Graffiti creator: would I want to use it?

Editing the letters individually, with greater contrast between them, would have made the word ("create") more legible

Here's one I'm not so sure about: graffiticreator.net

It's fun, though I'd have liked an un-do button, but maybe that's just me: I've never actually had a go with an aerosol can and reckon true graffiti artists don't, ever, "un-do"… ,-)! But would I actually want to use this with students?

Criteria for using technology
When I'm lesson planning and look at a website or an activity of some sort involving the use of any technology, I ask myself the same questions I suggest in the technology session on our CELTA course:

  • Is it a suitable level of difficulty, language and maturity for my learners…?
  • Will my learners enjoy doing it…? Will it engage them…?
  • How can / must I adapt it…?
  • What are the aims…?
  • What are the stages…?
  • What language is being used, practised and learnt…?
  • What are we going to do with what we've found / created…?
  • What is the return-on-investment (time spent setting up, in class…)?

With graffiticreator.net, my doubt is really over the language that is going to be produced and used: is it merely going to engage my learners at the visual level and absorb them in understanding how the site works, or am I going to be able to create a task that will really produce a lot of meaningful (linguistic) interaction?

Decision time…
On balance, that looks to me like one that will go into my "For the kids" file in my favourites — for my own kids, that is, they'll like it, but I don't think I'll be using it in the classroom with learners.

Now, on the other hand, if we had a class blog, and I wanted to decorate it, and we had — say — a new "graffiti word a week", and the kids wanted to do it in their own time, at home, or when I'd got someone finished all their other work, then I might consider it — but my aim would not then be a linguistic one.

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2 Comments

  1. I liked the idea someone suggested in our session last week — that you could dictate to your learners what they had to do, and turn it into a listening exercise.

    However, be warned (and make it a real short word, like "cat"…): trying to get a dozen or more people to follow instructions and click the right thing at exactly the same time and be ready for the next instruction… can be a bit of a nightmare ,-) !

  2. Another comment that someone (Michelle?) made in the Celta session when we looked at the possibility of using this… that "it's only creative".

    I think that classrooms should be creative places — they're so much more fun if they are, and so much duller if they're not — but I like the point being made: being creative is not enough on it's own.

    What we do with technology has got to lead to (more) language learning.

    My point in showing GraffitiCreator was to give an example of something that is probably not justifiable for use in the language classroom.

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