Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Building Schoolwide Online Collaboration


Scott is with the Milken Community High School

found the combination of a web 2.0 application and someone who “owns” the event locally leads to much better results with online collaboration

Computer supportive collaborative work and collaborative learning (CSCW: using technology tools to facilitate productivity, more administrative approach)
– can also support learning
– want technology tool to facilitate planning
– project planning form
– customizable, adaptable
– developed with all stakeholder input, testing, school wide access
– easily accessible

Yahoo Groups and Google Groups
– Moodle
Firstclass $
– Lotus Notes $
– Wikis, blogs
– Apple’s iCal
– Blackboard, WebCT $$

Considered Moodle but saw that more as a course management tool, we chose FirstClass because we already had this
– used Firstclass as an online shared planning tool
– we have “Event and Project Planning” as a setup shared place in Firstclass
– whole state of Maine has adopted Firstclass in their schools, program originates from Toronto, Canada
– just installed this in a school in Mexico City

From the about FC website:

FirstClass is a cost-effective, highly scalable, feature-rich messaging and communications solution for schools and school districts, learning organizations and businesses. At the foundation of our award-winning FirstClass Communications Platform is our Collaborative Groupware, which provides our users with the ability to effectively communicate and share valuable resources and information via email, conferencing, directories, individual and shared calendars and online chats. FirstClass has been used by thousands of organizations to create powerful online electronic communities that enable individuals and groups of people to work more effectively.

social learning aspects of Firstclass are powerful
– allows students and teachers to customize it the way they want and need
– that can help students and teachers build meaning

we wanted these features:
– shared discussion areas
– available online from anywhere, allows for anytime, anywhere learning
– can be moderated
– more…

[demo of firstclass environment live]
– one example: we have 67 projects in one month!
– if there are 20 school days in that month, that is a lot of projects to manage! (room use issues, food, all other kinds of issues)

For projects, I can assign it to different people, I can keep notes in fields, can customize fields that are being used for each project
– this is the school management piece

school management system for student information automatically is set to populate class groups within Firstclass
– there are public and private drop folders (some things can be shared with everyone in the class, some things can be sent just to the teacher)

kids can even change different icons to add meaning for them
– some kids have all calvin and hobbes icons, all Simpsons icons, etc.
– as an administrator I can restore someone’s desktop to default values
– can be used for both school management and the learning

Gave kids a “water cooler area” for each grade level
– this is so they can post goofy things and talk to each other
– is an all-school level too
– we moderate this so nothing inappropriate things go up
– lots of discussion
– gives kids a place to stop and interact with each other
– is a place where kids can blow off steam appropriately online (nothing seems to be there yet, however)

have been able to give out access to parents, so they can participate in
– are building digital portfolios in Firstclass
– group of 39 students recently went to Israel and used these tools live

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On this day..






2 responses to “Building Schoolwide Online Collaboration”

  1. Scott Perloff Avatar
    Scott Perloff

    Sorry about that. I posted the Powerpoint now. It is best viewed in IE. I will post a pdf as soon as I can.

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