News

Collaboration tool supports global discussions

By Laura Devaney
November 25th, 2015

With new feature from Participate Learning, educators have free, online space for collaboration around lesson plans and more

collaboration-toolA newly launched collaboration feature from Participate Learning (formerly called appoLearning) gives educators a way to invite colleagues down the hall or across the country to discuss and share their Collections in real time.

With Participate Learning’s Collections, teachers can find and curate educational websites, apps and videos for improving student outcomes and place these in a digital folder.

Educators are asked constantly to focus on personal professional learning. While Twitter chats, class blogs and conferences are valuable for finding resources and ideas, the depth of collaboration on these channels is limited by either medium or time. Educators can compile spreadsheets of resources to take advantage of the burgeoning number of internet-connected devices in their classrooms.

But most say handmade lists are cumbersome to share. And when educators with a cache of best practices hand out or email their resources to colleagues, they rarely come with sufficient explanation.

Instead, Participate Learning’s new collaboration feature lets educators post comments back and forth in real-time as they make suggestions for improving one another’s Collections. One teacher likened the features available on Participate Learning to “Google + Pinterest + Dropbox.”

Through Participate Learning’s collaboration and Collections, educators recommend apps or websites or videos to one another on topics ranging from ADHD to zoos. Or they can build Collections together on shared topics of interest such as Common Core State Standards.

“Teachers are demanding answers for how best to use the technology filling their classrooms; many are overwhelmed by what they get when searching the internet for resources,” said Alan Warms, chief executive officer of Participate Learning. “We deliver thousands of apps, videos and websites, which expert educators have already vetted, for teachers to search and build Collections with; once a Collection is built, collaboration can happen immediately.”

Participate Learning’s team of educational experts review and comment on numerous devices and platforms including thousands of iOS and Android applications, videos from YouTube and Vimeo as well as virtually any online resource accessible on a connected device like Chromebooks, Microsoft tablets, and laptop or desktop computers.

For more information, visit https://www.participate.com/about.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura