Kelsi's Insight on Education

Collaborative Tools – Meeting Students Half-Way

Posted on: August 1, 2010

“Using technology tools with high school students is always a good idea. Okay, maybe that statement is a bit bold, but let’s face the truth. High school students are more connected to online forums, Facebook accounts, and cell phones than ever before. Meeting students “where they are” requires meeting them online.” – Free Technology for Teachers, Using Technology to Find Students

This week, I have been learning all about collaborative Web 2.0 Tools. A few examples were given and we were then assigned a group assignment to work hands-on with these tools. Our group set ship and sailed away with Pirate Pad. It is a quick and easy way to communicate, collaborate, create and contribute. You don’t have to be online at the same time, in order to contribute to the topic at hand. This is a great tool that I can see myself using with a variety of different people:  group of colleagues, friends and my students!

It is quick and easy to create a new pad. Just go to the Pirate Pad website, click on the link provided, and then type in a name. After that, click on “Share this Pad” and a link is provided for you to share with others you want to join in the conversation. Pirate Pad has a ‘pad’ feature and a ‘chat’ feature. Both are saved and available to be viewed by anyone that goes to the web address. You also never need to refresh the page, as it automatically updates and there is no sign-up/sign-ins required. Another great feature is that the pad can be exported as a text file.

Pirate Pad is a great tool to meet students half-way with. Students are always looking for something new and it would be easy to modify a lesson and incorporate this technology tool into it. Students would especially get a kick out of the chat feature as it is similar to an AIM or Facebook chat session. One way to use this in the classroom is for students to create a KWL (what you know, what you want to know and what you’ve learned). Another idea would be for students to use this to research a certain topic and share websites they’ve found and notes related to the topic. Basically, anytime you split the class into groups and ask them to collaborate and share together with pen and paper, could easily be turned into a technology lesson, using PiratePad. Feel free to share other ways you’ve tried or would like to try with PiratePad in the comments section below!

This week, my group was assigned to create an Internet Scavenger Hunt. We used PiratePad to idea generate on a topic for the assignment and even used it to figure out a time when we were available to ‘meet-up’ to work on the project together. We also used it to compile our scavenger hunt questions, answers and websites for the project. Here is a screen shot of my group’s pad, as an example of an -in progress- view, of this collaborative tool.

View of In-Progress Pirate Pad

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2 Responses to "Collaborative Tools – Meeting Students Half-Way"

Nice post, Kelsi.

My group has just used the campuspack wiki for our communication. I didn’t get a chance to check out Pirate Pad during our exploration. The description and analysis is very nice. I like your thoughts here.

[…] have had a great time working with PiratePad (as previously blogged about) with my group members. We chose to use Piratepad again as our collaboration tool for the final […]

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