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Cool tech tool: Wordwall

As our school district continues to roll out new and exciting technology (read more about this on the CCSD technology blog!), I am especially thrilled that teachers are getting our brand new laptops right before the holiday break.

And CCSD teachers, when you get your new laptops, I recommend you download a cool piece of software that I just learned about the other day: Wordwall.

What’s Wordwall?

Here’s a video from their website that will give you an idea of what the program can do:

Skipping the video? Here’s a quick rundown: Wordwall allows you to created a wide variety of games and activities that students can participate in on an interactive whiteboard (like the SMART Boards we currently have in all CCSD classrooms, Promethean’s ActivBoard, or interactive projectors like the Epson BrightLink).

I learned about WordWall via a post on The Whiteboard Blog (which is a great collection of resources for any teacher looking for new ways to integrate technology in the classroom).

Did you click that link?

If you didn’t, here’s the BIG news :

Public school teachers in the US and the UK can download and this program for free!

The details:

  • Visit Wordwall’s Downloads page to get the software
  • Install on your computer
  • When you’re prompted for a key/license/offer code, enter NOVDEC12
  • Set up your account (it’ll ask for an email address and password)
  • Start playing! It’s fun. 🙂

The catch?

This special free offer is only good if you download and install Wordwall by December 25.

If you don’t make the 12/25 deadline, Wordwall is a paid program. And while it may very well be worth the money, I’m not one to pass when I’m offered something really cool for free. What a fabulous Christmas present!

(I also have to give kudos to Josh Smith – js at getwordwall.com – for his fantastically fast response time when I inquired about licenses for US teachers. He was extremely helpful!)

CCSD teachers, I’d suggest that you pick up your brand-spanking-new laptop first (if you haven’t already), and then download this program to play with over the holiday break.

Here’s a screenshot showing the variety of different activities you can make using Wordwall:

Here's a screenshot showing the variety of different activities you can make using Wordwall

Try first: Group sort, Random wheel, Match up, Rank order, Category brainstorm

And here’s an example of an interactive activity that I made in about 5-10 minutes:

I plan to try this one with PreK and kindergarten after the holiday break!

I plan to try this one with PreK and kindergarten after the holiday break!

Wordwall offers several different backgrounds and themes for each type of activity, and the games include sound effects and a variety options for how to complete the activities. You can even transform one type of activity into another–for example, this sorting game can be turned into a Flip tiles game (with fiction/nonfiction on one side and titles/covers on the other) in about three clicks.

Many of the activities can be image-based, text-based, or both, which makes them very flexible and easy to use for a variety of purposes with kids of different ages. Incorporating words and images together in a tile is amazingly easy, whereas in SMART Notebook software this usually requires several steps of re-sizing and grouping.

Speaking of images, Wordwall seems to integrate some kind of web-based image searching, so you can find pictures of pretty much anything you might want to include in the activity–rather than relying on a limited gallery of clip-art or images you have saved on your hard drive.

I’m excited to keep playing this program and to use it with my students very soon!

If you’re a teacher, how do you envision yourself using Wordwall in your classroom?

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Image credits

Background via freeseamlesstextures.com, used with attribution under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Tree frog image public domain via openclipart.org.

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