Friday, August 18, 2006

Online Group Assignment Collaboration

Group projects are frequently assigned in many schools. I know my own two teenagers often have difficulty scheduling time when everyone in the group can meet to work on projects. There are at least two free online tools that support online collaboration that are worth trying.- Writely and Writeboard. I'm spending some time myself playing with the features. Has anyone else used these tools with their students? I appreciate any feedback and other recommendations.

3 comments:

Beth Knittle said...

Karen,

I subscribe to a podcast (videocast) called screencasts online (www.screencastsonline.com) Don just did a podcast on writeboard. Thought you might like to take a look at it.

Beth

Kevin Johnston said...

Hi Karen,

Love the blog! I'm not in the schools working directly with students, but we use Thinkfree (www.thinkfree.com) for sharing business documents and collaborating on projects in our office (it's particularly handy because it integrates with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). In my work with schools I've run into many education agencies that won't allow use many of these applications with students due to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA): the student's (minor's) identity and records must be protected. I wonder if there is a workaround so students' identities can be protected so they can use these fabulous applications. Thoughts?

~kevin

Karen Janowski said...

Kevin!

Thanks for your comment. One of the ways schools get around it is to just list the student’s first name and last name initial. They include things like that in their Acceptable Use Policy.

There are also ways to protect who can access information, if it’s public or private and who can post for example. There are ways around the limitations.