK based so I am confused that you seem to be getting it to work. Any advice would be gratefully received.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Graham Attwell and Stephen Randall, Derek Moore. Derek Moore said: Tweeted with attitude (or as I could muster) and posted a comment using Wiffys to […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by GrahamAttwell: New blog post – using mobiles in the classroom – 20 things to do with wiffiti – try it out on our site –

  3. […] One of the best I’ve seen recently is from Pontydysgu: Bridge to Learning, which describes 20 Uses for Wiffiti in the Classroom. […]

  4. […] Currently, I am looking at Wiffiti as one of the primary tools. I ran across this article today: 20 things to do in the classroom with Wiffiti.  It has several good […]

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