We’ve asked this question before, but we’re going to ask it again: Why do our students come to school? Is it for the textbooks and your oratorical prowess? Unlikely. We’re not saying that you and your lectures are chopped liver or anything, but we do happen to think that it’s the collaborative experience—the relationships and the conversations between student and student and student and teacher—that truly makes coming to school exceptional.
To help your students get the most out of their collaborative learning experience and use technology to do it, we’re going to review 5 apps that’ll get you on your way.
5 More Apps to Boost Collaborative Learning
Looking for an easy way for your students to share conversations, notes, tasks, calendars, files, and other information in secure, private, workspaces? Look no further, WizeHive’s got you covered. If that wasn’t enough, WizeHive offers users the capability to enter information via email, Twitter or any mobile device.
Our friend Richard Byrn from Free Technology for Teachers turned us on to this app and we’re addicted. Scribblar allows users to collaborate in real-time to create or upload preexisting images and drawings. Users can edit, comment or use voice/text chat to share their thoughts. Don’t feel like taking the time to create an account? No worries, you can still create a Scribblar room, you just won’t be able to enable privacy settings or name your room.
Book Glutton (Free)
Reading alone is fun, but nothing can truly replace reading a text and coming to class to have a seminar-style discussion about it. Book Glutton has figured out a way for readers to take in-class conversations home with them—so the dialogue never has to end.
If you use Book Glutton, you can create virtual reading groups that literally meet inside of the text itself. For example, say you want to comment on page 80, paragraph 4 in Catcher in the Rye. Go ahead and click on it, leave your comment for the rest of the class to read and respond to.
If you thought that was cool, you haven’t seen anything yet: Book Glutton offers users access to 797 open-source (completely free) classics!
NoteMesh is a free service that allows college students in the same classes to share notes with each other. It works by creating a wiki for individual classes that users can edit. Students are free to post their own lecture notes or contribute to existing ones. The idea is that users in the same class can collaboratively create a definitive source for lecture notes.
Our students live complicated and busy lives, but thanks to inClass, they can keep track of all their courses, share notes with one another, document tasks and receive reminders when something is due. But wait, there’s more: inClass gives your students the ability to take video, audio and phone notes and then share them with their peers. Sounds like music to our ears. Now you’ll never have to listen to excuses about forgotten homework again!
If you’re interested in enhancing your students’ collaborative learning experience and can’t get your hands on enough apps like thtese, check out one of our recent blogs, “5 Apps to Boost Collaborative Learning.”