Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sharing ways to utilize Twitter at events (on a bigscreen!)

Displaying a Twitter Wall

A great support to any presentation, unconference or workshop is the use of a screen to share the backchannel.  A backchannel is real time (often online) conversations, that work alongside the presenters spoken word. It is a very useful tool in many ways.

Importance of a backchannel:

  • allows the audience to interact with the presenter
  • allows the audience to interact with each other! Therefore enhancing the whole experience.
  • gives the more reserved audience participant "a voice"
  • can be documented with various tools such as Tweetdoc and saved as PDF file (see my previous posts for examples of #ravoties tweetdoc Click here for Tweetdoc 1 (2 is on blogpost Food for educational geeksfirst ever Hills #tmsydney Click here to read Tweetdoc and the more recent Live International #teachmeet. Click here.
  • allows others to join the conversation if not physically present and share ideas/thoughts/resources
  • a way to keep up to date/in contact with your profession
  • a learning tool
  • Feedback is useful to presenters evaluation and reflection
  • encourages those not on twitter to view how exciting it is to be engaged with information and others in the audience ...and beyond!
My favourite backchanneling tools are the use of a Twitter hastag (as can be seen on the above tweetdocs) and  Today's meet.   More on Today's meet another time.   A backchannel presented as a  Twitter wall also gains interests, gives a bit of "wow" factor and allows those not on Twitter to read what others are Tweeting out.

Here are some wonderful tools to display a twitter backchannel on IWB/SMART screen or similiar:  (also called a Twitter Wall)

  1. Twitterfountain               First, as I find it most user friendly with many variations in settings.                      Free. Can add your images as background. Fancy. Impact.
  2. Wallofsilver                    Next in line as favourite.  Free.
  3. Visibletweets     
  4. Walloftweets                   Haven't used this one.
  5. Twitterfall    
  6. Anothertweetonthewall   Unsure if you can customize this one but quick, easy and free.
  7. Tweetfeed                       Need to create account. Simple display allows you to focus on text.

Like most tools, take a look and experiment with each,  to see what one works for you and your given situation.  Some of the animations, colours or themes of the tweet displays can either be distracting or not functional eg swirls, flashing, dropping letter by letter.  See what works for you.
Any other hints/suggestions/tips? Please share :)

Have fun!
Jeannette James

@wjputt :  Web20forschoolleaders thoughts on a Twitter client

Please join in via a comment interaction. Let everyone know what works for you. Any other ideas or thoughts?


  1. Dear Jeannette,
    I couldn't agree more with you that back channeling is a great way to interact with and learn from other educators. I still haven't used the twitter tools that you recommend, but will certainly give them a try over the upcoming holidays.

  2. Jeannette
    What a homage to something that brought us from two continents together on this digital world!!!

  3. Thanks for stopping by Arjana and the follow! 5th follower on blogpost :) Yes, do try the twitterwall tools- fun to engage with. Can even have on display in staffroom or laptop at staff meetings.

    Have a wonderful Christmas. BTW LOVE your QR code glogster page! For those interested take a look at this link: http://greetingsfromtheworld.wikispaces.com/
    (Greetings from the world)

    Cheers, Jeannette James

  4. Yes! So true dear Cherry. Am very pleased we "bumped" into each other during the International teachmeet live webinar. Much fun!