Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three Tools Students Can Use for Collaborative Brainstorming on the Web

One of the first challenges that students face when beginning to work on a group research project is organizing and connecting all of their ideas. These three tools can help students collaboratively organize their ideas on the web.

Realtime Board is a free tool for hosting online, collaborative brainstorming sessions. Realtime Board provides a blank grid on which you can type, draw, and post pictures. You can connect elements on your boards through a simple linking tool. The boards that you create on Realtime Board can be shared publicly or privately. To help you communicate with your collaborators Realtime Board has a chat function built into every board.

Spider Scribe is an online mind map creation service. Spider Scribe can be used individually or be used collaboratively. What jumps out about Spider Scribe is that users can add images, maps, calendars, text notes, and uploaded text files to their mind maps. Users can connect the elements on their mind maps or let them each stand on their own. You can embed your interactive Spider Scribe mind map into your blog or website. If you would like to see how Spider Scribe works, check out Russell Stannard's series of how-to videos or watch this two minute demo. Spider Scribe has a free product for students and educators.

Lucidchart is an easy-to-use tool for creating flowcharts, mindmaps, and graphic organizers. Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams.

A Simple Guide to Vitamins

More Than Supplemental is a nice infographic designed and published by S.B. Lattin Design. The infographic provides a guide to foods that are good sources of thirteen essential vitamins. One of the things that I like about this infographic is that they have listed the sources of the information. In this case the information displayed came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health.

Applications for Education
More Than Supplemental is the kind of infographic that I could see being printed and displayed in school cafeterias and or health classes.

From Cave Paintings to the Internet - A History of Media

Jeremy Norman's From Cave Paintings to the Internet is a great collection of images and information about media and communication throughout world history.  The digital artifacts are arranged in a timeline format as well as in a map format. The map format is based on Google Maps. On the map you can click on the placemarks to view articles and artifacts. In both the timeline and map formats you can refine your search by era, by theme, or by region.

Applications for Education
From Cave Paintings to the Internet could be a nice resource for world history students studying the development of communication over time. Using the map and timeline students can see when and where major developments in communication occurred.

H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Create Jeopardy Games on eQuizShow

eQuizShow is a free tool developed by a junior year high school student in New York City, Henry Wilson. Henry designed eQuizShow to be a tool that teachers can use to create Jeopardy-style games online. Unlike similar tools you do not have to download or upload any PowerPoint files to use eQuizShow. On eQuizShow you can build and display your quiz completely online.

To build your quiz just enter a title, an administrative password, and your question categories. eQuizShow will then generate a grid on which you can enter questions and answers. If you don't have time to build a quiz or you just need some inspiration, browse the eQuizShow gallery.

Applications for Education
In his email to me Henry shared that eQuizShow works well on interactive whiteboards. Teachers have used Jeopardy-style games to help students review for assessments. If you have an interactive whiteboard, using eQuizShow could be a good way to display questions and answers to students during a review session.

Share Classroom Design Ideas on My Classroom Ideas is a Pinterest-like site for teachers to discover and share pictures of classroom design elements like bulletin boards, reading corners, and door decorations. Any teacher can register and share his or her ideas with the community. If you just want to browse for ideas, there are seven galleries that you can browse through.