Co-Creation & Ideation Tools

Co-creation and ideation tools facilitate the most direct interaction between team members on the goals or desired outcomes of the project. Using these tools, participants can often work in groups directly editing or building the project artifact.  Several of these tools are the same ones used for project management – which is great – because the students will already be familiar with the interface.

Google Apps for Education A group of students can work together on an in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, seeing changes in real time and even discuss the process or comment right within the tool.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that documents, presentations and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

Group members can edit documents, presentations or websites with images, videos, tables, drawings, or links and teachers or other students can give feedback by adding comments. The discussion feature (now available in Spreadsheet and Presentations as well as Docs) allows team members to talk about the project, what to do, how its going, etc right within the project.  You can even use the Research tool right within Documents to search for content on the web. Google Sites can be used as a portfolio or as a place to embed and showcase student projects. As a teacher you can create a template of a Site that contains directions, examples, links to resources and helpful tips and then have your students make a copy of the site.   This productivity suite was made for collaboration!  Other collaboration suites are:  Zoho Docs  and Microsoft 365.

Google Apps Examples:

  • Spanish students worked collaboratively to create a newspaper with a variety of articles: “LA PRENSA DE LAS PANTERAS”
  • Students use a Google form to collect data about the relationship between your height and wingspan to prove or disprove Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”
  • Students researched Biomes and various projects were embedded into a Google Site

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  On a wiki students can share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media.  A wiki can be made public so anyone can edit the space or limited to just a class or a few participants.  Many different types of projects can be embedded in a wiki so they work well for showcasing projects made with other tools like:  videos, documents, polls, calendars, maps and specific Web 2.0 tools where you can get the HTML embed code (example:  Google Presentations, VoiceThread). Wikispaces provides free wikis for teachers and they do not contain ads. Don’t forget the tips for collaborative projects using Wikispaces. Another wiki option is PBWorks.

Wiki Examples:

  • High School online collaborative writing wiki
  • Elementary students in Auckland, New Zealand are using part of their class wiki as a blog and the other half to showcase student-created projects.
  • wiki to showcase student-made math movies

 

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere.

Evernote Examples:

  • Elementary grade students use Evernote for student portfolios
  • Here is a blog post how a Librarian uses Evernote as a research tool.

 

MeetingWords is a very simple text editor for the web. Your text is saved on the web, and more than one person can edit the same document at the same time. Everybody’s changes are instantly reflected on all screens.  You can work together on notes, brainstorming sessions, homework, etc.

Other content creation options:

VoiceThread:  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice through a Facebook Fan Page (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies. (https://voicethread.com/about/features/)  Here is a wiki with VoiceThread examples: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/


Prezi:
  Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations where images and words work together to present an idea or lesson.  You can work together on the same prezi in real-time. With Prezi Meeting, teams can collaborate live or simply present prezis with up to 10 people in a prezi at one time. Prezi Meeting is included in all license types.

 


 

Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas.  There are several technology tools that support this brainstorming process.

Mindmeister:  You can work with multiple users simultaneously on the same mind map. All collaborators will be shown in the map footer if they are working on the same mind map. You can turn on the History View to see what changes have been done by which users. You can share your mind maps with a single collaborator, group, or public.  You can give presentations directly from MindMeister either online to other collaborators or with a projector.

Popplet:  Popplet is a place to collect ideas.  Its very simple to use easy great for younger kids.  You can collect inspiration, record thoughts, explore ideas, create galleries. Popplets share be shared and collaborated in real time.

Padlet:  (formerly called Wallwisher) is a super easy way to collect ideas, images, and multimedia onto a simple “wall”.  Works great on tablets too.

Other mind-mapping tools: Webspiration Classroom and Creately (paid)


Creative Commons / Copyfriendly Images/Audio/Music

Discuss with students how we can honor intellectual property by searching the web for “copyfriendly” images to use for collaborative projects.  Help students to understand that all of their work – whether digital or not – is copyrighted the minute they create it. You do not need a © symbol to copyright your work.  You created it – you own it!

