Using UStream and Wifitti to Link Classrooms Near and Far

At the very beginning of the year a blog post came across my Google Reader titled “Harness Twitter and Your Audience Backchannel with Wifitti.” The writer of Copy/Paste, Peter Pappas, shared how to have twitter or cellphone users give feedback and send in questions to the presenter.
Many of you may be familiar with Wifitti without knowing it. Wifitti is the application used in a variety of public establishments where a viewer can text a message to a specific number and have their message posted on the screen moments later.

I put this nifty idea a few months later during a seasons project presentation session. Groups of students were expected to learn about the changing of solar intensity at different latitudes over the course of the year as the seasons changed. Students partaking in the project were told their presentation would be broadcasted live via UStream so that family members or anyone else tuning in could watch. As an added twist I created a wifitti channel and asked science teachers I was connected to via twitter to have their class join in and participate. Bob Ruggiero, a teacher in Bourne, MA agreed and had his class tune in! Mrs. Costa’s class from the seventh grade also tuned in for one period, excited to have kids use their cellphones as tools in class while learning more about how latitude lines played a role in determining solar intensity.

This was a first for me in many different technologies at once. Using UStream and Wiffiti were both new to me and I was unsure if everything would go smoothly. As the first class ran I monitored the Wifitti while the students presented to a live feed. It was a good idea for me to watch Wiffiti privately rather than the students as a whole. Not every comment that came across was necessarily appropriate for student review! Because students personal phone numbers were converted to anonymous names students had some unmonitorable freedom (see below.) But on the plus side many good questions came across the feed as well! See for yourself below.

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About MrMusselman

K-5 Science Specialist for the Burlington Public Schools of Burlington, MA.
This entry was posted in Digital Tools, Professional Reflections and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Using UStream and Wifitti to Link Classrooms Near and Far

  1. Peter Pappas says:

    Sean,Great to see you bring this into the classroom. I'm sure the students had a great time with it. BTW -You can also set up Wiffiti to pick up tagged photos in Flickr.

  2. Bob Ruggiero says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate, and the mention. My classes enjoyed the experience, and great motivation for me down on Cape!

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