Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Tool: Wiffiti

Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches) posted wrote a blog post a while back about a tool called Wiffiti which aggregates specified terms from Twitter, Flickr, and SMS. According to their website, Wiffiti is "used extensively in digital signage networks ranging from huge jumbotrons in Times Square to thousands of screens in bars, cafes, schools, entertainment centers and churches."

One day I walked past a store in the mall which had a big flat-screen TV displaying a feed of customer feedback from the web. At the time I wondered how they did that and thought it would be a cool thing to incorporate into PD session or conference. Yes, you could simply use Twitter or TweetDeck, but Wiffiti provides a more of a polished display for Tweets in addition to incorporating non-Twitter based mentions. Now that I think back on the display that I saw, it may have been powered by Wiffiti.

Here's a short video clip of Wiffiti in use at a David Archuletta concert in June of 2009 courtesy of YouTuber Stepploca.

In addition to scanning Twitter, Wiffiti also offers the option of including SMS (text) messages sent to a custom number for incorporation onto the Wiffiti screen. A possible classroom application would be allowing students to text questions for display on the screen in real-time (A potentially dangerous but fun idea!).

Here is an example "Wiffiti screen" of the Twitter Hashtag #gct (Google Certified Teachers).

This post is primarily just a test run of Wiffiti, but I'd be interested in suggestions for possible classroom applications or other similar web aggregators.


  1. Hi Mr. Sowash,

    My name is Katherine Perkins and I have been assigned to your blog for two weeks for my EDM 310 class. You may access the EDM class blog at and my blog at I enjoyed reading your post on Wiffiti. I had never heard of Wiffiti before reading your post. I think I have seen it before during tv awards, but never knew what it was. It does seem like a fun tool to use in the classroom, but I agree that it could be possibly dangerous also. Also if it was used in the classroom wouldn't this tool cause students to stop verbally communicating with the teacher? If used for a certain amount of time during discussions or as a way to send homework questions would be okay, but maybe not as everyday use. Students still need to have a way to verbally communicate if they need help on a question. Thanks again for posting on Wiffiti and I'm looking forward to reading your next post!


  2. Thanks, Katherine, for your comment.

    When I incorporate technology into my lessons, I typically do so for two reasons. The first reason is that today's students need to be exposed to various forms of technology because it is very likely that they will be called upon to use these technologies in the workplace. A great example of this is Wikis. Companies are using wikis internally to foster collaboration between their employees. I don't think Wiffiti falls into this category however.

    The second reason I incorporate technology into my classroom is to engage students who would otherwise tune me out. Some students wouldn't take part in a class discussion because they're bored with them or are overwhelmed by their more vocal classmates. Using Wiffiti in class would, hopefully, encourage more discussion than normal. Call it a gimmick if you will, that's essentially what it is, but if it creates authentic discussion and dialog, I'm all for it!


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