Friday, January 1, 2010

Cacoo - Collaborative Diagram Creation

Cacoo is a feature-rich collaborative diagram creation resource. Like similar diagram creation tools, Cacoo allows you to draw shapes, type, and drag and drop elements of your diagram. One of the unique aspects of Cacoo is that you can also upload images to include in your diagrams. The collaborative aspect of Cacoo is that you can invite other people to contribute to your diagrams. Cacoo allows you to chat with your collaborators in real-time while you work on your diagrams. Watch the video below to learn more.

Cacoo - Real-time Collaborative Diagramming & Design from Nulab Inc. on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
For students that are visual learners, creating diagrams can be very helpful in forming an understanding of concepts. I often use diagrams or mind maps in my US History classes to help students understand how multiple themes apply to a particular event. I can see myself having my US History students use Cacoo to contribute to the creation of diagram about the themes of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you: - Free Mind Mapping Tool
Flock Draw - Simple, Collaborative Drawing
Lovely Charts - Create High Quality Charts

Synchtube - Watch Videos and Chat In Real Time

Synchtube is a new service for watching videos and chatting about them at the same time. Here's how it works; find the url of your favorite YouTube video, copy that url into Synchtube, and begin chatting with your friends while the video is playing. You can comment on the video and share thoughts inspired by the video while you're watching. Right now Synchtube is in beta and you can only have four people chatting at once, but hopefully that limit will be increased in the future.

Applications for Education
Before Christmas I shared a post about using Todaysmeet to host a back-channel discussion with my students while we watched the film Glory. Synchtube could be used in a similar manner. Students could watch a video and ask the teacher questions or make comments while the video is playing.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Back-channeling During a Class Viewing of Glory
Safe Share TV - Safe YouTube Viewing
Vokle - Host an Online Show or Video Conference

New Year's Resolution Generator

So the New Year is here and if you're feeling the pressure to make a resolution, but you just don't know what it should be, try the New Year's Resolution Generator. Click the "Gimme More" button on the New Year's Resolution Generator and you'll be given a resolution idea.

Applications for Education
I remember in the third grade and again in the sixth grade my teachers made us write New Year's resolutions. I could never come up with any good ideas, I wish I had had this handy little tool. If you're thinking of using New Year's resolutions as writing prompts, consider having the New Year's Resolution Generator available to those students who are struggling for ideas.

Happy New Year!