Showing posts with label Dotstorming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dotstorming. Show all posts

Friday, January 29, 2021

Dotstorming Gets an Updated Look and Easier Navigation

Dotstorming is a multimedia collage tool that has some neat voting and discussion features built into as well. I used it for a few years but haven't written about it since 2018. This morning I got an email from the developer of Dotstorming. The email announced a brand new look which includes an improved user interface.

Functionally, Dotstorming is the same as it ever was in terms of functionality. You can still create a collaborative board where you and your students can add notes and pictures. Dotstorming still lets you have chats on shared boards and still lets you vote for your favorite note or image added to your collaborative board. What's changed is that it's now much more obvious where to click to create boards, to create notes, to vote, and to chat. Previously, most of those features were "hidden" in drop-down menus. 

Dotstorming still provides teachers with tools to disable chat and or voting. It's possible to disable chat while still having the voting function turned on. 

Applications for Education
The value of Dotstorming in an online or in-person classroom is that it allows you to gather ideas or answers to a problem from your students and then have your students vote for the favorite idea or answer. Those vote totals can then be the basis for discussions with the whole class or in small groups.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Dotstorming Announces Change to Free Plan

Dotstorming is a tool that I have recommended for a few years for group brainstorming and informal assessment activities. It allows you to gather ideas from your students and then have students vote for the favorite idea added to a shared digital corkboard. Click here for my video overview of Dotstorming.

This morning an email went out to registered Dotstorming users to inform them of an upcoming change to the free plan. Starting on May 7th the free plan will be limited to one board per account. If you currently have more than that, those additional boards will be accessible for one more month. The paid plans on Dotstorming are rather reasonable at $5/month or $25 for six months of unlimited use. A school-wide plan for all teachers is also available.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dotstorming Adds Helpful New Features

Dotstorming is a good tool for hosting online brainstorming sessions and or general gathering of ideas from an audience. I've featured it in some of my workshops over the last couple of years because it is quick and easy to get a lot of people using it at once. On Dotstorming you can have people submit ideas in the forms of text, image, and video links. All submissions appear in a grid where viewers can then vote and comment on the submissions. Recently, Dotstorming added a couple of new features that teachers will find helpful.

Dotstorming has always let users add images to their submissions, but now the process is a little easier than it was before. In the past you had to use a specific "add image" command to add an image. Now you can just paste the URL for an image into a submission and the image will appear.

The second new feature is the option to clear a board. Choosing to clear a board will remove all comments and votes that have appeared. The original submissions themselves stay on the board.

Applications for Education
The improved "add image" option should make it a little easier for students to include images in their submissions to a Dotstorming board. The "clear board" option will be useful to teachers who want to re-use the same board for multiple classes. The "clear board" option will also be useful if you want to have students vote at the beginning of a lesson and have them vote again at the end of the lesson.

Learn more about Dotstorming in this video that I made for new users.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dotstorming Adds New Features and Limits Free Plan

Dotstorming is a good tool for gathering ideas from a group and then having the group members vote on those ideas. I have introduced Dotstorming to hundreds of teachers in workshops over the last two years. As recently as earlier this week I had teachers commenting on how much they liked using Dotstorming with their students. Yesterday, Dotstorming changed to a freemium service. Now you can only have five boards (collections of ideas) in a free account before you either need to delete a board or upgrade to a paid plan at a cost of $5/month.

In the same email announcing the fee-based plan, Dotstorming highlighted the relatively new options to download the contents of your boards as spreadsheets and the option to display names on your boards.

If you're interested in seeing how Dotstorming works, watch my video embedded below.


There are other services that can be used in a manner similar to Dotstorming. Padlet is one that comes to mind immediately. I have a set of Padlet tutorials embedded below.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Add Videos to Your Dotstorming Collaborative Brainstorming Sessions

Dotstorming is a cool tool for hosting collaborative brainstorming sessions. The neat thing about Dotstorming is that you can have everyone contribute their ideas on an online corkboard then vote for their favorite ideas. When Dotstorming launched you could only add text and picture notes. In the last week an option to include video notes was added to Dotstorming. To add a video to a note simply paste a YouTube URL into a note.

Another new feature of Dotstorming is the option to remove participants from a session. As the creator and administrator of a Dotstorming board you can simply hover your cursor over a name and then select "remove" to kick that person out of the session.

Learn more about how Dotstorming works by watching my how-to video embedded below.



Applications for Education
One of the ways that you could use Dotstorming is to post set of answer choices for your students and have them vote for the answer that they think is correct.

Dotstorming could be a helpful tool in planning Edcamp schedules. Have folks post their session titles and short descriptions then give everyone a few votes to determine which sessions will be held.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

11 Backchannel & Informal Assessment Tools Compared in One Chart

Last winter I made a series of charts in which I compared popular ed tech tools. I'm now going through those charts and removing some tools and adding some new ones. The chart embedded below is the updated version of my chart comparing 11 backchannel and informal assessment tools. At the bottom of the chart you will find links to video tutorials on each of the tools featured in the chart. You can download the chart here or find the Google Docs version here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Try Dotstorming for Brainstorming and Voting on Ideas

Dotstorming is a neat tool that combines a bit of Padlet with a polling tool.

On Dotstorming you can create a space for people to post digital sticky notes. Those notes can contain text and or images. That part of Dotstorming is just like Padlet. What makes Dotstorming different is that once the notes are posted, you can have people vote for their favorite notes. As the creator of a Dotstorming space you can restrict the number of votes that each person can cast. For example, you could say that each person gets two votes and once those votes are cast they're prevented from casting any more votes. After the voting is completed, you can sort the notes according to the number of votes they received.

Applications for Education
Dotstorming could be a good platform on which to host brainstorming sessions with your students. It could also be a good platform on which you gather students' thoughts about a question or problem statement. Post set of answer choices for your students and have them vote for the answer that they think is correct. You can have them use the chat function in Dotstorming to discuss the answer choices before, during, or after voting.

Thanks to Jeff Dahl for the tip about Dotstorming.