I like to appeal to the creative musicians, photographers and artists in my classes.  I try to help students understand that they can CHOOSE to share their creations and still maintain ownership.  This leads to a discussion about Creative Commons licensing.  If a student is willing to share their work to be remixed, changed or altered they must decided whether to allow commercial use or not.  Going through the process of choosing a license for their own work reinforces the concept of “honoring” the intentions of the other content-creators.

Inevitably, a student brings up the concept of “fair use” and wonders why they can’t just so a Google image search for their school-related assignments.  Its at this point that we talk about the purpose of citations for school work – that citing an image for a PowerPoint or presentation means that you are not taking credit for having made the image used and are indicating on the Works Cited page who is the original owner.

This discussion helps students to understand that under fair use laws, teachers must still follow certain rules:

  • I will include a notice that the materials are protected by copyright
  • I will use technology that reasonably limits the students’ ability to retain or further distribute the materials
  • I will make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of a class session.

Sure, there are always going to be those who think that if its on the Internet then they should be able to use it. But presenting Copyright vs. Creative Commons in a way that explains WHY and focus on HONORING the work of others, gets kids thinking about themselves as content-creators and how they would feel if someone “stole” their work and made money off it.

My all-time favorite resource to share with students is Joyce Valenza’s CopyFriendly Resource Page.

Featured in Google Docs for Education blog

Last month Google Docs sent out a request to educators to share how they use Google Docs in Education.  Selected entries are showcased on their blog and mine was chosen!!!  Here’s what i submitted:

In my attempt to avoid sitting through days and days of PowerPoint presentations in my high school computer classes (and boring the students in the process), I decided to upload each of my students Online Safety PowerPoint’s to a Google account and the class joined the presentation. One student talked aloud while everyone listened and chatted about the presentation.  The students asked questions in the chat, added their own information and followed along in the presentation.

For the first time I can EVER remember as a teacher – 100% of the students were engaged in the presentation and participated in the chat.  The students were enthusiastic and offered insightful and appropriate comments.  The students liked being able to add their input without interrupting the presentation.  I will definitely use Google shared presentations again.

I love Google Docs and use them all the time in my classroom.  Here are a few other ideas:

  • Editing stories written by newspaper staff
  • Collecting addresses for mail merge
  • Surveys
  • Collaborative group planning for projects
  • Collecting real time data (science experiment, calorie counting, etc)

Check out how other Educators are using Google Docs here!

100% Engagement

Ask yourself this question … when was the last time you had 100% of your audience actively engaged in your presentation?

email-safety.pngIn my attempt to avoid sitting through days and days of PowerPoint presentations I decided to upload each of my students Online Safety PowerPoint’s to a class Google shared account.  We then embedded mini versions of the presentations on our class wiki.  When it came time to present the information, every class member signed into their Google account and clicked on the link to join the shared presentation.

If students wanted to participate in the chat during the presentation they were STRICTLY limited to comments about the material being presented or questions or clarification.

After sorting out some Google log in issues (each student must have a unique user name – you can’t share – or the chat won’t work correctly) we began the presentations and chat.

For the first time I can EVER remember as a teacher – 100% of the students were engaged in the presentation and participated in the chat.  The students were enthusiastic and offered insightful and appropriate comments.  Students liked being able to add their input without interrupting the presentation.

We’ll try it again on Monday and this time I will save a chat transcript.

Instructional Technology Strategies Conference (ITSC) – February 17-19, 2008

Engaging Students with Authentic Technology Projects – Sun, 2/17/08, 7:30-8:30 pm

Handouts located at: http://edtechvision.wikispaces.com/ITSC

Embrace 21st century strategies to create an instructional learning environment that moves away from teaching isolated computer skills towards an integrated thematic approach. Come learn how you can combine everyday productivity tools with Web 2.0 to support curriculum integration and collaboration.


