Duane Robertson has some fantastic examples of how he gets students started on editing their wiki. I love how his second step says "become part of the family." The use of checklists and pointers helps so much in collaboration and helping people get started.
Hackpad is an interesting tool. It claims to be a wiki but is more google doc-ish. They call them "smart" collaborative documents. You'll still need emails to invite people. It would be interesting to try out because you can link to other pads using the @ sign and it is also suited to iPHone and Android tools.
This is a fascinating permission form hybrid because it incorporates blogs, wikis, permission to read certain novels and watch certain videos ALL in one permission form. It would be one that high school literature teachers would want to look at using. I like how it discloses how students are identified. I may adapt something like this.
A new website that many are discussing. I love using BAckchannels in my classroom and thus far have used Chatzy and Ning chat, however, this website is designed for real time chat for classrooms. You can mute and remove comments, it has a profanity filter and also a full transcript so you can go back and assess participation and weaknesses. You can set the chat to discontinue when you leave.
When I review for tests, I always like to use a backchannel because I can ask questions and we can document answers and the students can save as notes. This is a great tool. I'll be testing the free chat room this week. I've heard from some of our Flat Classroom(r) certified teachers that this is a create tool.
Sad to see that the first major fail of a MOOC would happen at my alma mater, Georgia Tech, but I do applaud their transparency and moving forward with it. I hope they do it soon. With 41,000 students in the #foemooc - they had 40,000 students in a google doc which has a limit of 50 simultaneous editors - and with no backup - they weren't ready for the problems that would happen. This was a Coursera course and it just couldn't handle the load. Interestingly this was a Fundamentals of Online Education MOOC which makes it even more ironic. Read this article for more about what happened.
"Maybe it was inevitable that one of the new massive open online courses would crash. After all, MOOCs are being launched with considerable speed, not to mention hype. But MOOC advocates might have preferred the collapse of a course other than the one that was suspended this weekend, one week into instruction: "Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.""
While Google docs is great, when we had our conference in Beijing, China, we used etherpad installed on some servers out of Hong Kong. The original collaborative writing tool, Etherpad is very powerful. This in depth article teaches you how to set up etherpad on your own server and some of the benefits of using the tool. If Google Docs is blocked for you, this is a great alternative, although it does require a bit of tweaking or a lack of fear and ability to follow directions.
RSS is still here. I like this RSS guide written for students at LaGuardia College. Students should know how to build an RSS reader and subscribe to things like Google news search and google scholar to build a research tool that will pull information to you on the topics of interest.
This article is perfect for librarians wanting to utilize free books and help students "check them out" (if you can even use that term.) Here are three methods, the only thing I would add is that you can create a library with Evernote instead of springpad as well.
Pass this one on.
"three methods for creating and sharing a digital classroom library with your students. In all three cases, I’m going to assume that you have a source of free eBooks (Amazon’s Free Popular Classics, Google’s Play Store Top Free Books, or Project Gutenberg) and an app to read those books (Amazon’s Kindle app, Google’s Play Books app, Aldiko for Android, or iBooks for iOS)."
Cartooning is a great method to use in the classroom and here are 26 ways to use it. Nice job, Richard Byrne.
The government allows document changes to happen via GitHub, demonstrating yet again, that those who know how to collaboratively edit will have power - even if it is to fix a typo, that power will transfer to the have and have nots. Not just have and have not access to technology, but have and have not the confidence to collaboratively edit and how that works and have and have not the ability to create a userid and get up to speed on such a platform. The digital divide is no longer a divide of Internet have and have nots but a divide in your mind. Are you able to cross the chasm that says you can edit a government document or will you sit back and shake your head? Move boldly into this future where we can all edit and be a part.
This is a nice example because it includes the addition of new content but also editing of existing content to correct mistakes. It shows that the student read the work of the other student and added her own contribution.
This is an excellent post-reflective post from a fantastic student. You can see that she drafted in a word processor and pasted it in and then embedded the videos. Knowing how to use features of various programs in tandem is part of being fluent in software. Not just can they use one program or another but can they use them together to become more efficient and effective in the task at hand.
If you look at this editing tab, you can see that GrantG did a great job in his comments of documenting what he did. If we can get more students documenting their work as they edit, it makes the process of collaborative writing more powerful and faster as well as the ability to see what happened where.
""I wrote an introductory paragraph for our section. I asked my teacher and she said that because our topic has to do with current news, we can organize it in a way that includes introduction and conclusion paragraphs with a more list-like format in the middle. This is the reason I added a section for examples. Feel free to add relevant current news information as you find it!""
There is a fantastic feature on wikispaces that lets you drill down by student and see what work they've done. If you click on "recent changes" and then type in the userid and date, you can see the work. I now have students turn in their work on a google checklist - when they edit over a period of time, they type in their id and the dates and paste the link and I can grade with one click. This saves so much time and gives me a digital dashboard of all of the work they've done on a project.
"Ballotpedia is a nonprofit and nonpartisan collaborative encyclopedia designed to connect people to politics. Topics include: elections, congress, state executive officials, state legislatures, recall elections and ballot measures. You can find a full list of projects here.
Ballotpedia's staff and volunteers particularly focus on the so-called "down-ballot" candidates and ballot measures that typically receive less attention.
Ballotpedia is a wiki, which means anyone can improve it. By adding your knowledge and fixing mistakes, the quality and depth of Ballotpedia's information improves over time.
Why we do it
We believe in the power of information to transform lives and politics, and we're committed to making the most knowledge available to the greatest number of people. In addition to Ballotpedia, the Lucy Burns Institute hosts Judgepedia to collect information on our judiciary. The more informed we are as voters, the better our government becomes.
Ballotpedia isn't a part of any political party and we don't support candidates. We're simply a community of users dedicated to fairness and openness in politics, on both sides of the aisle. Our users welcome responsible, knowledge-building contributions from anyone who wants to participate.
How it works
Ballotpedia was originally formed by the Citizens in Charge Foundation on May 30, 2007. In March of 2008, the Sam Adams Alliance became Ballotpedia's sponsor, continuing their mission of using online media to promote access to government."
If you have something on the ballot in your state and want to have more information, go to ballot pedia which explains the initiative and lets you know who is paying for and against this. This is another method of wikis and collaborative writing playing a role in more open government and transparency. Students could run a student version of this sort of site, or -pedia sites on all kinds of things.
I teach students not to use "weasel words" in their collaborative writing. This includes things like "Many people say" or "it is widely thought" - these statements, unless backed up by a reliable source, lend credibility without fact backing them up. These are words that students should be familiarized with when writing for academic purposes in collaborative writing.
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