It seems there's been a bit of a change to Wallwisher. The site is now calling itself Padlet. I wonderered how these changes would impact the site and the truth is, very little has changed. Here's a link to an explanation of the change if you're interested: http://blog.wallwisher.com/2013/02/a-new-beginning.html#!/2013/02/a-new-beginning.html. I've given my students an opportunity to use the site and here's what I've discovered.
One thing is for sure, if you don't give students clear instructions then they likely won't meet your expectations. I shared information with students about logging on to Wallwisher and was hopeful that they would use it to post their photographs. It seemed like a good time saver and I didn't think it would be too complex for them. So far I only have two students out of 20 who have made an attempt. Luckily for many of the club members, failure to follow directions does not have an impact on their grade. So far I've only been able to persuade Griffin and Colin to upload pictures. Griffin seems to have experienced some success but Colin tried to upload a PowerPoint presentation which the website would not accept. Actually it could work if he could upload it to another location and link to it from Wallwisher. I'm not sure if this is practical though. I had hoped for a much easier and straightforward upload of the photographs. I should have also recommended to Griffin that he add text to his photographs indicating which rule of photography he had followed. That possibility exists and would helped him reflect on the purpose of posting each photograph.
I am beginning to think that Wallwisher might not be the best web 2.0 tool for this purpose though. One week's photography assignment completely fills a wall. I am tweaking this and considering creating a wall for each student. Organization may become an issue though and the number of walls to keep track of might get a little out of hand. I'm also on the lookout for a Web 2.0 tool that would meet the needs of my photography group better. I like the ease of posting to the wall, but I don't like the lack of organization.
I think the ease of use and ability to access this tool from school and home would make it usable for a telecollaborative project, but not in a very sophisticated way. I'll certainly have to give more consideration to what I'm going to do for the project and then see if this is a good tool to meet the needs of the project. I'm fortunate to have the low risk opportunity to try it out with my photography group and discover the limitations and possibilities before trying to use it during the project.
I've taken a bit of time to explore Padlet (Wallwisher) more and have been blasted with a bit of midnight insight which woke me from a very sound sleep. I don't want to dismiss Padlet for telecollaboration because it is very easy to use. I have been scrolling around in the very useful Padlet blog http://blog.wallwisher.com/ and I am going to try using the tool with advanced language arts learners tomorrow. If I can get my students into the computer lab at all (and this is a big if because sometimes teachers like to hog the computer lab by bringing their children in for hour long drill sessions) I am going to have students post comments about a Touchpebbles lesson. How great this would be for everyone to have a voice - even my child who is a selective mute! Here you can visit the wall my students created for the ALPS assignment.