The National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) recommends that educators establish new learning environments that provide real world opportunities for students to utilize current information and technology resources (ISTE, 2000).

According to The American Youth Policy Forum (2000) instruction in today’s high schools must change. Disengagement from the learning process is a widespread problem in high schools as students do not perceive how lessons are relevant to their lives.

The American Youth Policy Forum reports that lecture style classes continue to dominate classroom instruction and content is divorced from the real world. Schools need to embrace new strategies for learning based on current research of how students learn, implement effective uses of technology in the classroom, and develop “21st Century Skills” while maintaining a rigorous academic curriculum (Burkhardt et al., 2003 http://www.ncrel.org/engauge).

It takes vision and planning to engage students in authentic learning experiences. Teachers must identify which instructional strategies are most effective and understand how to infuse technology into lessons with real world applications.


Instead of asking the question “What technology skills must students have to face the 21st century?” should we not be asking “What thinking and literacy skills must students have to face the 21st century?” These skills are not tied to any particular software or technology-type, but rather aim to provide students with the thinking skill and thus the opportunity to succeed no matter what their futures hold.” Justin Medved, Dennis Harter
Curriculum is designed from the best practice approaches to teaching and learning found in Understanding by Design

The Essential Questions for the 21st Century Learner are:

  • How do you know information is true?
  • How do you communicate effectively?
  • What does it mean to be a global citizen?
  • How do I learn best?
  • How can we be safe?

These questions speak to thinking, critically evaluating, analyzing, and communicating. They emphasize the value in responsible behavior and knowing yourself as a learner. http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/


Career Unit – Based on John Holland’s six personality traits

Goals: critically evaluating, analyzing, communication

Work Samples:

 

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Career Resources:


Lunch Nutrition and Recycling Unit

Goals: analyzing, communication, evaluating

Work Samples

Nutrition / Waste Recycling Resources


Other Classroom Activities:

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING 2007 – http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/toolbox2007.html

  • Valiant Pride: New student edition – a newspaper that my students designed for new incoming students (samples:
  • Search Engine Extravaganza – PowerPoint presentations to teach our school community about unique search engines
  • BE SAFE ONLINE! Projects made by students to discuss online safety (including chat rooms, cyber bullying, online profiles, photo sharing, etc)
    • Wiki to store document sources used in projects
    • Samples of projects made on blogs, Flickr, and Google presentations (work in progress)
  • Curriculum Review Quizzes – Note: action buttons and hyperlinks do not work on slideshare – you must download the PowerPoint first

Note: Some of the lessons in this session are based on activities that I designed for my Action Research Project for my MA in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Three complete thematic units are located at http://cadres.pepperdine.edu/ar/c9/Cassinelli/arp.htm

 


Works Cited

  1. American Youth Policy Forum http://www.aypf.org/
  2. Best Jobs for the 21st Century, 4th Edition by Michael Farr. ©2006 JIST Publishing, Inc.
  3. Curriculum 2.0 http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/
  4. enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age (Burkhardt, G., Monsour M., Valdez, G., Gunn, C., Dawson, M., Lemke, C., et al., 2003) North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Metiri Group, http://www.ncrel.org/engauge
  5. National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) http://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.html

Google presentations

I am excited to give the new Google presentations a try in the coming weeks. Mark Wagner (on Infinite Thinking Machine) gives a quick overview on the Google-sponsored blog.

Google Docs (formerly Google Docs & Spreadsheets) now allows mulitple users to view or edit a presentationpresently.jpg online. Users can create a presentation from scratch or import and then share an existing Powerpoint presentation. Surprisingly, these presentations are also a way to bring an international learning community into your classroom. Here are some of the benefits and limits of this new tool, followed by some early educational examples.

The Benefits (click here to read full explanations of these benefits and limitations).

  • Web-based
  • Collaborative
  • Backchannel Chat

The Limits:

  • Computers and Google Accounts Needed
  • No Archives & Limited Export
  • No Audio, Video, or Screencasting

Image citation:  http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/images/presently.jpg