Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Module 4: The Three Cs - Communication, Collaboration, Content

Tools for Communication -
  • Chat - Several different email suites, such as Gmail, have a chat and group chat feature
  • Email - Sending emails to individuals or groups of people is a great way to communicate and preserve a copy of the communication. These days it seems that every school district or educational institution has their own email suite. Free email accounts can be created through services such as Gmail or Yahoo. It costs a small fee but Gaggle is a great service for K12 students.
  • Edmodo - Social networking becomes academic networking.  Students and teacher can access Edmodo for free and privately.  Edmodo is a microblogging platform to communicate online.  Through Edmodo students and teachers can also share and store files.  Students can post directly to the class account or the teacher page, but not to each other. It is very easy for teachers to monitor student activity as well.
  • GroupTweet - GroupTweet enables Twitter users to communicate and collaborate privately.
  • ooVoo - With ooVoo, users can access 2-way video chat and 6-way text chat for no charge.  The site has the ability to record and send short video messages.
  • Skype - Another free video chat services enables up to 5 people to chat with video and up to 25 people to chat with audio. 
Tools for Content -
  • Vyew - A free collaboration platform that can be used for webinars, online conferences, real-time learning and instruction.   All activity can be tracked and logged. a great tool to use to deliver content.
  • EditGrid -  A free web-based application that works similar to Microsoft Excel. Some of the features of EditGrid include sharing, collaborating and publishing capabilities.
  • Keep and Share - Keep and Share is a free group file sharing system that allows for content to be shared and stored.  The accounts are password-controlled and secure. 
  • Stixy - Stixy is a free platform that works like an online bulletin board or whiteboard.  The workplace is perfect to share content and collaborate with other people.
  • Twiddla - Twiddla is a free platform that is ideal for online meetings and co-browsing. Groups can mark-up and comment on webpages, images, and other content.
Tools for Collaboration -
  • Wikis - Wikis are free collaborative platforms that allow for members to add, modify and delete content generally using a rich-text editor.  A personal favorite is Wikispaces
  • Writeboard - With this free collaborative writing software, groups can write, edit, track change and roll back to previous versions.
  • Mikogo - Mikogo is a free desktop sharing software that is ideal for online meetings, web conferences, presentations, remote support and collaborative efforts.
  • Wridea - Groups can collaborate and share ideas with this brainstorming tool that organizes and categorizes ideas on different pages, has unlimited storage and allows users to comment on topics and ideas.
  • ReviewBasics - ReviewBasics was a free online service that allows groups to collaborate and edit different types of content.  Users are able to share, annotate, and markup images, videos, and documents. The service is no longer offered for free, but for a small fee it can be accessed.


  1. Laura,

    You have created an extensive graphic organizer for this blog assignment. I have used some of the tools you have identified both in class and in my personal/family dealings. I particularly find ooVoo to have great communication potential. I have had students who are out of school for extended periods of time use ooVoo to "attend" class from home. I had never seen stixy before. It reminds me of Wall Wisher, which can be found at http://www.wallwisher.com/ . Have you ever used Edmodo in your classes? I have wanted to try and have not been able to quite figure out an appropriate use of the network.

  2. Laura-wonderful graph and full of tools. i have heard of some but not all. My school (spec. needs) do not use tools like this for are kids are unable but I have found some of the other sites like Mikogo very interesting. Thanks for outlining and giving a description of these. Nice job!

  3. Lauramae, Which tools do you think are best for creating a community of learning?

  4. I am amazed at all of these new products, ideas, innovations that you are exposed to. Study Island is a new one that I have seen discussion on this week. How do you find the time to check them all out? Clickers, digital gradebooks. The list goes on and on. My hat is off to you. I can only imagine that most of this exploration is done 'off the clock'.

  5. Sherman, I have used Edmodo in my class. I have used it to post discussion questions for my studentse to respond to and reflect on. I have also used it as a way for them to communicate with me "after hours." Students don't need email to use Edmodo and technically I am not allowed to provide email accounts to my students. They also have a new feature that lets you ask questions and polls the results in a graph which is pretty cool.

    Sue, I learned about a lot of these as I was doing research for this assignment =)

    Lisa, it is hard to define what the "best" tool is. A lot of it would depend on what the purpose for the learning community is.

    Dan, There are A LOT! I love using them all and yes most of the exploration does tend to take place 'off the clock.'

  6. Great post! I loved all the products and tools that you introduced in your graphic organizer. A few of them I was unfamiliar with and I have learned about some new tools that I definitley want to integrate in my classroom.

  7. Laura,

    Excellent information. Our school district required teachers to set up an Edmodo account about three months ago, but I have not had the time to explore the product. We never received training either. Most teachers have ignored it (99%) because of being overwhelmed with other tasks. your description makes it sound interesting, I am eager to give it a "test drive" now.

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