I was searching for a new collaborative mind-mapping tool for a project I had typically done with Popplet, because although Popplet is fantastic and worked fine for the project last spring, it hasn't been playing well with our school network this year. It's sooo glitchy at school now that I just can't have my kids use it anymore. We used Wallwisher this fall and it was fine, but had some limitations for what we were trying to do. So I was super excited when I found Richard's post about 7 mind-mapping tools and discovered SpiderScribe, which is just perfect for this project.
Project background: my 6th graders work in groups to research several holidays and historical events for a Spanish-speaking country they've chosen. Each student researches 2 holidays and 2 events, and they write the dates in Spanish. They then use a collaborative web tool of their choice to create 2 "timelines" (not necessarily linear) to display their holidays and events in chronological order. (This time, they could choose between SpiderScribe and Wallwisher, but everybody chose SpiderScribe.)
|(student SpiderScribe project exported as jpeg -- see below for links to view more projects larger!)|
Check out a few examples at the links below: (These are real student work so obviously not perfect!)
Notice how the students were able to be creative with their layouts and designs. I wish you could have seen them collaborating online and face-to-face at the same time as they worked -- it was exciting to watch! Many groups finished their projects in class, but students who needed to work at home were able to do so quite easily.
The last step of the project is that each group posted their project link to a discussion forum on our class Moodle page. For homework (over several days), each student has to view at least 2 other groups' projects and then leave high-quality comments for the groups in the forum. (To set this up, I have a thread for each group, where they post their link and the classmates reply with comments.)
How have you used SpiderScribe or another real-time collaborative web tool with your students? What did you think of my students' projects?