Saturday, 11 October 2014

Meaningful Collaboration with Google Hangouts, Kahoot, Padlet and Kidblog

 This year my class is connecting with other classes around the world. Our Google+ community is: World Class Learners. We are creating a world class where students from different countries can collaborate together. In doing this, I'm constantly looking for different possible ways to share our learning, and interact with those other classes. Last year, a tool we found that was helpful, was Minecraft. This allowed our students to work together in a shared world. It was a very powerful experience.

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Kahoot is an excellent resource. This is an interactive game show style application that allows the students to interact with each other. Using this app the students were able to learn to practice skills around the same topic. The interaction, created a festive spirit, and allowed the students to interact with each other in a slightly competitive, but fun way. This gave structure to the Google Hangout where the students would be sharing with each other, and made things go very smoothly.





Padlet is another important app, it allows the students to have a virtual space where they can put their ideas together. They can comment on each other's writing, and add images and share links. This app was a key part of having the students begin to put their ideas together, and our classes could share that information throughout a week or two of planning as we've met initially and then re-met consolidating that information.



A new app to me, is Green Screen by Doink. This iPad app is an excellent way for students to create a small presentation that can be shared with other classes anywhere in the world. The advantage of this app, is that the students are doing a live presentation which is also being videotaped, and whatever images they would wish to share are also embedded behind them so that the full experience is available to anyone who watches the video.

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This has a lot of possible ways it could be used, including having students virtually connect with each other through the green screen app. Meaning that both the students from the other part of the world doing a presentation, and our students doing a presentation could both be in the same presentation via the virtual screen.

The number one communication tool has been our shared blog so far, where students can write their ideas and share their thoughts. They intereact with each other, posting comments, and carrying on conversations on various topics. We are using Kidblog, it is very user-friendly, which matters when the students joining are doing so from several different countries.




To be honest, there's no one perfect application, no one thing that makes everything perfect. However, it's all the different possibilities the technology presents, that allows us to find the best opportunities to help students interact and collaborate anywhere, any time.